Saturday, November 24, 2012

Song #30: "I Am What I Am" by Jonas Brothers

        The final song on our list, and quite possibly my favorite, is "I Am What I Am" by Jonas Brothers. This song oozes transcendentalism from every pore. The message is that being yourself is the most important thing, you shouldn't back down from that, and nobody should try to change you, and that is also a major belief of transcendentalists. As the song states, "I am what I am, and nobody else. And if you've got a problem better take it somewhere else because I can't turn back, I'm right on track and if you think you know well then you better check your facts." Thoreau and Emerson would love this song, as it carries the themes they, and other transcendentalists, so often wrote about.

Song #29: "Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd

        "Another Brick In The Wall" is another great song by a legendary band that is laced with transcendental   views. While this song only has one verse, it is a powerful one. On the surface it is attacking the education system, but down deeper the message of being treated fairly can apply to many situations, including that of many transcendentalists. The most powerful phrase is the title of the song, "All in all you're just another brick in the wall." This is a common message of transcendentalists, because they promoted individualism, as does this song.

Song #28: "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister

        "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister is another rock and roll song that can be considered transcendental. The song is about exactly what the title says: rebellion. It tells the story of generations past and generations to come that aren't willing to give up their rights and won't take being pushed down, much like transcendentalists, in the lines "We're not gonna take it anymore. We've got the right to choose and there ain't no way we'll lose it. This is our life, this is our song. We'll fight a 1000 legions, don't pick our destiny 'cause you don't know us, you don't belong."

Song #27: "I Am Not A Robot" by Marina & the Diamonds

        Strange music video aside, "I Am Not A Robot" by Marina & the Diamonds is a great example of transcendentalism. It shows the value of being a unique individual, instead of conforming to society's ideals. In the song, a person is trying to fit in with different crowds of people and losing themselves, but Marina is sure to remind them that "You are not a robot." Transcendentalists also believe that you don't need to force yourself into a cookie cutter stereotype or be a robot to be happy or successful.

Song #26: "On the Brightside" by Never Shout Never

        The second song on the list by Never Shout Never is "On the Brightside", as it is a perfect transcendental song. It features the transcendental theme that you are the only one who can make yourself a better person, as it states in the chorus "You're only as tall as your heart will let you be, and you're only as small as the world will make you seem. When the going gets rough and you feel like you may fall, just look on the bright side you're roughly six feet tall."

Song #25: "Instant Karma" by John Lennon

        The third John Lennon song that represents transcendentalism on this list is "Instant Karma". The reason this song is transcendental is because Lennon tells listeners to get themselves together and join the human race or else karma will get them, and if they live life to the fullest they "shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun," and much like Lennon's warning, transcendentalists believe that you have to be an individual and live simply and truly to be happy.

Song #24: "Pork and Beans" by Weezer

        "Pork and Beans" by Weezer is another good example of transcendentalism, as it represents one of the most common beliefs that you should do what you want to do instead of conforming to what society wants you to do. That value is represented in the lines "I'mma do the things that I wanna do. I ain't got a thing to prove to you," and again in the lines "I'm fine and dandy with the me inside. One look in the mirror and I'm tickled pink, I don't give a hoot about what you think." As a matter of fact, self-empowerment is the general theme of the entire song.

Song #23: "You Can't Stop The Beat" by Cast of Hairspray

        Along with being a Broadway classic, "You Can't Stop The Beat" from Hairspray is very transcendental. A common belief in transcendentalism is to rebel against those who hold you back, and that is a very prominent in this song; in the chorus it even says "If you try to hold me down I'm gonna spit in your eye and say that you can't stop the beat!" In addition to the rebellious nature of this song, it also embraces the individuality of the characters involved. From a man dressed as a woman who loves to eat, to an interracial couple, there is no conformity with this group!

Song #22: "Uprising" by Muse

        The next example of transcendental music is "Uprising" by Muse. This song reeks of transcendental views. It has elements of ridding yourself from material things with the line "Another promise, another seed. Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed," along with the rebellious spirit of resisting authority in the lines "They will not force us, they will stop degrading us. They will not control us, we will be victorious." Another theme that is evident is that we are being controlled by the ideals of society, and that appears in the lines "Interchanging mind control, come let the revolution take it's toll. If you could flick the switch and open your third eye, you'd see that we should never be afraid to die." This is definitely a great song to get you pumped up about transcendentalism.

Song #21: "Get Up, Stand Up" by Bob Marley

        Bob Marley is known as an advocate for peace, rights, and self-empowerment, and his song "Get Up, Stand Up" is no different. It's all about standing up for your rights and resisting authority who tries to tell you what to think, which are both common ideas in transcendentalism. The idea of living life for the now instead of for the future is also tossed about a lot in transcendental culture. Next time someone tries to tell you what to do, pull out your transcendental knowledge of Bob Marley, and "Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights!"

Song #20: "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

        Another wonderful example of transcendentalism is Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten". The first view this song supports is that you are in charge of your own life and destiny; the lines "No one else, no one else can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken live your life with arms wide open. Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten," represent that perfectly. Another view this song embraces is one of non-comformity and being willing to do what others may not in the lines of "I break tradition, sometimes my tries are outside the lines. We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way". All in all, this is a wonderful song that represents transcendental beliefs to a tee.

