Flaws by Bastille, Bad Blood
This song is about the singer having flaws and weaknesses that he’s trying to hid (“You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve, and I have always buried them deep beneath the ground”). The singer addressing someone who accepts their flaws and doesn’t care about them. He reaches out to the person and they help him, convincing him to accept himself and embrace failure (“Dig them up. Let’s finish what we’ve started. Dig them up, so nothing’s left untouched”). The central message of this song is to show how we all tear ourselves apart to try to be perfect when we should just accept ourselves (“Look at the wonderful mess that we made, we pick ourselves undone”)
I chose this song because in the second semester of 7th grade, I’d experienced some major failures that I couldn’t get over. I tried to “bury them deep beneath the ground” and hide them from others. I couldn’t accept that I could fail like this, but over the summer between 7th grade and 8th grade, my family helped me embrace failure. They helped me realise that life wasn’t perfect and that what was done cannot be undone. That helped me start strong in 8th grade, with renewed determination to not be beaten down by failure.
Focus by Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman
Although Focus by Ariana Grande might seem like song about love, Grande herself announced that there is a deeper meaning to this song. In the first verse, “I know what I came to do and that ain’t gonna change. So go ahead and talk your talk cause I won’t take the bait”, Grande declares that she doesn’t care what the world thinks about her, she’s just going to be herself and keep working hard. When she says “focus on me”, she actually means focus on who she is. She wants people to focus on who she is, not what she looks like, what she’s wearing, the colour of her skin etc. She wants the world to know who she is a person. To quote her exact words, she said “The more we realise how much we have in common , the more we listen to each other, the more one we become”.
I was inspired by this song and how Grande wants people to know that she is not just the looks and the fashion, she’s more than that. So I was inspired by her message, and in the beginning of 8th grade, I chose not only to embrace my flaws and imperfections, but also to make new friends and focus on who they are, and not what they are.
Chasing the Sun by The Wanted, Word of Mouth
Chasing the Sun by the Wanted is not only a song about partying and enjoying life, but it’s also about pursuing your dreams. “They said this day wouldn’t come, we refused to run, we’ve only just begun, you’ll find us chasing the sun” talks about how people discouraged the singer(s) and told them this dream was impossible in the beginning, but the singer(s) refused to be brought down by words and continued to pursue their dreams. I also interpret this song as one where it tells you to aim for higher goals, even when others discourage you. If you think about it, chasing the sun is like trying to catch the moon. It’s impossible, yet this song is telling you to pursue the impossible, because nothing is impossible.
During the course of 8th grade, this song inspired me to set higher expectations and to keep on going even when others discourage you. This song told me that nothing is impossible, and with time and effort (We’ve only just begun, until forever comes, you’ll find us chasing the sun), anything can be achieved.
Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz, Black Star Elephant
This song, by Nico & Vinz, is about following what you believe in and not doing what everybody else is doing. In this song, the person isn’t sure the road he’s travelling is the right one, but he follows his heart and believes that it will lead him somewhere (Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay? Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way?). The person in this song wants to do something unique and follow a path that others have not travelled on yet, even when he can’t find where the road leads to (I ain’t tryna do what everybody else doing, just ’cause everybody doing what they all do. If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow, I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home). The song encourages others to not let people control their lives and not be effected by other people’s opinions (walk, walk, don’t look back, always do what you decide. Don’t let them control your life, that’s just how I feel). The person in the song is telling those who are different and seeking a different path in life that they are not alone and to fight for what they believe in (Fight for yours and don’t let go, don’t let them compare you, no. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, that’s just how we feel).
Reflecting back on this year, I think this is the song that summarised 8th grade the most. Ever since I transitioned from Upper Primary to Middle School, I’d always been the ‘follower’, and not the ‘leader’. I’d always walk in other people’s shadows and footsteps, never hesitating to think about making my own path. It was until after 7th grade did I realise that for me, following people’s footsteps just wasn’t going to work. For me, the best path was my own. This song encouraged me that there is nothing wrong with following what I believe in and going against the flow, and assuring me that I wasn’t alone in this journey.
