Picture-perfect: Somebody that I used to know – Gotye

 

The Australian Wouter De Backer alias Gotye certainly scored a hit in Germany with his song “ Somebody that I used to know” from the album “Making Mirrors (2011) and the  wonderful  associated official video.

Once more it is all about love – better said the failure of a relationship. Why, oh why are these things meaning so much to us so complicated? Peace, Justice, love – we are always looking for them and sometimes we seem to get hold of them, but then all of a sudden they vanish again.

What stays is the retrospective on something that the singer thought to be love:

“Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me…”

However, there was a doubt from the beginning, a sadness, knowing that she was not “the one”:

“But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember
You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end…”

Can you get used to such a feeling, wallow in self-pity? I guess you can – and as nowadays relationships tend to be short term it might be necessary and even healthy to get used to this kind of experience. And anyway, we are adults and know how to deal with the situation, don’t we?

“So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over…”

Until now the singer in the video stays relatively calm and motionless. He seems to be on top of things, but then suddenly he bursts out in pain:

“But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing…

But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number…”

The “Love of his life” becomes “somebody that I used to know”…

So far one side of the story. Now its HER part, sung and performed by New Zealand singer Kimbra :

“Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say…”

She feels betrayed, constrained, made responsible for all the problems – and she draws a line. She literally moves out of the picture, shakes off the colors that weren’t hers. It  looks as if HE really sees her for the first time, now that she has become an independent person.

Can you be so wrong about someone, so blind? Maybe we are all too busy designing our picture-perfect lives? Too busy to be aware of the persons living next to us – trying to insert them into the art work that our life is supposed to be?

Let’s have a closer look at those who are important to us before it is too late – and we have to add one more name to the list of those we “used to know”….

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Praise of Mediocrity? Little in the Middle – Milow

I’m not so sure whether there are still people dreaming of becoming a circus artist. Jugglers, clowns, lions, the whole program – action, excitement, fun and danger, that’s what circus is all about.

To me it looks as if the time of the great circuses as evoked in movies like “Water for Elephants” has definitely gone. But then, it’s not really about circuses in Milow’s new single “Little in the Middle” from the album “North and South” – it’s about dreams, OUR dreams:

„You always wanted to be 
Part of a circus company
For the fun and death defying…

Jugglers walk on the wire 
Lions leap through hoops of fire
As the acrobats go flying…”

We all have our dreams, hopefully. Some of us dream of travelling far countries, others of fame and  big money, many dream of a great love story. Some of these dreams come true, others never will. Having a closer look at some of them has us realize: what seems to be an effortless dream,  really is hard work –  the air is thinner in the world of fame:

„But in time you forgot life is small in the big top
And your dreams were slowly dying…”

But what’s the show all about
When did your north get turned to south
And the truth turn to lying”.

That’s a pity, Milow says in his song “Little in the Middle”

„What you wanted was not a crime 
You could’ve done it but you needed time”.

Instead of pursuing your dream you are burying your head in the sand and getting used to your mediocre life – missing out on many things:

“But it’s a hole you’re digging
A hole you’re digging you’re doing it despite
The so much more you’re missing
More you’re missing to your left and to your right.”

On the other hand, there is some kind of comfort in mediocrity – it keeps you from becoming dizzy and nauseous:

“Now you’re always just a little 
A little in the middle
A little in the middle of where you’re bound
Always just a little in the middle
It keeps your head from spinning round”.

Actually, we can’t have it all in life and most of us are happy to lead a healthy, mediocre and not too ambitious life. Maybe we should be merciful with ourselves and our dreams without totally giving them up – you never know…. 😉

Milow’s song of mediocrity “Little in the Middle” is certainly meant to be taken humorously – just watch the official video for the song – sometimes the world is turned upside down and you don’t know what is north and what is south – that’s life!


Here’s a wonderful live version of the song:


How about your dreams?

German Lazy Song: Keine Zeit – Tim Bendzko

Here comes the German  answer to Bruno Mars‘ „Lazy Song“ – sung by newcomer Tim Bendzko on his new album “Wenn Worte meine Sprache wären” (If words were my language). The song is called “Keine Zeit” (No Time) and  if you want to read the lyrics click here.

