Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Anatomy of Music Part 1......

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

He is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

Does Anybody Hear Her? - Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns happens to be my favorite Christian band to listen to. I have always had this thing with music that I won't listen to a song (that is a piece with lyrics) unless I know what he or she is saying. I love to study what I listen to and not necessarily look at what it sounds like, but rather look at the message that is being set forth. Over the next couple of posts I will be analyzing some of Casting Crown's pieces for you all to see, and tell me what you thing about what I have said.

Let's work through, “Does Anybody Hear her?”.

I feel that this song rings true with thoughts as to what society is like today. I personally believe that this song is to portray the life of a young Christian girl. And all I see is a teen girl going through what many, many young men and women a like are suffering today.

Alright, the first part:
She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

“She's running in the wrong direction.” This I see happening SO much in this day and age! We're all rebels! It's a sad complex to be sure but teens these days seem to think that they know better than the adults do in every circumstance. It says, “She is trying, but the canyon's ever widening, in the depths of her cold heart.” What does this mean? I believe that is means that she's trying to pull herself out of the pit that she's in, but that canyon, (her sin) keeps getting bigger, and bigger. “So she sets out on another misadventure just to find, she's another two years older, and she's three more steps behind.” Here we go again. More truth. It seems to me that so many young people today are trying to do everything on their own. They step forth, and try to do things that they think will help, without consulting someone who is much wiser. Then, in the end, they all find that they are now two years older, but haven't gone anywhere in life. Instead they have fallen back.

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

This is the chorus of the song. With the singer asking the question, “Does anybody hear her?” Meaning, she's crying out for help but no one is listening. Therefore, she has to do it all herself -- and fail. The reason being, she's asking the wrong people for help. “Under the shadow of our steeple With all the lost and lonely people.” I found this phrase quite intriguing. At first I didn't know what it meant, and I still believe I do not know the full extent of it but I'll give it a shot. I believe what's meant by this is that there have been, and are fakes in the church today. And because of this the young girl feels that there aren't very many people she feels she can trust to be true Christians. I can be a personal example of what that looks like too. Being a fake for the past couple of years and finally finding God really just a couple months ago I know what it looks like. I had so much hidden sin that when I was looking for help I would see all the faces at church, I would look around. Yet, each face I saw I didn't trust, because they saw me and thought I was a true repentant young man. And so my thought was, “Maybe their in the same mess I am!” Putting myself in a position where the only way out was to talk to my own parents.

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Here is my most favorite part of the entire song! It is so sad, and so true, and so utterly scary that it cannot be ignored. “She is yearning, For shelter and affection, That she never found at home.” Now, either my idea that she is saved, just in serious personal trouble is either blow to pieces by this, OR it's because I'm right. I do not really know. You could say that what is meant by this is that she's in an abusive family, or she only has one parent. Or, her family simply isn't a good source of encouragement and light. It's either that or my idea rings true in that the reason she never found it at home was because she wasn't ever brave enough to ask for it. It's a scary thing trying to confess things to your parents, and family. I've actually found that it's harder to say things to your siblings than your parents. The reason being rather humerus in my opinion. It's harder in my view because my parents have always punished me. And being punished by them is, well, in essence, “normal”. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing. It's harder to say it to my siblings because, well, they are my brothers and sisters! The see my every day, and think I'm all fine and dandy. Then when they know the true it's a shocker to them. That being said this girl is afraid to ask for help, because she feels that she will be shut down.

She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

This part truly hit me hard the first time I heard it. I've heard stories of so man young ladies, and even young men doing this. “She is searching, For a hero to ride in, To ride in and save the day.” We all need our hero, but in this day and age the younger folks tend to find that in a friend, a friend of the opposite sex. I really, truly hate to say this but I'm one who has fallen for this trap. I won't name any names but I will say that when I was falling so fast that I couldn't stop myself, I found that friend. She was amazing! But, in order to maintain that true friendship, where she could help me, I had to hide it all from my parents. She wasn't trying to be any form of trap, she thought I was a true friend to her, really, I was the trap for her. The reason she thought this? I hid the truth from her as well. Since it is all cleared up now we're still, close, true friends, but we are for a real reason now. We're friends, so that we can encourage each other, and help each other. Not so that I can have a crutch and a reason to not confess to my parents. My parents watch over our friendship, and make sure nothing “serious” happens, but I can really have a real friend that I can trust and talk to, not a friend that I used as, for nothing better to say, “unprescribed medicine” to help me get through life.

