Pretty clever: Never Say Never – Justin Bieber

JUSTIN BIEBER and JADEN SMITH “Never Say Never” from ISAAC HAGY on Vimeo.

You can find the song’s lyrics here.
When I announced that I would include a Justin Bieber song in my blog my sons called out: Never! Don’t do it! Well, they obviously aren’t 12 –year-old girls, that is understandable. But they even refused to help me with some for me cryptic passages in the text – for them it is not worth their energy and time.
Opinions differ drastically on the “JB- question”. There is either hysteric admiration or profound rejection and contempt. There is not much in between. The psychological background would be well worth exploring.
But here I want to have a look at the lyrics of his latest song “Never say Never” which is also featured in the new movie “Karate Kid”  with Jaden Smith (2010).
“Never Say Never” – this is not a very original song title. Many artists have a song with this title in their repertoire – Jennifer Rush, Alias, Kim Wilde, The Fray among them. And who wouldn’t remember the James Bond movie with Sean Connery…
Never say never – this is a maxim that many of us would certainly support. Whatever you might think about Justin Bieber as an artist or a commercial product – the story of his young life seems to illustrate his own song title.
His message: You can do it! Don’t let yourself get discouraged by others! You are strong! „See, I never thought that I could walk through fire. I never thought that I could take the burn.” That’s what teenagers love to hear, what they need to hear. “I never thought I could feel this power. I never thought that I could feel this free. I’m strong enough to climb the highest tower and I’m fast enough to run across the sea.”
And it’s good to encourage them this way rather than saying: you won’t make it, you will fail! This is what modern pedagogic demands from parents and teachers nowadays.
Jaden Smith accompanies Bieber in this song and I am sure many kids recognize their own experiences in his words: „Now he’s bigger than me, taller than me. And he’s older than me and stronger than me. And his arms a little bit longer than me.” But Jaden is lucky, he’s got Justin on his side –„but he ain’t on a JB song with me!” This gives him unforeseen power comparing him to Luke Skywalker (the Force is with him!) and basketball star Kobe Bryant, yes even biblical history is used to describe the power: “Like Luke with the force, when push comes to shove. Like Kobe with the 4th, ice water with blood…like David and Goliath, I conquered the giant.“
In the course of the song Jaden Smith sings: „No pun intended, was raised by the power of Will…. I was born from two stars, so the moon’s where I land.” Quite a self-confident kid he is, which is not surprising being the son of two celebrities like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. No wonder he is sure he will land on the moon one day…
I gotta be the best, and yes, we’re the flyest… I will never say never! (I will fight) I will fight till forever! (make it right).” This sounds like hard work and is certainly not an easy life. That’s what stars are made of. But then again, these are expectations many don’t live up to. What if the dream doesn’t come true? What if I am not a celebrity child (as most of us…)? What if I will always be mediocre? Can’t I be happy nevertheless and find my own way?
Allow yourself to fall, to be weak, to make mistakes. Maybe that is something young Justin Bieber still has to learn. Maybe in the future he will find words and song lyrics for this kind of experience, too.
I would never have thought that I would deal with Justin Bieber for more than an hour – but there you are – pretty clever: “Never Say Never”! 😉

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