Summer Music Challenge: Pretty Girl

This installment in the year-later continuation of the challenge is about a song that needs to be played LOUD.

music challenge

This is a song by one of my absolute favorite artists, Hayley Kiyoko. Honestly, just Google her if you don’t think you know who she is, because I guarantee you have heard one of her songs (probably “Girls Like Girls” or “Curious”) or seen her act (in the Scooby-Doo live action movies and The Fosters, among other things).

I first heard “Pretty Girl” when watching her November 2017 Boston concert on YouTube, and let me tell you. This song slaps. It is so underrated compared to her other stuff, but I’m glad she likes performing it live. I am currently on the fence about seeing her live this July.

Desert nights I like
Seeing you under the stars’ light
Through the fire as bright
Wanna know what your love feels like

I can see you’re real smart
World class piece of art
I can see you in the dark
All we have to do is start

I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty girl
I just wanna know if you will let me be your world
I just know you got to taste like candy, candy girl
I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty girl

You’re the one I like
I will find a reason tonight
Feel it all despite
The fact you don’t like my type

I can see you’re real smart
World class piece of art
I can see you in the dark
All we have to do is start
I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty girl
I just wanna know if you will let me be your world
I just know you got to taste like candy, candy girl
I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty girl

Wait, let me in
I want to show you the shape I’m in
Wait, let me in
I want to show you the shape I’m in
Wait, let me in
I want to show you the shape I’m in
Wait, let me in
I want to show you the shape I’m in

I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty girl
I just wanna know if you will let me be your world
I just know you got to taste like candy, candy girl
I just wanna tell you that you’re really pretty girl

Advertisements

Summer Music Challenge: My Oldest Friend

This installment will be about someone I’d rather forget about.

music challenge

I am fortunate to not have had too many falling outs with friends. I don’t have many enemies, either. Even the people I’m on bad terms with aren’t worth me writing a blog post about. However, even though I don’t straight-up hate anyone, there are a few friendships I wish hadn’t ended. I’ve had a few that fizzled out with time, and I wonder that with just a little more effort, maybe they could have been saved.

I present to you “My Oldest Friend” by Andrew Belle from his album, The Ladder.

Don’t wanna sound ridiculous
But I think you know I’m sick of this
And I kind of think that we can bend, do you?
I’ll try to be a better friend to you
You know I miss you in my life
And I kind of think I realize
That I was only looking out for me
Instead of getting you the help you need

Oh, who do you think you are?
Who do I think I am
Barely listening to my oldest, my oldest friend?
Oh, my oldest, my oldest friend

I’ve given one, you’ve taken two
But this medicine has followed you
From the eastern coast and back again
So, I tell you once but not again
That I only miss you in my life
And I hope you finally realize
That I’m only looking out for you
When I’m not afraid to see this through

Oh, who do you think you are?
Who do I think I am
Barely listening to my oldest, my oldest friend?
Oh, my oldest, my oldest friend

So, wanna sound ridiculous?
‘Cause I think you know I’m sick of this
And I kind of think that we can bend, do you?
I’ll try to be a better friend to you
You know I miss you in my life
And I kind of think I realize
That I was only looking out for me
Instead of getting you the help that you need, but…

This song is giving off some “How to Save a Life” deja vu. I think the main storyline is that it’s about a friend who is addicted to drugs, hence the “This medicine has followed you” lyric. Belle alternates between statements of “I’m only looking out for you” and “I was only looking out for me,” which represents the inner turmoil anyone who has lost a friend due to addiction or other vices can relate to. You’re constantly torn between thinking you did everything you could and blaming yourself for something you could not have possibly known better about.

It relates to my life (thankfully, not in that way… for the most part), because there is blame on both sides. In every friendship of mine that has failed, there is a recurring pattern of me not paying enough attention to their needs, and them having a total disregard for mine.

The lyric “Who do I think I am, barely listening…” especially relates to me. I don’t know if this is true or not, as I have never been friends with myself, but I feel like I do more talking than listening. Which, someone who is not close with me would be confused by this statement, because I’m a rather reserved individual. However, in my close friendships I am very outspoken. I love to make my friends laugh. I love to share stories (very dramatic ones, if I do say so myself). And you can tell I love to ramble on because look at how long this blog post is.

I just don’t feel like I listen enough. There is one specific friend of mine who doesn’t really tell me much about herself. I have noticed in recent months that perhaps she prefers to divert the conversation from her life back to mine, and maybe I’m not completely selfish. But I still feel like I am. I feel like I’ve failed her in some way. And while we’re still friends, she is starting to pull away from pretty much all of her friends. Including me. I’m scared that I’m not fighting to keep this friendship.

On the other hand, there’s the lyric: “I’ve given one, you’ve taken two.” This applies to many other failed relationships I’ve had. None romantic. I think quite a few people will be able to relate to being taken advantage of; you give someone one thing and before you know it, they just keep taking. And so you try to be patient with them. You try to be a better friend to them.

