Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Meant to Be" (With Footnotes)

Here is the tenth in my series of lyrical examinations of the songs of my debut mixtape, "Core Nerd!"

As I say in the song Liquid Thunder, "My rhymes are so dense you're gonna need footnotes." Here they are...

This time, for the song "Meant to Be."

This was one of the last songs written for the album and one of the last songs I fully wrote in Tallahassee. It was a straightforward message song that fits in my category of songs that have a very definitive poetic structure. Some people don't like that structure as much, thinking it too repetitive, and considering that I do it more than once, they probably have a bit of a point. But I do really like the specific list of "dos" and "don'ts" listed here and the overall message it sends, so I included it in the first mixtape.

We're not all meant to be a parent
We're not all meant to give our consent
We're not all meant to be a spouse
We're not all meant to own a house

Messages in these four lines: 1. Parenthood isn't for everyone, despite what societal pressures say. 2. Some of us aren't meant to just go with the flow and accept what society tells us to do, some of us are supposed to fight back. 3. Much like marriage, parenthood isn't for everyone. 4. The third in the opening trifecta of what a "good" American is supposed to do. But some of us don't want to and shouldn't become homeowners. We don't all have to dream the same dreams and live the same lives, and we shouldn't.

We're not all meant to join the trends
We're not all meant to break or bend
We're not all meant to wear a uniform
We're not all meant to hide from the storm

Messages in these four lines: 1. Just because something is popular doesn't make it valid. 2. Some of us in life will end up losing because we refused to give in. That may hurt us personally, but it paves the way for future successes by others. 3. Uniforms are never given out for the benefit of the individual. They benefit the organization, if anyone. If we recognize that, sometimes it's better to resist that conformity. 4. The safe bet is to stay inside and bundle up when the storm comes. But there are good things in some of those storms and their are always opportunities for greatness during trying times.

We're not all meant to wear a nametag
We're not all meant to salute your flag
We're not all meant to follow the leader
We're not all meant to be mind readers

Messages in these four lines: 1. Jobs with nametags usually suck. Those of us that have figured out what we want to do and are willing to work hard for it shouldn't be forced to work those jobs. 2. A flag is a very sketchy thing to have allegiance for, while a country is only marginally better. Loyalty is for human beings who have earned it, not abstract concepts. 3. While it's true that we do need some people to follow leaders when we are trying to change the world for the better, we're usually better off with more people trying to be those leaders than we usually have. 4. Communication is one of the biggest problem areas we face in society, where people get mad at others who can't read their mind or anticipate their wants and needs. The reality is that its incumbent upon us to express our desires, not upon others to magically pick up on them.

We're not all meant to do what we're told
We're not all meant to be bought and sold
We're not all meant to act our age
We're not all meant to hold back our rage

Messages in these four lines: 1. Those who speak out against unjust authority are amongst the true heroes in society. 2. We're all marketed to constantly and pressured to sell ourselves out, it takes courage to resist. 3. People telling us to "act our age" is just another way for them to control us. The way I'm "supposed" to act is however I want to act. 4. "Anger is a gift," says Rage Against the Machine, and when injustice is in front of us, anger is the only valid response.

What are we meant to be
What are we meant to see
What are we meant to say
What are we gonna do today

The chorus is meant to ask the questions that the rest of the song is answering. I'm asking these questions first person, but they are questions we should all be asking first person, on a regular basis.

We're not all meant to watch the Superbowl
We're not all meant to jump in the fox hole
We're not all meant to eat a Big Mac
We're not all meant to earn the 20-year plaque

Messages in these four lines: 1. I personally am a sports fan, but I've seen too many people be ridiculed or pressured for not paying attention to games played by adults. 2. We frequently put military service at the top of our list of heroes, yet there are many other forms of heroes who deserve no less attention than our soldiers. 3. It's easy and cheap to eat a fast food diet. There's no standard by which it is good for you, though. 4. The day-to-day, 9-to-5 job lifestyle works for some, but it doesn't work for many others. A lot of us are better off looking for a different way to approach life.

We're not all meant to own a dog
We're not all meant to live in a fog
We're not all meant to wear a tie
We're not all meant to float on till we die

Messages in these four lines: 1. Some of us just aren't dog people and we don't need as much of the condescension that dog people give to non-dog people. 2. Actually, none of us are, but too many of us do. 3. Jobs with ties aren't for everyone. 4. The reference here is not at all a dig at Modest Mouse, whom I like quite a bit, but is a reference to taking a more active role in your own destiny.