Song #19: "Hollywood" by Jonas Brothers

       "Hollywood" isn't just a great Jonas Brothers song, it's also an example of transcendentalism. It shows the value of staying strong and sticking with your beliefs in the lines "You can try to break us and make us fall apart, but the fire's in our hearts." The importance of not conforming and getting out of situations where it's common is also shown in the lines "And don't forget to hold back your thoughts and live like robots 'cause we all know what goes on. Reminisce on memories 'cause we're gone." This song is essentially proof of the transcendental view that being unique and staying true to yourself is key to enjoying life.

Song #18: "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santigold

        The song "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santigold is a great song, but also a great example of transcendentalism. The lines in the chorus "I can say I'll hope it will be worth what I give up if I could stand up mean for the things that I believe," show the value that giving up things and standing up for what you feel can have on your life, which is common in transcendentalism. Another important line is "I'm here for myself, not to know you. I don't need no one else." It shows another common transcendental belief that people shouldn't live to please one another, but only to live up to their own standards.

Song #17: "Piggy Bank" - Never Shout Never

        "Piggy Bank" by Never Shout Never may seem to be an upbeat pop song, but if you look closely, it has transcendental themes intertwined throughout it. In the first verse, the lyrics say "A poor man would kill for the bank but a rich man would die for it. If that's the case, why am I runnin' this race? It's the last place I waste time," which relates to the transcendental belief, often talked about by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essays like Self-Reliance, that money and charity should not define a person. This song also talks about the other common belief that one should not strive for money alone, but to do things they want to do in the lines "If you're working for a paycheck you better cash in, 'cause life's too short to never have lived."

Song #16: "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake

        Some people think that 80's music was all about rock-and-roll and big hair, but Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" proves to be more than a rock anthem, as it can also serve as an example of transcendentalism. The basic story line of this song is someone who doesn't know who they are yet, so they go in search of that, even if they're all alone. This is considered transcendental because one of their most common beliefs is to find yourself no matter what it takes and even if you're alone, much like Henry David Thoreau going alone in the woods for nearly two years to find himself and writing the novel Walden.

Song #15: "Call It What You Want" by Foster the People

        "Call It What You Want" by Foster the People isn't only a great song, but it's also a great example of transcendentalism. The entire song is an attack on conforming to society, and it even has the line "If I don't conform to what you were born into, then you run the other way". An awesome example of this prominent theme is the part of the song where it says "Yeah we're locked up in ideas, we like to label everything. Well I'm just gonna do here what I gotta do here 'cause I gotta keep myself free." It shows the common transcendental belief that we are all so desperate to fit in that we're losing track of what life is really about. Another line that represents that theme perfectly is "And I'm in the crossfire dodging bullets from your expectancies," which essentially proves that it is hard to be an individual and not conform, but transcendentalists would argue that it's well worth it.

Song #14: "Watching The Wheels" by John Lennon

        Another of John Lennon's songs, "Watching The Wheels", is also an example of transcendentalism. The first line that represents the transcendental belief is "People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing, well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin. When I say that I'm okay, they look at me kind of strange, surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game." This is an example of the belief that you can be happier if you remove yourself from all the little petty pressures of life and live simply instead of conforming to what society thinks you should be doing. The other example of these beliefs is "I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round, I really love to watch them roll. No longer riding on the merry-go-round, I just had to let it go," and it represents how after someone removes themselves from conformity life can be much better, which is a common transcendental belief.

Song #13: "Takin' It To The Streets" by The Doobie Brothers

        "Takin' It To The Streets" by the Doobie Brothers is a song that was originally intended to make a political statement, and not only does it's message contain themes that stick it to the man, but it is also quite transcendental. The first major line is "You, telling me the things you're gonna do for me. I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see." This represents seeing the flaws in society and being willing to say something about it instead of just conforming, which is what transcendentalists often do. The other lyrics that bear a similar theme is the central line of "Takin' It To The Streets" which is essentially putting your words and feelings into action, whether it be through protesting, speaking out to others, or even just improving your quality of life.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Song #12: "The Show" by Lenka

        Another great transcendental song is "The Show" by Lenka. The first line that can be perceived at transcendental is "The sun is hot in the sky, just like a giant spotlight. The people follow the sign, and synchronize in time. It's a joke, nobody knows." It's basically saying that people are so willing to do what they're told and conform, that they end up looking somewhat like clones. Another great line is "I can't figure it out, it's bringing me down I know I've got to let it go, and just enjoy the show," which is encouraging people to let go of the little things in life that bother them or the bigger things they can't control and just enjoy life.

Song #11: "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World

        "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World has been around seemingly forever- but have you listened to the lyrics lately? They represent the transcendental beliefs to a tee. The first notable line is "Just try your best, try everything you can. And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away," which correlates with the belief that one shouldn't care about what other people are saying as long as they are doing what they believe is right and best for them. The other great line from this song is "Yeah, just be yourself. It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else." The reasoning why that line is particularly awesome is because transcendentalists typically believe in living simply and how they want to live, no matter what other people think.

