Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's got a good beat and you can really dance to it!

anthem –noun
a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism: the national anthem of Spain; our college anthem.

a piece of sacred vocal music, usually with words taken from the Scriptures.

a hymn sung alternately by different sections of a choir or congregation.

There is a line in one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, Spirit Voices, that says “some stories are magical, meant to be sung” and that's just so true.

I think we all have that one song that just speaks volumes to our hearts that tells our story. That song, that anthem, is comprised of the emotions and phrases that others snuck into your head and stole, scratched down on paper, put a melody to and sang while strumming their guitar and beating their drums.

Whether it be a love song depicting your heartfelt emotions about your significant other, a hymnal from church rejoicing in the spirit of the Lord, a catchy rhyme that brings you back to your teenage years or a bitter sonnet whispering the deep scarlet secrets of a relationship gone wrong...we all have them... it’s your own personal anthem.

Now I’m not going to break out in song and dance for your entertainment, and trust me it would be entertaining. More of a comedy than anything, but I digress...

There is one anthem... that I can always go back to, always turn on and get my groove on to. One song that always brings a smile to my face.

I will have to preface the revealing of my song by telling you a little bit about my late teens and the better part of my twenties. Since I was 18 and up until a few years ago, the better and most fun part of my life was spent in dance clubs... gay dance clubs for the most part. My most fond memories (and some I can’t remember, but according to the pictures I had a BLAST!) are of listening to music, feeling the bass in my chest and cuttin a rug with my friends.

There were times when I would look at my friends and think, does it get better than this? I can still hear those songs now and be transported to a time when all I had was a stack of unpaid bills at home, a Captain Morgan in one hand, a cigarette in the other, some change in my pocket (or in my bra if I had my black pants with no pockets in them on) and the bass of the music beating my heart for me.

So now I am in a different place in my life, on a new journey. Sometimes during weight loss you need an anthem, something to remind you of fun times (especially when exercising doesn’t seem so fun), something to keep you going, something to just get you on your feet and make you move your butt. That’s what my anthem is to me.

The song is, of course, a bass thumping club song, the type many people can’t stand. But the words of the song, although simple, are really what makes this song so important to me. I listened to the song when I didn’t have a job and was deeply in debt. I listened to the song through breakups that I didn’t think I could survive. I listened to the song when I didn’t think there was anyway up. I sang the song to my friends in Wales while we waited in the rain in line for a cab to take us home (drunk of course).

The song is by an artist names Inaya Day and it’s title is “Keep Pushin’” The lyrics are simple, like I said. Inaya got her start singing in church, has a beautiful strong voice and can belt out this song in such a way that it makes you want to believe. The lyrics are:

Keep pushin’on
things are gonna get better
It won’t take long
keep on movin to the top
Keep on movin movin
Keep on pushin to the top
Keep on pushin pushin
Keep on pushin to the top

Reach on up and reach on in
Keep on pushin and you’ll win
Reach on up and reach on in
Keep on pushin and you’ll win
Youre gonna win, gonna win, gonna win
Your gonna win

So the mountain seem to high
And the valley low
Keep on pushin
And you will know
You will know

Of course parts are repeated and just reading the lyrics without hearing the song doesn’t do it justice. But believe me, when that beautiful strong voice belts out “Keep on pushin and you’ll win” you better believe I feel like I’ll win. When I’m halfway through my workout, feeling like I can’t go on and she's preaching at me to “reach on up and reach on in” it truly makes me reach further, push harder.. I pull my head up, reach deep down inside and find something, that little fire in my belly, that keeps me going, keeps me pushin.

If only to humor me, download the song and listen to it at least once. There’s a few different versions, remixed by different artists. Find one you like, or can get through. Get past the long intro that all club songs seem to have. Listen to that woman belt out my anthem and tell me it doesn’t make you feel like maybe you can keep on pushin.

Please, share your anthem with me. I can always use more inspiration.


Anonymous said...

I've always liked the "I'm on a vacation" song the best to get me going....actually, music gets your heart pumping and gets ya moving, and I like to listen to Swingtown to get me started. Ever try that one?

serenity said...

It's REALLY cheesy, but when I'm running the best song to keep me going is "St. Elmo's Fire." I'm almost even embarrassed to admit it. :)

There's also a soundtrack from a movie called "Run Lola Run" which is fantastic - my favorites are "Wish," "Introduction," and "Running Two."

But my anthem? That's easy. Pat Metheny Group's live version of "First Circle." :)

Hope this helps! Keep going - you're a TOTAL inspiration to me.

the critic said...

music helps you feel, sadness love even hate. i hope all your feelings are of love and happiness
anyone who loves dogs is o.k. with me good luck to you.
the critic