Leaving aside the fact that this young man makes me want to run my fingers through his wonderful curly hair 😉 – he has got a beautiful voice and some significant messages in his song lyrics.

This one is about the wish and necessity to take a break, to stay in bed until the afternoon and sleep in. There is nothing so important as not to be postponed until tomorrow. Recharge your batteries, relax and take your time to unwind, meet friends and think about your life.

Not having enough time for these things might make you the loneliest person on earth.

That’s why today I don’t have time to write a longer blog post. I just want to share this cool, light, happy song with you and encourage you to take a break, too! 😉

Have a great weekend everybody and enjoy yourselves!

To search and (not) to find : I still haven’t found what I’m looking for – U2

Last week I went to a convention of the Protestant Church in Germany called „Churchday“. It was actually a really big happening of 5 days with prayers and services, concerts of all kinds, workshops and discussions including some prominent political leaders like the Chancellor Angela Merkel. The age of the attendants varied from baby to seniors, everyone was in a good mood and the sun lit up the wonderfully rebuilt city of Dresden in Germany’s east. People of all denominations and beliefs talked to each other and discussed questions such as: who are we, where do we come from, where do we go and what should we do with our lives?

It was actually more about the questions than about the answers, because they are indeed hard to find. But the search is what matters, talking to each other and trying to understand the other’s points of view.

The song “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” from the album “The Joshua Tree” (1988) by the Irish rock band U2 (you may read the lyrics here and watch a video here ) is also about searching and (not yet) finding:

I have climbed the highest mountains, I have run through the fields… I have run, I have crawled,I have scaled these city walls”.

It is not quite clear what they have been looking for. „Only to be with you” – sounds like a love song, doesn’t it? The further course of the lyrics reinforces this idea: „I have kissed honey lips, felt the healing in her finger tips, it burned like fire this burning desire”. Being with the one you love is the aim of any love song, but also the disappointment which often comes with this experience – here, too: „But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for“. It looks like the love for another person wasn’t able to fill the void.

Trying out the good and the evil – “I have spoken with the tongue of angels, I have held the hand of a devil” – hasn’t done the job either: „It was warm in the night, I was cold as a stone“. It doesn’t feel right, something is missing and again: „But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

What follows is a creed of Christian essentials –„ I believe in the Kingdom come… You broke the bonds and you loosened the chains, carried the cross of all my shame”. The band U2 is known for their Christian orientation which also leads to their social and political commitment. In the end all the questions and possible answered that now divide humanity will come together : „Then all the colors will bleed into one, bleed into one” – what a beautiful picture.

And yet: although they state “you know I believe it” there are still doubts. The song ends with the words „I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

I like that. Even being a Christian you can have your doubts. The dialogue is more important to me than insisting on your own opinion. To me this is more convincing than the conviction of those who always have the right answers and no doubts. How would they know?

 

 

 

Vice vs. Virtue: Judas – Lady GaGa

http://www.myvideo.de/movie/8122937
Lady Gaga — Judas – MyVideo

Lady GaGa visit Sweden at Sommarkrysset, Gröna...

Image via Wikipedia


Here’s the recipe for success: take a bit of love and sex, mix with religion and sin, add a little bit of a “message”, stir well and promote with a dashing and dicey video – there you go – here comes Lady GaGa’s new hit “Judas” from her new album “Born This Way” (you can read the lyrics here)– she can be sure to have the world’s attention!

The song has provoked some harsh criticism by church groups in the US, but Lady GaGa presents herself as a philosopher: The song “Judas” is …“ about constantly walking towards the light in my life, but always clutching onto the light while peering towards the devil in the back.“

So I think it’s well worth having a look. In this song Lady Gaga sings about Mary Magdalene’s love for Judas and Jesus: „I’m in love with Juda-as, Juda-as… When he comes to me, I am ready, I wash his feet with my hair if he needs.

