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Do you ever get a bit worn down by the mundanity of life? For this week’s song choice, we go back to 2007. What were your hopes and ambitions eleven years ago? And where are you now in relation to them?
In this song, the first two verses describe a woman and a man whose lives are characterised by the mundane. All very secure and ‘normal’ and yet wholly unsatisfying:
And on that note, the end can’t come too soon. If you’re not living on the edge, you take up too much room.
I don’t think we need to be longing for the end of life to get the point here. Sometimes life just doesn’t turn out the way we dreamed it would when we were younger. Perhaps we were more idealistic, more hopeful, or maybe just a more a naïve dreamer? The song puts it perfectly:
At school he used to dream about being Bruce Lee. But the need for chops in the Manor top ain’t all that great you see. And so he gave up on his black belt and first Dan.
I think this is an interesting take on the hopes and dreams of our younger self. Do we simply give up on them because they were maybe not all that we had thought? Or do they just get wiped out by the social pressure to work harder and conform as the song suggests in the fourth verse?
My observation and experience suggest many people who follow their dreams and aspirations do sometimes end up feeling that they weren’t all they hoped. When I hear this song, I’m stuck that it gives us a little hint at what might be going on; Just be like everybody else.
Like our characters in the song, it’s easy for us to begin to regret our choices and feel like a has been who could’ve been someone. The pressures of life and social expectations often lead us down an unintended path and we can begin to feel trapped.
Yet the song doesn’t leave us with a sense of despair. This can become a call for us to change our perspective and begin to explore who we are in our context. When we change our perspective, we acknowledge; we are not a no-one, we can be ourselves and we can still be our very own version of a heavyweight champion of the world. Our very own personal expression of Bruce Lee-ness.
As for me, I’m never going to be a boxer or martial arts guru. But there is still time yet for me to be ultimate Dave, heavyweight Dave champion of my world. This song acts as just another challenge to me, there is no need for me to be like everybody else.
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