Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Music: Dare You to Move (Switchfoot)

I recently got around to burning Switchfoot's 2003 CD, "The Beautiful Letdown", onto my computer and iPod. When I first heard their single, "Dare You to Move", I liked it; it was not until recently, though, that I learned that they are in fact a Christian band. It puts their mainstream singles in a different light.

And so I've decided to share my interpretation of the song.

Welcome to the planet, welcome to existence.
Everyone's here, everyone's here,
Everybody's watching you now,
Everybody waits for you now.
What happens next, what happens next?

I see this in two ways: to a newborn and to a person receiving the unpleasant shock of reality. To the newborn, it's pretty literal: a child is born, is slapped to induce normal breathing ("welcome to the planet"), and is the center of attention for the family immediately. To the other person, it's pretty similar: a person is thrust into some situation, slapped on the back ("welcome to the planet"), and suddenly his reaction is the center of attention. Either way, the second verse converges on a single theme. But first, the chorus:

I dare you to move, I dare you to move,
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor.
I dare you to move, I dare you to move,
Like today never happened,
Today never happened before.

To the infant, this is saying, "do something". Indeed, today never has happened before for this infant. It's his first day; everything starts from here. For the person in general, it starts to get interesting. Confronted with a situation in which we are in the wrong, we can either stay down (on the floor) or dare to fix things, which is often harder to do. And what's more, the person is challenged to go on living in spite of this situation.

Welcome to the fallout, welcome to resistance.
The tension is here, the tension is here,
Between who you are and who you could be,
Between how it is and how it should be.
Yeah...

[Chorus]

Here it becomes much more focused on sin and redemption. The fallout is a reference to sin in general and its repercussions, and resistance is a reference to attitudes that are anti-Christian. For the infant who has grown into an adolescent, this verse calls to mind the point when he realizes his shortcomings and the general state of the world, and recognizes he can be a better person and the world should be a better place -- all this in face of the tension: peer pressure to conform and temptation to conduct himself however he feels like. For the other person, the examination is the same.

Maybe redemption has stories to tell.
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell.
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go, where you gonna go?
Salvation is here...

[Chorus]

The prospect of running away from yourself, from your sins and faults, is brought up. There is no where to go to escape yourself, so how can we live with ourselves in spite of our pasts? Redemption, forgiveness, salvation. And not in some place light-years away, but right here, on earth. Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell makes me think of facing the person you have wronged.

That's all for now. Reflections and interpretations probably should be done with food in one's stomach...

1 comment:

dunimus said...

That is a great interpretation to a great song. I love what you said here-Maybe redemption has stories to tell.
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell.
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go, where you gonna go?
Salvation is here...

[Chorus]

The prospect of running away from yourself, from your sins and faults, is brought up. There is no where to go to escape yourself, so how can we live with ourselves in spite of our pasts? Redemption, forgiveness, salvation. And not in some place light-years away, but right here, on earth. Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell makes me think of facing the person you have wronged.
Kudos!-dunimus18