The bible tells us the story of a woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. In this song, it’s Mary Magdalene who offers this act of love to Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus in the end. She knows what type of person Judas is, he certainly belongs to the side of evil and treason. Nevertheless, she feels hopelessly attracted to him: „Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain – even after three times he betrays me.“

She is torn between Jesus, whom she also loves, and Judas, promising to take revenge: “I’ll bring him down, bring him down, downa king with no crown, king with no crown.”

She knows that love can not only rescue but also destroy a person’s life: “I’ve learned love is like a brick, you can build a house or sink a dead body. “

However, there is something that is more powerful than sin and damnation – forgiveness: „Even prophets forgave his crooked way“ – so there might be salvation for her, the „fame hooker, prostitute, wench“, too.

She is really torn between the two men: „I wanna love you, but somethin’s pulling me away from you. Jesus is my virtue and Judas is the demon I cling to.”

But it’s not only about Mary’s story – this is everyone’s story, as Lady GaGa emphasizes:  “So the song is about washing the feet of both good and evil and understanding and forgiving the demons from your past in order to move into the greatness of your future… I keep going back and forth between the darkness and the light in order to understand who I am.”

I like this way of picturing human nature much more than the certainty with which some people seem to know what is good and what is evil.

As Lady GaGa points out: “If you have no shadows then you’re not standing in the light.” She is so right!

The official video has certainly bothered some sensitive religious people. Jesus and his disciples a band of bikers,  Mary’s bath in a beer-whirlpool with Jesus and Judas, well, that is  provocative and very GaGa-like, isn’t it?  ;-)… “and it’s really fun to dance to.” (GaGa).

At the end Mary Magdalene, all dressed in innocent white, is lying on the floor, stoned to death. Is Lady GaGa anticipating the reactions to this video?  Or has she decided to walk the road of virtue and does this always lead to death? GaGa as a martyr? Hmmm…

Still, there is the constant task in everyone’s life to balance the Fool and the Holy within us – thanks, Lady GaGa, for reminding us of this! 😉

(all quotes according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_(song))

CSI Eurovision? Taken by a Stranger – Lena

Did anyone watch the Eurovision Song Contest last Saturday? Not that this is my type of music, but of course I wanted to know how the German contestant, Lena, was going to do in the competition.  When it became obvious that the contribution of Azerbaijan would win I knew that she wouldn’t have a chance with her song “Taken by a Stranger”. Anyway, the song’s popularity in Germany got me a record number of views in the German version of my blog, where I had posted some thoughts about this song. The fact that so many people googled the meaning of the song’s lyrics shows that there is certainly some need for enlightenment. Actually, I could not find any convincing interpretation of the lyrics anywhere on the internet.

I would really appreciate if some English native speakers could take some minutes to read the lyrics, maybe watch the spooky video and let us Germans know what you think the song is about…

Lena Meyer-Landrut – Taken By A Stranger from wiyono on Vimeo.

My theory: either some sort of crime happened: “Taken by a stranger” -‘taken’ meaning ‘fascinated’ or something else???  “She’s got a knuckle in her eye…lured into the danger”,  mirrors shuttering, people disappearing in the video – but then again, at the end there seems to be no victim, so- no crime!

Or: the lady is a professional whore (“he knows her catcall”) specialized on some kind of disguise-role-plays: “Put the blindfold on his eyes. She saw him peek through. Can’t imagine her disguise…”

So, is this a case for CSI or just a glimpse into a dubious night bar? HELP, please ! What do you think? 😉

What is it with America? Hollywood Hills – Sunrise Avenue

Sunrise Avenue – Hollywood Hills from Anorak Agency on Vimeo.

I have to admit: I like America. This is rather unusual for people of my political opinion in Germany. Since I travelled to the US for the first time as a 13-year-old girl I have been fascinated by this beautiful country – and every following visit has increased my enthusiasm. It’s the breathtaking landscapes: Grand Canyon, the Rockies, Great Lakes, the deserts but also vibrant cities such as San Francisco or especially New York.

