Music has been a part of my life from an early age.I remember receiving a gift of a toy piano as a young girl, complete with a multi-colored strip of paper that fit behind the piano keys to show me the letter names.The accompanying book included songs written with notes in the same color patterns, making it easy to learn to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or “Yankee Doodle”.I banged away at that piano as long as my knees fit under it, then graduated to a full-size piano and piano lessons.
My lifetime love of music has kept me interested in music trends that come and go on the cultural scene.I am not an expert, but observation can teach a lot. The latest hit song, “Let It Go”, from the Disney movie Frozen, has intrigued me.According to www.metrolyrics.com., this song has been #1 on the music charts for weeks, is “potentially one of the world’s biggest songs at the moment”, and most likely will win Best Original Song at the Academy Awards this weekend. Disney has created another timeless tale in a long line of masterpiece storytelling and award-winning musical creativity.
This morning, after seeing another “Let It Go” sing-along complete with little girls in front of home microphones, I realized I do not know the lyrics to this song.Looking them up online, I was surprised at what I found.As Elsa confesses she is the queen of a kingdom of isolation and determines to break free, this is what she declares:
“It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I am not a Disney-basher, a movie critic or a horn-blower about the degradation of music today.However, I am a firm believer that lyrics in music matter. The message of these lyrics is unquestionably clear–and unquestionably wrong.It is heart-breaking to consider the millions of people, from little girls to music stars, who are singing with all their hearts their desire to “let it go”. Letting go of what? Moral guardrails. Rules. Right and wrong. They are singing at the top of their lungs that true freedom is found in the absence of conscience.
“Let It Go” is masterfully written music beautifully sung in the movie by Idina Menzel and will doubtless join the ranks of timeless songs produced by Disney.I congratulate them on this achievement.I simply ask, with my one small voice, that we take a second look at what we are singing.Lyrics matter. The message matters. We cannot forget this.