Song #10: "I Don't Want To Be" by Gavin DeGraw

        The song "I Don't Want To Be" by Gavin DeGraw is one of the best examples of transcendentalism out there. In the chorus, the line "I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately" shows the value in loving who you are and sticking with it. On a similar note, the other part of the chorus that says "I'm tired of looking 'round rooms wondering what I've got to do or who I'm supposed to be, I don't want to be anything other than me," shows the theme of not conforming to society, and still remaining true to yourself, which is an important transcendental quality.

Song #9: "Imagine" by John Lennon

        John Lennon's "Imagine" may be one of the ultimate songs for peace, but it is also a great representation of transcendentalism. The lines "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" represents standing tall with your beliefs, even when people are trying to push you down, because you know you aren't the only one that feels that way. Another great line from the track is "Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can." This line shows that, like transcendentalists such as Thoreau said, we are so wrapped up in material things that it is hard to even imagine life without them, though life would be more peaceful if we didn't have them.

Song #8: "Oh No!" by Marina & the Diamonds

        "Oh No!" by Marina & the Diamonds is a great song to represent transcendentalism. First of all, when she says "I just want to make a change" shows that she's willing to do what it takes to make a change, much like transcendentalists. Another relevant line is "I know exactly what I want and who I want to be," which proves another transcendental point that one should not change who they are to conform to society, and should stick with what they feel. One last relevant line is "If you are not very careful your possessions will possess you" which is a point made in Henry David Thoreau's Walden; it is essentially saying that you can't depend on material things to get you by, you need to look within yourself to make that change.

Song #7: "Minority" by Green Day

        "Minority" by Green Day is a perfect example of transcendentalism. It exemplifies the desire to be unique and defy authority that transcendentalism is so popular for. The title and main line of this song, "I want to be the minority" is a bold statement that encourages standing up for who you are, even if you are standing alone and the line "Marching out of time to my own beat now" endorses the individuality that is so valued in the transcendentalist society.

Song #6: "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi

        In addition to this wicked sweet lyric video, song number six, Bon Jovi's "It's My Life", has a lot of awesome qualities that relate to transcendentalism. The first connection that I noticed is in the beginning of the song when it says "I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd, you're gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud," which is similar to the transcendental belief that one can't just stay quiet about their feelings and beliefs, and that they should say what they need to say. Another notable connection is in the chorus when it says "Like Frankie said I did it my way, I just wanna live while I'm alive. It's my life." This shows the transcendental belief that you should live the way you want to, not the way society wants you to.

Song #5: "Mad World" by Gary Jules

        The song "Mad World" as performed by Gary Jules is a powerful piece that incorporates transcendental views. It shows the way society has fallen into a boring routine where everyone is basically a clone, and as the song says, "I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take. When people run in circles it's a very, very mad world." This line shows the common transcendental belief that being having your own beliefs and not conforming to society can be lonely at times, but it's what is best in the long run.

Song #4: "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

        The fourth song I chose is "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. While this song is full of a ton of jibberish that is hard to comprehend, it does have a few lines that represent the framework of transcendental beliefs. The first line is "Choose not a life of imitation", which correlates with the idea that you should be an individual and have your own beliefs instead of conforming to society. Another major transcendental belief is that you should speak your mind, even if you're the only one that feels that way, and the line that represents this is "Go write your message on the pavement, burnin' so bright I wonder what the wave meant."

Song #3: "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson

        The third song is "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson. This song is all about breaking away from ideals of society and being independent and achieving what you want on your own; these values are also important in transcendentalism. Those views are exemplified in the lines "Trying hard to reach out, but when I'd try to speak out felt like no one could hear me. Wanted to belong here, but something felt so wrong here. So I pray, I could breakaway. I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly, I'll do what it takes 'til I touch the sky, and I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway."

Song #2: "Say" by John Mayer

        Song number two is "Say" by John Mayer. This song is an example of transcendentalism because it encourages the listener to be honest and open about what they think in the lines "Even if your hands are shaking, and your faith is broken, as the eyes are closin', do it with a heart wide open: Say what you need to say". Speaking your beliefs is a big transcendental value. It also promotes sticking to what you believe, even if you're the only one in the line "Walkin' like a one man army, fighting with the shadows in your head". Overall, this song is a prime example of the transcendental beliefs.

Song #1: "Don't Kick The Chair" by Dia Frampton ft. Kid Cudi

        The first song is "Don't Kick The Chair" by Dia Frampton ft. Kid Cudi. It is a very good example of the transcendentalism because it promotes the belief that you can't let pressure from everyone around you break you down or change you, as stated in the chorus with the lines "Have you ever felt like everybody’s watching waiting for you to lose have you ever felt like you’re living in a spot light searching for the real you" and "Don't kick the chair, it can only get better". In the part of the song performed by Kid Cudi, he says "You don't need no help, you can be better all by yourself" which correlates with the transcendental idea that you can do anything you put your mind to, and don't need to be dependent on other people. All in all, this song is a great example of transcendental views in the way that it promotes believing in yourself and not letting the pressure of society get to you or change you.