But sometimes, even if you miss their presence in your life, you are no longer friends for a reason. It is easy to think back on the good times and think that the end was a mistake. But sometimes, there is too much damage on both sides. Sometimes, the best decision both parties can make is to move on.

Summer Music Challenge: The Water

This installment in the Summer Music Challenge is one of my favorite songs that reminds me of summertime.

music challenge

This song is one that I have held dear since my freshman year of high school, I believe. My, how the time flies! I can’t believe I was a freshman five years ago; sometimes, I still feel like that thirteen-year-old wannabe-broadcast journalist with the 3.0 GPA who could never be good enough, no matter how hard she studied. I can’t believe how far I’ve come since then. But this post isn’t about my mediocre-to-dean’s lister Hallmark inspirational story.

This song is “The Water,” written by Trent Dabbs. It is from his EP Decade Fades. I won’t get too much into his history, because I will probably include his other music in this challenge as the summer goes on.

If you go out late tonight, search for the morning stars. If moonlight is by your side looking lovely, daylight is in your arms.

Walking out with me now, question just where you are. Don’t let your fingertips hold it steady; shine it out with the sun. Oh no…

(Here is the water) ‘Cause I’ve always loved you, girl.

(Here is the water) Let this remove all doubt.

(Here is the water) Oh, my love.

If this be a parting wave, gather up what remains. If ever one night you should remember, let it be love today. Oh no…

(Here is the water) ‘Cause I’ve always loved you, girl.

(Here is the water) So let this remove all doubt.

(Here is the water) Oh, my…

Looking right at your brow, I need more than time allows. I’ll hold you closer than any other; tell me you hear me now. Oh oh…

(Here is the water) I’ve always loved you, girl!

(Here is the water) So let this remove all doubt!

(Here is the water) Oh, my love.

(Here is the water) I’ve always loved you, girl!

(Here is the water) Let this remove all doubt.

(Here is the water) Oh, my love.

I’ve always loved you, girl. I’ve always loved you, girl.

I’ve always loved you, girl…

I’ve always loved you, girl…

I’ve always loved you, girl…

I’ve always loved you, girl…

I’ve always loved you, girl. I’ve always loved you, girl. I’ve always loved you, girl.

I’ve always loved you, girl.

This song is so… simplistic. It’s to the point, but so poetic in a way. I didn’t even really process this song’s lyrics until I typed them up just now. And yes, I manually typed them because it is apparently an obscure enough song that none of the lyric websites have it.

I’m going to keep my analysis simple because it is a simple song. It’s just not that deep, and that’s kind of what I love about it. I think it’s about being in a serious relationship with someone and knowing that it may not last forever. Perhaps it’s about knowing that while you may be what one another needs right now, but you may not be soul mates.

And so, he reminisces back to their favorite place; likely the place where they fell in love. It is a place that seems to have already been dear to him that he introduced to her, and is letting her in emotionally by bringing her to such a special place. By bringing her to the water, it is such a small but at the same time very large gesture; he is showing how important she is to him. This is why every “Here is the water” is followed with, “I’ve always loved you, girl… so let this remove all doubt.”

Even if it doesn’t last forever, he wants her to remember the special place she holds, and will always continue to hold in his life. The last minute of the song also has some incoherent mumbling. I took it as whispering words that only she would know, like an inside secret. However, he continues to repeat “I’ve always loved you, girl” throughout the entire ending as the piano gently plays, like water in a shallow creek hitting the rocks.

I believe that the song’s last minute could be his future self looking back on his past self. It is him looking back on the water, the day, and the relationship as a whole. He remembers how special she was, and how special the place was to them. Looking back, he knows that he will never forget his first love. He has always loved her, and he always will. And so, he concludes with a final goodbye as the music fades.

Summer Music Challenge: 9,000 Days

Although more than one day has passed since the last post, here’s the next installment in the series: a song I like with a number in the title.

music challenge

The song I have chosen today is “9,000 Days,” performed by the South African vocal group Overtone.

“9,000 Days” is a track composed for the 2009 Clint Eastwood motion picture Invictus, featuring Morgan Freeman as the late South African president Nelson Mandela. The film, set in 1995, focuses on Mandela’s new freedom after spending 27 years in prison (roughly 9,000 days), hoping to begin to reunite South Africa after the recent end of apartheid. In order to begin, he tries to unite the country through rugby. Which, fun fact, I was in rugby club for a semester in eighth grade, but that’s not important right now.

The song, although the title pays homage to the amount of time Mandela spent incarcerated, is based loosely off of William Henley’s poem “Invictus.” The poem is written below.

Out of the night which covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Out of the night that covers me
I’m unafraid, I believe.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Beyond the hours that turned to years,
I thank whatever, whatever gods may be.
 
