Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 11: Defying Gravity

So, the song "Defying Gravity", from the musical "Wicked", has been running through my head incessantly over the last few days.  Originally I thought that this was probably, simply, because I have been singing the song weekly with my one of my 9-year old voice students.  She sings the (main) part of Elphaba, and I chime in with Glinda's part whenever necessary, and coach her ("Don't belt it like the original singer; be careful and use your high voice!") whenever I'm not singing.

But it also occurred to me, as the sung began ringing in my head right around my birthday, that perhaps it's also a message that I am trying to learn and integrate as my new solar year begins.  And perhaps it is also a lesson that society is trying to learn and to integrate.  More about that in a bit.  But first, here are the lyrics, specifically those from Idina Menzel's "pop" solo release (slightly adapted from the orginal):


"Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with
playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you won't bring me down

I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you won't bring me down

Unlimited (Unlimited)
My future is unlimited (unlimited)
And I've just had a vision
Almost like a prophecy
I know - it sounds truly crazy
And true, the vision's hazy
But I swear, someday I'll be...

Flying so high! (Defying gravity)
Kiss me goodbye! (Defying gravity)

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Everyone deserves the
chance to fly!"

I'm defying gravity!
And you won't bring me down!
Bring me down!
Bring me down!"

It's kind of funny to read the lyrics, stripped away from their musical power (especially the power that Idina Menzel gives!), but there they are.  And as far as the personal and universal theme goes, I definitely think it came be taken as a song of defiance.  You know--"Authority is corrupt; society is biased.  Screw them--I'm gonna do my own thing!" But it can also be thought of as the willingness to individuate, to take a risk, to be willing to be authentic, no matter what people might think.  (This blog is a small example of that, for me.) I love this line, because I can so relate to it: "Too long I've been afraid of losing love I guess I've lost.  Well, if that's love, it comes at much to high a cost!" Amen.  Beautiful words for anyone who likes to reshape themselves to please or appease others (like, oftentimes, me).  It leads one to question, is this compromise of myself really worth it?

I'll continue on this theme tomorrow, so tune in then!

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