We're not all meant to live in a small town
We're not all meant to always back down
We're not all meant to stay in one place
We're not all meant to date only one race

Messages in these four lines: 1. I personally hate small towns and small town values and think they hurt the world more than help it. 2. Some of us are meant to fight for what we believe in. 3. While there are some virtues to living your entire life in one place, it seems to me that moving around makes you a better, smarter, more well-rounded person. 4. There should be no boundaries on whom consenting adults want to date.

We're not all meant to pray to your God
We're not all meant to live on Cape Cod
We're not all meant to shop at Wal-Mart
We're not all meant to play a bit part

Messages in these four lines: 1. Religion is not for everyone and tolerance is necessary both towards other religions, but also towards the non-religious. 2. While wealth has its privileges, it's hardly a positive goal in and of itself. 3. Wal-Mart isn't great for anyone except its owners, although many people are sucked in by the low prices, not understanding the harm those low prices do to other human beings. 4. The world needs more superstars, even if those superstars are only so on small stages.

What are we meant to be
What are we meant to see
What are we meant to say
What are we gonna do today

The chorus again.

We are all meant to have free thought
We are all meant to foil the plot
We are all meant to knock the walls down
We are all meant to become a proper noun

Messages in these four lines: 1. One of the most important things people can do is learn to think for themselves. 2. Someone is always trying to do you or your friends and family or your society some kind of harm. How can they be stopped and what role do you or I play in that? 3. Literal walls are often important and serve valid purposes. Many metaphorical walls don't, they just block progress. 4. Do something in life that makes your name worthy of an entry in Wikipedia.

We are all meant to hop the globe
We are all meant to use our frontal lobe
We are all meant to push the limits
We are all meant to make the pivot

Messages in these four lines: 1. Travel is one of the most important things you can do to expand your mind. 2. Thinking and using one's brain is vital for the world to improve. 3. Most limits we face, even if they are self-imposed, are put there to stop us from succeeding, so we must bust through them. 4. Change is a vital part of life. If you don't change, you stagnate and die. But be careful to change for the better.

We are all meant to expand our minds
We are all meant to taste the wine
We are all meant to dance in the rain
We are all meant to do it again

Messages in these four lines: 1. 2. 3. 4.

We are all meant to run the race
We are all meant for first place/last place
We are all meant to graduate
We are all meant to play with fate

Messages in these four lines: 1. Everyone's life has the potential to be a game-changer, but only if we try. 2. We are all going to have successes and failures in life, neither should be a final judgment on who we are. 3. If not from school (although that, too), we all should progress in wisdom through our lives and "graduate" from the school of life. Many of us don't. 4. Tempting fate is the only way to make massive changes that improve our own lives and the lives of others. Risk is necessary in order to get the better rewards.

What are we meant to be
What are we meant to see
What are we meant to say
What are we gonna do today

The chorus again.

We are all meant to be free
We are all meant to describe what we see
We are all meant to want equality
We are all meant to scream like a banshee

Messages in these four lines: 1. Freedom is the ultimate state a human being can exist in, and we should all have the chance to earn it. 2. Most things we see have some importance and it is our duty to reveal those important things to others. 3. There are many different types of equality, and we should steadfastly pursue equality, unless someone (i.e. a murder or child molester) has forfeited that right to equality. 4. It's not enough to just speak up when injustice happens, we mus cream loudly until it goes away.

We are all meant to help the poor
We are all meant to get up off the floor
We are all meant to break some ground
We are all meant to rebound and rebound

Messages in these four lines: 1. Society should be judged by how it deals with those at the bottom rungs of the ladder. 2. We will all be knocked down, we should be judged by how we respond to that. Those who get up off the floor and fight are more heroic than those who don't. 3. In whatever field it is, we should all strive to leave our mark. 4. Life is a constant struggle and battle and the measure of a person is how much they let hardships or obstacles prevent them from success.

We are all meant to tell our story
We are all meant to strive for glory
We are all meant to wow the crowd
We are all meant to speak real loud

Messages in these four lines: 1. Our story has implications and lessons for others, not just ourselves, so we have a duty to pass our story along. 2. Glory can be defined many different ways, but whatever way we personally define it, we should pursue it. 3. Those of us who are creative or good-hearted always have the possibility of surprising others in positive ways and we should strive to do so. 4. And when we do, we can't do it quietly.

We are all meant to be real odd
We are all meant to be real flawed
We are all meant to change the world
We are all meant to change the world

Messages in these four lines: 1. It's strange to want to change the world or create art or do anything notable. But those things are what are important. 2. Nobody is perfect, but those of us who learn from our mistakes get closer and closer every day. 3. Even if it's in a small way. 4. Seriously.

What are we meant to be
What are we meant to see
What are we meant to say
What are we gonna do today

What are we meant to be
What are we meant to see
What are we meant to say
What are we gonna do today

The chorus two more times.

No comments:

Post a Comment