So the Met office today issues the advice to all UK citizens not to venture outside unless necessary between the hours of 11 and 3, whilst the sun is highest in the sky. That advice i am confident will be ignored by many a mad Brit in their attempts to get a tan, have a good to start to the summer holidays or just by going about their daily business. Later i will promptly laugh at the sun burnt suffering of others who have cast aside this advice with reckless abandon.
So, we finally come to the breakout song of the album. The song, that has become a phenomenon in it’s own right, casting Keala Settle into the spotlight and breaking into no less than the 3rd spot atop the UK official top ten. This song has quickly proven it has something more, that it is something special.
The song sings of being proud of who and what you are. It is a song of empowerment and i feel because of this it really speaks to a lot of people. However more than that, i think its popularity speaks to more than just the songs universal appeal but to the zeitgeist of the current time. Racism is an issue that has been tackled very successfully in this country and now so many groups are vying to be the next ones included. LGBTQ+ is gaining far more coverage and support than ever before and the stigma around mental health is being tackled on a national scale from government intervention.
With times changing and inclusion of so many visible on the horizon there is a real hope for change and acceptance in society. That is exactly what the lyrics of this song sing about. This song falls perfectly in line with the current political climate for many groups and people and i believe that is what has made it the success story it is.
Personally i’m critical of it’s success as i grew up in the generation where “issues-are-cool” and i saw teens my age fake and even lie about having mental health issues or symptoms because there was this air that you weren’t part of “the group” if you didn’t… something i found very offensive at the time and that i have no patience for now; so i do wonder how many people actually connect with this song for a real reason, and how many faked it to seem cool.
Never the less, if you look objectively at the song you can hear and feel that no matter how it became a success, it did deserve it. It is a brilliantly well written, amazingly sung, emotional and powerful message within a good song. The music is triumphant which send it’s own message that all you need is the confidence to be yourself, and the battle is already won […If only it were that easy]. What a song!
That Other Guy