What’s your theme song?
Most people are pretty familiar with the idea of a personal theme song. It’s that song you listen to when you need to rev up or feel good about yourself. It’s your musical comfort food. Hearing it boosts your confidence and the lyrics sum up just exactly how you feel or want to feel. You hear it come on and instantly you want to dance around the room and in front of the mirror because it just makes you feel that good.
I never watched Ally McBeal that much past the first season, but I do remember this great example of a theme song:
My theme song for the past couple of years has been Feist, “I Feel It All.” I remember hearing this song for the first time and completely relating to the lyrics. It’s catchy, too, and totally danceable. The dancing Feist does throughout the video is remarkably similar to what I was doing to this song before I ever saw the video:
My iTunes knows I love this song. It comes up on random more than it ever should and I love that surprise when it happens. I listen to it whenever I’m feeling doubtful. I love the self-affirmation in the lyrics, it’s about being the one with the control in your life:
Ooh I’ll be the one who’ll break my
Heart, I’ll be the one to hold the gun
I once told an ex that there was no way he could break my heart, because I’d never let him hold it. It was in my hands the whole time, and therefore I knew I would be OK. When I heard this it was like someone finally wrote the song I had inside me the entire time.
There’s also an element of defiance. I love the defiant “ha!”s in the second half of the song. It flies in the face of uncertainty:
I don’t know what I knew before
But now I know I wanna win the war
Overall the lyrics don’t address the happiest situation, but it’s about taking control, owning your emotions, and being responsible for yourself in the end. I like the element of empowerment.
Lately I’ve added another theme song to my personal playlist. I like that this also has a huge empowerment aspect to it. Also, the dancing is pretty awesome:
All of the lyrics to this song are fantastic. The first verse is pretty much just “F*** the haters,” and I love it. But the beginning of the third verse is my favorite:
I tip on alligators and little rattle snakers
But I’m another flavor
Something like a terminator
Ain’t no equivocating
I fight for what I believe
Why you talkin’ bout it
With so many songs about relationships or complicated situations, it’s refreshing to hear something that’s just a general “Hey, I’m awesome, and you can believe or not, but I don’t give a f*** if you do.” There’s that defiant independence again, not more of the “oh baby, I love you and need you to complete me” b.s. we get from a lot of other songwriters.
I bought Janelle Monáe’s entire album (and the Metropolis EP) and it’s so, so great. I love her concept, message, voice, and dancing. Because I can’t sing, write songs or dance worth a damn myself, it’s nice to know that there’s someone out there who can put a good message out there that I can get behind. And when I hear the song, I feel like there’s someone who is getting behind me and what I believe in too. Few things feel better than that.