From the ears to the heart: Lorde

My current obsession: Lorde’s Yellow Flicker Beat. Lorde may not yet be considered a lyrical genius, but her songs sure are a nice break from the ubiquitous formulaic pop songs. Take a listen to the song yourself: 

(Photo from pop.genuis.com)

(Photo from pop.genuis.com)

“I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm
And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold
My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones
It keeps my veins hot, the fires found a home in me
I move through town, I’m quiet like a fight
And my necklace is of rope, I tie it and untie it

And now people talk to me, but nothing ever hits home
And people talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes
I’m done with it (ooh)

This is the start of how it all ends
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it
I’m speeding up and this is the
Red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
We rip the start, the colours disappear
I never watch the stars there’s so much down here
So I just try to keep up with them
Red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart

I dream all year, but they’re not the sweet kinds
And the shivers move down my shoulder blades in double time

And now people talk to me I’m slipping out of reach now
People talk to me, and all their faces blur
But I got my fingers laced together and I made a little prison
And I’m locking up everyone who ever laid a finger on me
I’m done with it (ooh)

This is the start of how it all ends
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it
I’m speeding up and this is the
Red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
We rip the start, the colours disappear
I never watch the stars there’s so much down here
So I just try to keep up with them
Red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart

Oh oh oh

And this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat
Sparking up my heart

Oh oh oh

And this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat-beat-beat-beat.”

Written by Lorde and Joel Little, the  song is to be the lead single for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I, and it naturally reflects the rise of Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the series. The lyrics, though, extend far beyond just The Hunger Games 

“I move through town/ I’m quiet like a fight.” This line, based more on Lorde’s own experiences, describes how no matter where she goes, she will be always hounded by fans and haters alike. And of course, it’s not just Lorde; every single one of us will have people who support us and others who try to step on us. But instead of directly confronting her haters, and perhaps instigating other conflicts, Lorde opts to move “[quietly] as a fight.” Now that sentence in itself is ironic; fights are anything but quiet. At the young age of 17 (I still can’t believe she’s my age), Lorde is quite mature, knowing that no matter what she does, she will always have critics and haters. She chooses to keep herself composed, to refrain from stooping to the level of those calling her a gothic witch. But her resolve doesn’t die; in her mind, she constantly fights with her critics, ever proving her abilities, not to her critics, but rather to herself. To me, a girl with occasionally a fiery temper, this line reminds me once more that I have no obligation to prove anything to anybody,
 because their ideas of me are nothing 
more 
than 
the
 creation of an 
image. In other words, the haters gon’ hate hate hate, but I’m just gonna shake shake shake. (Cue Taylor Swift here.)

My favorite quote, though, is in the chorus, where Lorde sings “I never watch the stars there’s so much down here/So I just try to keep up with them.” There seems to be too much going on down here on Earth for us to take time to wonder about stars, space and everything else beyond our little planet. Our society has become too focused on money, power, work and material goods that we’ve forgotten that there’s much more in life. I remember as a child, I would sleep with my windows open so I could look at the stars, wonder about aliens, and revel in nature’s beauty. Most importantly, I remembered I was happy and carefree. These days, I go to sleep with my windows closed and my head filled with anxiety about the next day. I can’t seem to find time to look up. But if you think about it, it makes sense. Keeping your head up gives a much prettier view (literally and metaphorically) than when you look at the ground, pondering about the troubles of life.

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