Sunday, December 26, 2010

you can't carry it with you if you want to survive

Oh, remember how I used to be a fan of music? Well, I have admittedly been a bit disconnected from music the past six months due to, ugh, life, I guess, and maybe some lame influences in my life. I developed an addiction to The Black KeysTighten Up a couple of months ago, as it was mindless, good, gritty fun. But with a little time on my hands, and various year-end lists recapping music, I have been starting to reconnect to my need for some good lyrics and a haunting melody.

I must confess that I first heard this song on an episode of Glee. Even though I do not like the show, I have this uncontrollable impulse to watch. To draw a parallel appropriate to the season, it’s similar to my need to listen to all covers of Last Christmas, even though there is no way anyone can touch Wham’s 80s-filled cheese- that includes you, Glee, incidentally!

Anyway, not only was the cover of this song typically horrible, but also it seemed to me completely boring and pop-tarty. When I finally heard Florence and The Machine sing it, I could not even recognize it as having any connection to the version done by The Glee crew. The vocals are completely different, and as such, they draw a lot more attention to the lyrics.

And the lyrics… oh man. This is another one of those sneaky songs. You hear it without really listening and it sounds celebratory and yippee, hooray!, but squint your eyes and look closer. I took another listen to it yesterday and I was struck by how it mixes this idea of celebration with warning, and perhaps even celebrating the act of escaping a supposedly happy situation, depending on how you interpret it.

I know some thing about that these days. It’s tricky, this business of figuring out what you want, and realizing that sometimes immediate elation accompanies uncomfortable emotions. Sometimes, it’s healthy to discard the discomfort and behave like the pack. Other times, it’s time to lean on this song, listen for the horses, and run.

1 comment:

maisnon said...

I spent the day with a law school friend who told me about two weeks in December that she spent in Uganda many years ago. Apparently, her hotel, in a bow to the tourists staying there, played "Last Christmas" on an endless loop. She said that hearing that song puts her right back to her business trip in Uganda and that, similar to the way some people have overdosed on tequila and can never drink it again, she is over, over, over that song.