As I have only been there for holidays, the American people are still somewhat of a mystery for me as a German. They definitely seem to “be wired differently”, which is completely understandable as we have made quite different experiences in our past. This has become obvious once again during the last week when the news about Osama Bin Laden’s death spread around the world. While Americans cheered and celebrated, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was heavily criticized for using the word “joy” in this context. Well, I don’t want to go into this matter any deeper for the moment…

The song “Hollywood Hills” (song lyrics can be read here) by the Finnish rock band Sunrise Avenue is very popular in Germany at the moment. It deals with memories of a good time in the Californian city of Los Angeles. Not that I think that this is one of the most beautiful places in the US – but of course it is famous for its music and film industry and all the hype around its stars and celebrities. It seems to be a place full of  sun, fun, love: “Now this is not the time or the place for a broken-hearted, ’cause this is the end of the rainbow where no one can be too sadThank you for the morning walks on the sweet Sunset and for the hot night moments, for the fantasy in my bed”.

What I can definitely understand is  missing a place, dreaming of it, hoping to come back one day: „Bye bye, Hollywood Hills, I’m gonna miss you, where ever I go, I’m gonna come back to walk these streets again. Bye bye, Hollywood Hills forever.”

Sunrise Avenue seem to have enjoyed their stay, but Europe, their home country, is calling them back: No I don’t wanna leave but I must keep moving ahead ’cause my life belongs to the other side behind the great ocean’s waves.” There might even be a love story involved but life has taught them: „Long distance love doesn’t work … No I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go.”

Anyway, they have to leave – but:I take part of you with me now and you won’t get it back and a part of me will stay here, you can keep it forever, dear.”

Having lived for 7 years abroad in Australia, I know what this feels like: you leave something behind, you take something with you, you lose a bit of yourself and you change as a person.

Now what is it with America and the American Dream? As I said: for me it’s the natural beauty, the open spaces, the many possibilities – and this includes some colorful, crazy variety, the extremes that fascinate and challenge me. Yes, I guess I could say: America is one of my dream countries.

Which one is yours?

 

As time goes by: Zu schnell vorbei – Clueso

Clueso . Zu schnell vorbei from clueso on Vimeo.  Lyrics can be found here.

People all over the world have been waiting for William’s and Kate’s “royal wedding of the century” (how do they know – the century has just begun…) – and now it’s already past! Time goes by so quickly. This used to be a saying of the older generation; nowadays it looks as if even the younger ones experience the passing of time at an alarming speed. Have things changed? Has our way of life changed? It certainly has!

The song “Zu schnell vorbei” (Gone too quickly) deals with this kind of experience. Clueso, a German singer/songwriter complains: It is crazy, I can’t describe it, everything runs so fast, nobody can stop time. I try to enjoy the moment but I have to go on, otherwise I might miss out on something. I try to remember but memory fades away. I want to hold on to things, people, and feelings, keep them forever – but that doesn’t work either. Time just goes by…

Yes, we need the memory of past times, they belong to our lives.
Yes, we need dreams about a future to motivate us and keep us going.

Maybe the hardest part is this: to be aware of the present, to enjoy the good times we encounter, the beauty around us, the love and friendship, the moment of peace and tranquility that is given to us from time to time amidst the hassle of our daily lives.

The official video for the song illustrates the song’s lyrics in a very impressive way. I would like to call out top the runner: Hey, stop for a moment, look around! You are missing out on so many beautiful places and breathtaking views!

At the end he finally seems to stop, maybe just because he is out of breath. But anyway, there is his chance to enjoy the moment.

Time goes by, that’s a fact. However, we can stop for a moment and just BE there. That is when time seems to stand still – and be it only for us!

Wings of Desire: You Found Me – The Fray

You can read the song’s lyrics here.
http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7orza?width=560
The Fray – You Found Me (official video) von thefray

You wouldn’t believe it, but here’s another one looking for God – and finding him where you wouldn’t expect it either: ” I found God on the corner of First and Amistad… all alone smoking His last cigarette.” Isaac Slade, lead singer and pianist of the The Fray explains: “I just imagined running into God standing on a street corner like Bruce Springsteen, smoking a cigarette.” This wouldn’t lead to a friendly chat but rather to a row of accusations: „Where were you when everything was falling apart? All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang and all I needed was a call that never came”.

