Thursday, June 28, 2012

That Visceral Response to Music

Why yes, yes I am going to blog about just one song! I recently rediscovered the soundtrack to the movie Orlando (as mentioned here is my Favorite Movie Ever) which is fantastic in and of itself, but the title track, as it were, is singularly spectacular and as I listened to it on repeat while running errands I thought I need to write about this!

So allow me to beg your indulgence for a moment, and present to you, "Coming" by Jimmy Somerville:

Now, the video will show you scenes of the movie Orlando, and it fits the movie beautifully, but it's out of context for what I want to discuss. So when you listen, close your eyes, or just don't pay attention to the video.

This song makes me cry almost every time I listen to it. It evokes so many emotions--complex ones at that-- that I though it bore some examination. At the superficial level, it's a song about emancipation: Yes at last, at last/to be free of the past/and the future that beckons me/...At last I am free. I got that part stuck in my head when I got fired from my job. I felt liberated, jubilant, unfettered. With the poppy, upbeat music, how can this not be a happy song? But listen deeper into the lyrics; free from what? Is this a song about death, leaving the body and going "across the divide?"

Then I thought "you think everything is about death, silly" and thought more on it. So what else is this song about? It's about love: In this moment of unity/feeling an ecstasy/to be here, to be now. Who hasn't had that heady, ecstatic, in-the-now love? Where you and your partner are one and you are the ultimate Being of love and passion and nothing can divide you? Keeping with the theme of freedom, that love severs you from all the hate and darkness with it's purity, blinds you to the terribleness of the world, but also an absolute love for mankind: We are joined, we are one/With the human face/We are joined, we are one/With the human face. A pure love transcends just the relationship with the One and becomes an all-encompassing relationship with Man. Which leads me to...

Transcendence. Over all, this is a song about transcendence. This can be widely interpreted: transcendence from simple relationship love to love for all creatures, transcendence from the shackles of the burdens that weigh us down, or a spiritual transcendence. Let's explore spiritual. In many religious paths, the ultimate goal is to attain that heavenly perfection-- the Buddhists call it Nirvana. Many people meditate to reach a place where they have surpassed the physical and are pure spirit (scientists would refer to this as becoming pure energy, where we would no longer need our physical bodies). Let's look at the lyrics: I am on earth/And I am in outer space/I'm being born and I am dying/I am coming! I am coming!/Here I am!/Neither a woman, nor a man. When you transcend the need for a physical body, gender is moot. Energy doesn't die. You become a constant being, euphoric, freed of the shackles of the physical, pure love and unity with the universe around you. Free.


No comments:

Post a Comment