Drag Me Down by One Direction, Made in the A.M
In this song, One Direction sings of not letting others discourage and humiliate one. This song sings about how the singer will let nothing stop them (All these lights, they can’t blind me, with your love, nobody can drag me down). It gives an upbeat melody that emboldens others to not let anything drag them down. This song was produced after One Direction’s member Zayn Malik left, so it was sung with passion in a way that the band members were not going to let Zayn’s departure drag them down.
I chose this song because it inspired me to keep going and never give up even when life was tediously challenging. It renewed and rekindled the fire of determination that burned in the beginning of the year (I got a fire for a heart, I’m not scared of the dark). In many ways, it helped me through challenging obstacles in the course of 8th grade.
Who We Are by Imagine Dragons, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This song is a song produced for the famous movie, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It’s a song about accepting who you are as a person (It’s who we are, doesn’t matter if we’ve gone too far, doesn’t matter if it’s all okay, doesn’t matter if it’s not our day). This songs says that it doesn’t matter if you fail in life, if you succeed in life, because in the end, you’re still who you are. Other people might judge you for being who you are (they say we’re crazy), but like what the previous song said, don’t let them drag you down.
I chose this song because it represents how I’ve changed as a person from when I was in 7th grade to now in 8th grade. It shows how when I was in 7th grade, I would care too much about everything, but now, through 8th grade, I’ve learned to accept who we are and live with it. There’s also a verse that really fits into middle school to high school transitioning: What we are don’t look clear. ‘Cause it’s all uphill from here. In this verse, the person questions their identity, just as we as teenagers are searching for our identity. “‘Cause it’s all uphill from here” represents how it will only get more stressful and intensive in high school life.
See Me Now by Little Mix, Salute
See Me Now is an uplifting song also talking about overcoming obstacles after failing or being discouraged. It starts out with this verse: I feel the rain on my skin, wash away all the pain I was in. I see the sun in the sky, no longer know how it feels to cry. This verse means now the main character is free from all the pain and misery that they were once in, and the song continues to say how it’s their time to shine (Somebody turn out the light, ’cause right now must be my time to shine). This song also has a reminisce feel to it, when the verse says “They said I couldn’t, they told me that I wouldn’t but if they could see me now. They’d see I’m something, that I’m not scared of nothing and the world will hear me shout“. So this song inspired many to keep fighting, until you are no longer afraid. (Drop me in the ocean, I’ll swim. Put me in the lions, I’ll roar. There’s a survivor within, so much stronger than I was before).
I chose this song because it illustrates the change I’ve been through since 7th grade until now. Before, people told me I couldn’t do this, or I can’t do that, and I believed them. I agreed with them and let them drag me down, and that was my mistake. Learning from my flaws, I didn’t let that happen in 8th grade, and the change I’ve been through has been roughly illustrated by this song, See Me Now.
See You Again by Wiz Khalifa (feat Charlie Puth), Furious 7: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Even when this popular hit was dedicated to Furious 7 actor Paul Walker, See You Again is also a nostalgic song about friendship. Described to have a sense of longing and sadness but also uplifting as well, this song not only talks about the mourning of a lost friend, but can also be about someone you’ll miss but have hopes in seeing again (We’ve come a long way, from where we began. Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again). It beautifully illustrates the power of friendships and how they are never truly lost when someone dies (Everything I went through you were standing there by my side, and now you gon’ be with me for the last ride). There is a hopeful and yearning tone that leaves the audience on a huge cliffhanger.
I chose this song as because in the end of 8th grade, many people are leaving and there are many farewells that we ought to bid. So when I was thinking about these departures, I thought of the wistful yet hopeful melodies of this song. I thought of all the friends that had come with us for so long, and how these friendships had to be worn thin over distance (A friendship turn to a bond, and that bond will never be broken, the love will never get lost). As our journey ends, this song can be the “bond that will never be broken” in our friendships.