“And in walks her prince charming, And he knows just what to say, Momentary lapse of reason, And she gives herself away.” This part almost makes me cry every time I read it. It happens to often! The girl is in need, she's yearning for affection, and then that one guy walks in. Her prince charming. As cliché as that phrase sounds it's really bursting with truth. She completely gives herself away to the wrong person. She falls for a guy that most of the time should not be trusted. I feel sick of knowing how many men have cheated young ladies out of a true happy life just because of something like this. It is one thing that I strive to do in my life. I want to be a friend that can be trusted, and that young ladies don't have to worry about themselves while around me. A guy who won't flirt with girls all day and make them give their hearts away. This may sound weird to hear but if you really think about it, isn't it the idea of “flirting” that makes people fall? I sincerely believe that it is.

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

The band sings this part a few times in a row before ending the song with the final line. But this part is quite powerful. I know that while at church, when I was hiding under a thick mask, and not being my true self, I felt judgment. I felt that I couldn't admit to people that I wasn't perfect! I thought, “Well, their all perfect, they would hate me, they would disband me if I told them the truth!” These thoughts are SO absurd it's ridiculous! They will not condemn you for sinning people! I feel that this part of the song is really some thoughts coming from the girl herself, not really from the “narrator” of her story if you will. Thoughts saying how afraid she is to let people know the truth about her life.

Please comment and tell me what you think. I hope you have waded through these lines and lines of material and I haven't bored you too much! I would certainly hope not. My ending thought would be this. If you're hiding something, if you aren't living in the truth, or know you are doing something that isn't necessarily, “wrong” but you know if you're parents knew you were doing it you'd get in trouble. Then please, open your eyes. See the truth. I'll be the first to admit that it's not easy. And yes, you're never going to be perfect, but your parents don't expect you to be perfect. Just please, don't hide stuff from them! It's not worth it. Once you have cleared things up, life with me so much happier for you!

I do hope I have touched at least one of you in a special way with this post, and I cannot wait to hear back from you.
Smile! :-)
-JustinK

4 comments:

Sonja said...

Oh wow Justin! Great Job!! I enjoy 'Casting Crows' as well, and I too prefer to understand the words that are being sung. It helps make the song so much more than just a tune with words. This song is one of my favorites, and sometimes I find myself as the girl in the song. It takes a lot of courage to pull yourself out of that trap. Thanks for the encouraging words and keep up the good work! God Bless!

~Sonja

Lo said...

First of all this is one of my favorite songs and I reilized I didn't own it so I just went and bought it and it is now playing in the background while I type this. S
Second of all I do the same thing. Often times i only listen to songs for the words. They can be so powerful.
Great job I loved reading your thoughts and seeing how the differed and were the same as mine.
Also you should watch the music video if you haven't seen it.

ljhs

Annie C. Landon said...

Oh, my gravy!! That was....great!!
First of all, I'm glad I'm not the only weird person who picks apart songs like that. (Casting Crowns in my favorite too!!)
When I first heard that song, I analyzed it-similar to how you did, but not as in depth- but then I dismissed it as simply a message to those in the church, telling us to reach out to the Christians (specifically teens) in the church that are struggling with faith and right decisions and....blah, blah, blah....
But actually reading your own discoveries and thought on the song, makes me shudder. That girl was me! I always thought of her as someone else that I was supposed to help and pray for, but....she was me! For...a long, long time!
It's weird, now....looking back and whantot.
When I first heard that song and really listened to it, I was her.....but I didn't think so. Now, that I know the song like the back of my hand, I see myself in it....It's strange.
But good.
Thanks, Master Brandybuck!

JustinK said...

Wow! What an answer to prayer! I'm so glad that what I have said has held at least a little meaning to you folks! Thank you so much for the encouragement, and thank you also for reading what I have said. I do hope that in the end I will make some sort of impact on our generation, and who knows, maybe you'll be standing right there with me! :)
-JK