Existential Song Reviews – “Hang On”

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This song is by the band “Needtobreathe”, which is one of my favourite bands out there. Since getting Spotify a few years ago, it has told me each year that I spend more time listening to their music than any other artist.

I’ve known that I would love to review a song of theirs for a long time but I couldn’t figure out which one to pick. There’s so much I could say about any one song, but I needed to pick a song that could speak to the underlying feeling I get when I consume this music, or something that could cover the biggest thoughts that I have.

I chose this song because it gives me an feeling of greater purpose.

I also strongly relate to what Needtobreathe singer Bear Rinehart said about the song: “I feel like I live my life looking forward but the song is a bit more about looking back at some of the beautiful things that happened in life or first experiences. But it’s more than just nostalgia, it’s trying to remember the energy you had – the innocence and vulnerability that made those moments possible. I think it’s a real great reminder to us during these days of the world.”

First touch of summer, she’s got your t-shirt on
Sun’s going down, schools out, stars are coming on
You can’t rewind it, but you can’t ever feel like you do tonight
Make a movie in your mind but don’t rush it
Boy, you’re about to see the light

Right up front, I am reminded that I can’t ever go back to the original moment that I experienced excitement, wonder, and hope…

So hang on to the light in your eyes and the feeling
Hang on to your love drunk original reason
Hang on to the small town you love but you’re leaving
Oh, you won’t be a fool for so long
So hang on

But I can certainly look back and try to remember the feeling that I had in the moment. I can think about the reasons and events that led me to make certain decisions or brought me to specific places.

If you listen to the voices inside, they won’t do you wrong
You can look back over your shoulder, yeah, but don’t look too long
It takes time to realize that your life’s gonna pass you by

Here, I am reminded that while it’s okay to glance back at the past, don’t let yourself get captivated by what was and miss out on what is. I am someone who doesn’t usually let my mind wander to my own regrets, but sometimes I can’t help it. In those times, I often feel the weight of the dark spaces of my mind, but I am grateful that I usually can quickly trace a path from the bad things that life has brought all the way through to the blessings and joys.

These things they take time
All these things take time, these things they take time
All these things I’ve learned, it’s never a straight line
‘Cause all these things take time, these things they take time

There are not many people in life who get to have a perfect straight line from point A to point B. For those that have had that, I don’t think I can ever relate. My life has taken a lot of twists and turns throughout childhood and all the way to the current year where I have had a radical career change. It takes time to learn, to love, to grow, and to overcome.

So hang on to the light in your eyes and the feeling
Hang on to your love drunk original reason
‘Cause all these things take time, these things they take time
And all these things I’ve learned, it’s never a straight line

So hang on to the light in your eyes and the feeling
So hang on to your love drunk original reason
So hang on to the small town you love but you’re leaving
Oh, you won’t be a fool for so long
So hang on

No matter what life brings you, hang on to the joys, the triumphs, and the spark that ignites your passion. Remember the pain, the struggles, your roots. But don’t dwell in them. Don’t dwell in the failures, but learn from them. Zig zag your way through life, learning as much as you can from as many sources as possible. You’ll be better for it.

Every year of my life, I have not been able to believe where I am at, what I know, and what skills I have. When I compare this to my childhood and the rocky road that lay behind me, I don’t understand how I got here. I know I am not alone in that thought, and we are blessed.

So hang on. Life’s a wild ride.

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