By Angie Lee
Amidst the stress of midterms and life in general, I often look to music for solace. Music is a magical thing; too often I put music in the “background” of my life. It’s on in the background when I’m driving somewhere, when I’m doing my homework or when I’m taking a walk. However, when I do take time to make listening to music my primary activity and not a secondary one — when I really just sit there and listen — I am amazed. I made a conscious effort to do this last week — to really pay attention to the music, the lyrics and their meaning instead of having it on in the background. Upon doing so, certain song lyrics that I’d heard a million times before and that I could probably sing in my sleep inspired me in a way they never had before. Here are some reflections on song lyrics that I heard last week that served as pick-me-ups. Hopefully they do for you, too.
“Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.”
I heard someone on my floor blasting this classic Beatles song from their room over the weekend. I’m not quite sure which room it was coming from, but thank you to whoever played it and brought an old but amazing tune back into my head. After involuntarily humming the song over and over again throughout the week, I stopped to actually think about what I was singing. It got me thinking about the fact that amidst all the inconsistencies, the struggles, the darkness that life sometimes entails, the sun always rises again the next day. It is guaranteed — something that we can depend on. Every morning, we have the opportunity to start a new day both literally and figuratively — to look at the sky and say, “here comes the sun” — and because of this, everything is all right.
“Don’t read the last page, but I stay when you’re lost and I’m scared and you’re turning away.”
One of my friends is a Taylor Swift fanatic and urged me to listen to the song “New Year’s Day” from her latest album. My friend was right to implore me to listen — I love the song, especially this specific lyric, for it led me to imagine the concept of a “last page” of my story. This could have been a somber thought, but in a strange way, it comforted me. Though there is much uncertainty in our day to day lives, there is a certain and definite end — and hopefully, as Taylor says, a happy end despite being lost and scared along the way. We just don’t know it yet. And why would we want to spoil the ending, anyway? The ups and the downs are all just necessary parts of our stories.
“Strength doesn’t lie in numbers. Strength doesn’t lie in wealth. Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumber.”
I had the immense pleasure of watching my favorite movie of all time, “The Sound of Music,” for the millionth time this week. These lyrics come from the song, “I Have Confidence,” one of the many tunes in the movie soundtrack that makes it impossible not to sing along with Julie Andrews’s beautiful voice. While I’ve been singing along to these three lines for over a decade now, they became notably special to me just this week. They were a friendly reminder that being strong does not mean being successful, being wealthy, being powerful, or even being happy. Being strong is as simple as surviving, as going to bed after a long, long day.
Contact Angie Lee at angielee ‘at’ stanford.edu.