I realized the other day that I have recently listened to a great number of songs that talk about what life is. Some call it the Baader-Meinhof Effect, some call it serendipity…. But I notice there are a few songs, from a vast spectrum of music, that I have come across that have lyrics that talk about what life is.
**Disclaimer, this is by no means exhaustive. It never will be.**
“Life and love and why / Child, adult, and die/ All of your hoping and all of your searching for what? Ask me for what am I living / Or what gives me strength / That I’m willing to die for…..”~ Switchfoot, “Life and Love and Why AKA 3/4 Chant”
If you’ve never listened to the early stuff by rock band Switchfoot…. it’s pretty awesome. This song (and the rest of The Legend of Chin) are some of my go-to songs when I need something wistful to play in the background while writing. I’ve always loved the question that is being asked in the opening lines…. Why life? Why love? Why are we hoping and searching and what are we hoping and searching for? What is our reasons for living?
“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”~ John Lennon “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”
The Beatles (and the subsequent bands the Beatles all left to form) were not part of my childhood, so I didn’t grow up listening to their music. I fell in love with this song though due to the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, which I saw in the theaters when in high school. The song was sung in the movie not by John Lennon, but by Mr. Holland, played by Richard Dreyfuss. It left a lasting impression on fifteen-year-old me., so mush so that I bought the soundtrack album on compact disc and played it over and over again.
This quote is one of the most famous by John Lennon. And to me it’s so true. Of course, I wrote about that the last time I wrote about life, way back in May of last year. It’s still true to me today.
“Life is like a road that you travel on / When there’s one day here and the next day gone…… Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long.”~ Tim Cochrane “Life is a Highway”
Like Sheryl Crow’s “Every Day is a Winding Road,” Tim Cochrane’s idea that life is a series of crossroads and intersections and places where we can’t see the road ahead of us but yet we ride it through life is a great metaphor. The places we’ve been, the place we are going, all of that gets mixed into what we call the story of our life.
And yes, Rascal Flatts did cover this song in the movie Cars.
“Life is a journey where you stumble and fall.”~ Nico and Vinz “In Your Arms”
I work at a location where piped-in music plays all day long. This was one of the songs that played day in and day out and I finally was able to write down enough lyrics one day to look it up. This line was one of the lines I wrote down and it stuck with me. Life truly is a journey. It truly is a series of stumbles and falls. The trick is picking yourself back up after those falls and keep going along on the journey.
This last one isn’t a song, but rather a line from my absolute favorite movie, The Princess Bride:
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”~ The Dread Pirate Roberts to Princess Buttercup
William Goldman penned a wonderful book and then a wonderful script for the movie and this line has always stuck out with me. It’s especially good for me, who lives with a genetic joint condition that sometimes causes me pain – this week in particular was an especially hard week pain-wise for me.
But there are also life’s pains. We all hurt in some way at some point in our lives. Often, we hurt in multiple ways. We deal with betrayals. We deal with loss. We deal with grief. We deal with painful traumas. Yet, we still go on, making new memories and new stories.
After all, this is all part of the magic of life. What other metaphors about life from songs might you know?
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One thought on “Life is….”
One of my favorite movies as well 💞 I’ll have to check out some of the songs you listed….time to refocus and continue on the journey this life has in store. 💞💞💞
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