9,000 days were set aside,
9,000 days of destiny,
9,000 days to thank gods,
Wherever they may be…
 
It matters not the circumstance,
We rise above,
We took a chance.
And I thank whatever, whatever gods may be.
(Whatever gods may be…)
9,000 days were set aside,
9,000 days of destiny,
9,000 days to thank gods,
Wherever they may be…
 
Oh, a broken heart that turned to stone
Can break a man but not his soul!
 
9,000 days were set aside,
9,000 days of destiny,
9,000 days to thank gods,
Wherever they may be.
And I thank whatever, whatever gods may be…
This song is actually genius. It borrows phrases from the poem “Invictus” which is the poem that movie Invictus was named for, meanwhile connecting it back to Nelson Mandela through the repeated use of “9,000 days,” and LET’S NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT THE STRINGS SECTION OR THE BEAUTIFUL HARMONIES AND I– *breathes*
What I love about this song is its seamless incorporation of Henley’s original words. The original poem is so powerful, its meaning closing the work: I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. 
It doesn’t matter what circumstance you’re in; it doesn’t matter what the odds are. You do not have to be conquered. You are the master of your fate, and you can decide how far you go.
And I love the lack of closure, how whenever gods are addressed, it is always followed with, “…wherever they may be.” It speaks to this weird part of the human soul that is unsure of its place in the universe. No one knows for sure what God has in store for us, and no one has solid, physical evidence that there even is one. But there will always be a desire for something to be out there, someone listening. Wherever or whomever they are, there is always a reason to be grateful. Even in the midst of the storm, there is always gratitude.

Summer Music Challenge: Black Sun

I have decided to participate in a Twitter summer music challenge, posting my thoughts on this WordPress instead.

music challenge

Today jump starts the challenge: a song I like with a color in the title. The song I have chosen, although there are so many good songs I know with a color in the title, is Death Cab for Cutie’s “Black Sun.”

“Black Sun” is a track on Death Cab’s 2015 album, Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken materials (such as pottery) with gold, showing that even though the scars of the brokenness prevail, the material will be made even more beautiful for it.

There is whiskey in the water
And there is death upon the vine
There is fear in the eyes of your father
And there is “Yours” and there is “Mine.”
There is a desert veiled in pavement
And there’s a city of seven hills
And all our debris flows to the ocean
To meet again, I hope it will.

How could something so fair
Be so cruel
When this black sun revolved
Around you?

There is an answer in a question
And there is hope within despair
And there is beauty in a failure,
And there are depths beyond compare.
There is a role of a lifetime
And there’s a song yet to be sung
And there’s a dumpster in the driveway
Of all the plans that came undone.

How could something so fair
Be so cruel
When this black sun revolved
Around you?
How could something so fair
Be so cruel
When this black sun revolved
Around you?

There is whiskey in the water
And there is death upon the vine
And there is grace within forgiveness
But it’s so hard for me to find.

How could something so fair
Be so cruel
When this black sun revolved
Around you?
How could something so fair
Be so cruel
When this black sun revolved
Around you?

This isn’t the most obscure song out there; you might have heard it on Quantico (and apparently it was on American Idol at some point). So, why am I sharing a song that you might already know?

As you may know, the beauty of art is the freedom of interpretation. If you know the history of Ben Gibbard (lead vocalist), you may have interpreted the lyrics as the story of Gibbard’s divorce from Zooey Deschanel. I believe that may be true. I mean, it definitely makes sense, given that many of the lyrics seem to point to the end of a marriage (i.e. “There is ‘Yours’ and there is ‘Mine'”, “There’s a dumpster in the driveway…”, “There is grace within forgiveness, but it’s so hard for me to find”).

However, I like to interpret the song’s overall message as coming to terms with the end of something; that something may be a marriage, it might be getting laid off from a job, losing a friend, etcetera. It is a song about knowing that you have reached the end, knowing that you cannot turn back anymore. And yet, there is still confusion. There is still a looming emptiness. There is still a desire to experience good times that will never come again. Then there are the questions that haunt. How does something just… end? How do you find the beauty in the failure? How do you rebuild after your plans come undone? How do you learn to forgive those who have wronged you?

And what if there is no person at fault? What if there is no clear right or wrong? What if things just met their natural end? Maybe no one was at fault; maybe it was fair. But how can something so fair be so cruel?

The lyric that breaks my heart the most is: “There is grace within forgiveness, but it’s so hard for me to find.”

This lyric has applied to my life time and time again. I know that holding grudges will only lead to my own demise. I know that I have to let go of whatever negative emotions I’m holding onto if I want to move on. I know that forgiving those who have wronged me in the past will lead me to a better path. However, it is just so hard to forgive. Sometimes, it’s just downright impossible.

Sometimes there is no clear end to the conflict. There is no visible light at the end of the tunnel. Although tragic, it is what makes life beautiful, in a way. There is no certainty, no way to know how the story ends. We’re left with a deceptive cadence, even after we are gone. Sometimes there is no clear higher purpose. Sometimes, life is just cruel.