It is no secret that The Fray have a background in the Christian Church. They decided to go onto into the secular music business because they expected more listeners, more chances for their musical career and certainly more financial reimbursement, which is understandable. In many of their lyrics their connection to Christian faith is still visible, as it is in this song “You Found Me” from the year 2007. Slade explains in an interview:  “You Found Me is a tough song for me. It’s about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest .”

In the song he obviously mourns the loss of a beloved person: “In the end everyone ends up alone. Losing her, the only one who’s ever known who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be. You got some kind of nerve taking all I want.”
Yes, God was there, finally, but it was too late: „Lying on the floor surrounded, surrounded, why’d you have to wait? Where were you, where were you? Just a little late…
The question about the evil in the world, about suffering and the meaning behind all these experiences is as old as mankind. There are no answers, only some very careful attempts to approach the possible solution.

In this song I see one of these attempts: At the beginning the singer is in search of God. “I found you”, but still asking “Where were you?”. In the end it says: “YOU found ME” – the parts are turned around. God finds us.
The official video for the song is very impressive, too. It is supposed to be a tribute to the Wim Wenders film “Wings of Desire” from the year 1987. The band members are singing standing on bridges and high buildings, like the angels in the film who want to get to know the humans. The angel Damiel is even ready to sacrifice his immortality just to become a human. He learns that living as a human means not only love and colors, but also death and blood and suffering.

At the end of the video the night gives way to the dawn – maybe there IS light at the end of the tunnel? The victim of the car accident opens her eyes. Objects and people are being elevated from the ground. The viewing direction changes towards the sky, towards heaven?
This week we celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Christian faith tells us about someone who wanted to come down to Earth to be human, to be involved in our lives. He experienced live, love and death and at the end asked: My God, why have you forsaken me? There is no human life without the experience of death and loneliness.
Where were you? Well, maybe He was right there – when you were lying on the floor, waiting for His answer, facing death.
After all – after Good Friday comes Easter!

The woman of his dreams: You And Me / In My Pocket – Milow

Milow – You And Me (In My Pocket) from Daily Dolores on Vimeo.

Finally it has arrived in Germany:  Milow’s new album „North and South“. And finally, thanks to the song “In My Pocket” (you can read the lyrics here), we know what the woman of his dreams looks (and smells) like: “I wish you smelled a little funny … I wish you were a little bigger, not just big but really fat.” She doesn’t even have to have those long legs that are supposed to be so sexy nor be fast or very sportive: “I wish you were a little slower, not just slow but paralyzed… I really wish that you were smaller, not just small but really, really short.

Well that’s good news, isn’t it? So there is hope for all of us who don’t have the chance to compete in TV series like “Germany’s or America’s Next Top Model”… We still have a chance to win Milow’s heart!

He really comes up with some strange images to describe the woman of his dreams: a mermaid, a cat on the street, a bird, a lamp or the little rag doll that gave the song its name: “…so I could put you in my pocket and carry you around all day”.

What all these images have in common is the wish to keep his dream woman safe and prevent her from running away from him. Maybe Milow has made this experience? Today’s women tend to run away once they are not happy any more. Times are changing… 😉

I guess it’s just meant to be fun. A nice and catchy song and a funny and creative video that comes along with the song. I’m sure Milow knows that you cannot confine a woman, be it in a cage or a tub or your bed. The last scene in the video reveals the only place that is capable of keeping the one you love safe and secure: your heart. If you can’t keep someone in there, you won’t be able to keep him or her close to you at all. On the other hand: you may be able to release a bird from a cage easily – it is much harder to release a person you love. There is always a lot of pain involved. Also, it is no comfort to be reminded that “…there are plenty of fish in the sea” if you are in love with the one and only.

At the beginning the only thing that counts is being with the loved one: “Oh you and me, it would be only you and me”. Once a relationship endures it is important to widen the circle again. Everybody who has been there knows this. But this is a song about the beginning, I suppose….

Actually, I would really love to catch a glimpse of the woman at Milow’s side (if there is one): I bet she has the longest legs, she is slim and clever, she can run and swim very fast and maybe even fly like a bird. Has anyone ever seen her? Maybe he DOES keep her in a bathtub or birdcage?  😉