Thursday, 4 January 2018

We got it. . .

Put your faith in me. . . 

Take a walk with me to where we started
Where we sang off key to the sounds of life
We were young and naive but we made a promise
Always be there for each other when it's time to fight

I've been reconnecting and staying connected with my girlfriends from my school days.
I went to an all girls high school and contrary to what you might think, some of my happiest memories were deeply rooted in the sisterhood of that place.  It was a great feeling too, because I didn't have any actual sisters of my own (only sisters in law) so it was good to bond with girls who were experiencing the same things that I was, holding it down and learning together.  I can't remember exactly if I've blogged about this before in previous blogposts, but the life lessons I learned at high school have stayed with me.  It wasn't just what was explicitly taught there, but just the things that I observed and absorbed over time that lingered with me, even when I became a high school teacher myself.  Some of the key friends I made during this time, I am still quite close with today.

Just a pocket dream and broke apartment
Rap and Lauryn Hill and my mama's comb
Even though we're far from where we started
When the music plays we're right at home

Music played a huge role in my high school life.  There was a musical group rehearsing every day in the music department and I was in all the major school groups.  When I discovered my passion for music, it was at an early age.  I think I was humming and singing before I could speak actual words.  It has always been second nature to sing something or make up words to songs, and then making up my own music followed soon thereafter.  There is something innate about the power of music - it can be as private or public as you want and it's true what they say, that music is a universal language.  Although lately I have found too that sharing music with various people has brought renewed joy and happiness in how much I love music and its healing properties - to remind me of memories in bygone days, specific moments and conversations that never ever be erased.  No matter where I am in the world, I will always feel at home as long as I hear music.  It is probably this notion that lead me to pursue Ethnomusicology once I reached university - I naturally gravitated towards understanding people and their cultures through their heritage music.

And maybe sometimes we're still out of place
Lost in the space of our minds
But still the record plays 
And we'll find a way
Back to the one thing we know
'Cause if we don't

I love how music can instantly transport you to different places and spaces in your mind without having to leave the room.  I love talking about music with friends who understand how much I love and appreciate music, it's symbolism, energy and spirit that is imbued in its very essence.  When you hear music where does it take you?  Does it change your mood?  Does it transport you to a different place that you need to visit as timeout from the reality of your life?  I hope you do that from time to time.  We often saturate ourselves too much in actual noise, and don't spend enough of our valuable time steeping ourselves in real music.  The kind of music that you might be afraid to admit out loud that you listen to but you really love.  The kind of music that you don't share with others because they never really care about what actual genres you listen to and you have to hide it because you're trying to be cool all the time.  Music appreciation for me has never been about conforming, but rather forming our own standpoints and perspectives to hear the beauty of its unique sounds.

We got love (we got it, we got it, we got it)
We got love (we got it, we got it, we got it)
We got love (we got it, we got it, we got it)
We got love

There are some sections of the song that are reminiscent of the verses of Beyonce's "Love on top", particularly in the chorus of this track.  I am also reminded of the melodic stylings of Liana's "Fruitcake" single from her EP.  The opening drum beat could easily have lead into the opening of Groove Theory's "Tell Me".  The chorus features again after the bridge and this is where Mikala shows her vocal ability and range. Up until this point she gives a relaxed and laidback vocal performance that fits the nostalgic vibe of the track.  I like the use of children's voices in the background vocal echoes in the chorus.  It helps emit a neighbourhood vibe where you can see this song being featured in any movie with a montage of a community coming together to work on something for the greater good.

Down the street on my bike I used to not care
With some ripped up jeans and my braided hair
Drinking spirits, smoking in the basement
With our hands out waving in the air

There is a street sensibility that is conjured up with these statements and you think about the tales of a misspent youth, regaling stories and recounting memories of what you thought was cool back then with your friends.  The bonds of friendship were forged in being there for each other, hearing out each other's dreams and stories.  You knew things about each other's families and you were fiercely loyal and protective.  I guess it's those lessons that you carried with you, when you had the code of honour for want of a better comparison.  It was a mentality that we carried on once we reached adulthood.  If we all went out together, we made sure we all got home together too.  Nobody was left behind.

Alright, listen
When it's hard to be who you're supposed to be
In society (we got it)
When it's hard to walk and you need to talk
And you're feeling lost (we got it)
When it's hard to breathe and you're feeling weak
Put your faith in me (we got it)
'Cause the only thing I know that's for sure is

I hope that you surround yourself with people who will always have your back.
It is important to cultivate those bonds of friendship that pushed you through all of your hardships.
I guess it made sense that we would live our grammar school motto to its fullest - per angusta ad augusta - through trials to triumphs.  Our brother school translated the same motto as - through hardships to glory.  Society will always try and label you things that you know in your heart, that you are not.  You could say that it's a futile attempt to try and tell them different but it isn't.  The more times that you can stand up for yourself and tell people exactly who you are and what you stand for - eventually they will get the idea.  We must never forget that we must be persistent, determined and persevere through it all.  It is far too easy to give and quite frankly, this is what people expect us to do.  So my friends, don't give them the satisfaction.  You know yourself better than anybody.  If you need some reminding about what that is, stay in touch with those who do.  After all is said and done, they will help to remind you, we got it. . .