Say You Will Remember Me
Has music ever spoken to you? Has music ever given you perspective or thought that perhaps you’ve never considered before? I have always loved music. Ever since I was little, I would sing and memorize lyrics of songs I liked. Ultimately, music is a beautiful expression of emotions that can capture the inner beauty of a human soul. However, I think today’s music has been altered to fit a certain criteria or trend. Therefore, it is hard to find songs that have a profound meaning. I am not writing this to criticize the commercialization of the music industry. I am writing this in response to a songwriter whom perhaps many have judged or criticized due to her dating habits. I am talking about Taylor Swift. Two of her songs captured my attention because of the nature of the lyrics. The songs spoke to me and made me think about the many similarities that her and I have, and I’m certain other women can relate to them as well.
The songs that I was captivated by are “Style” and “Wildest Dreams”. At first it was simply the beat that I enjoyed. Yet when I stopped to truly listen, what I heard left me perplexed and a little heartbroken. The lyrics for “Style” are:
You come and pick me up, no headlights
Could end in burning flames or paradise
Fade into view, oh, it’s been a while since I have even heard from you
I should just tell you to leave ’cause I
Know exactly where it leads but I
Watch us go ’round and ’round each time
These lyrics may not mean much to some of you, yet they stirred something in me. I felt hopelessness as I listened to the lyrics. I interpret this song to be about an ex-boyfriend, who was a big part of her life. She knows very well what his reappearance means. Furthermore, she knows that their reunion will lead to regret. In the chorus, she sings: “we come back every time, because we never go out of style”. The way I interpret “come back” is casually hooking up. By definition, this means that a man and a woman have an intimate, but superficial encounter. They only wish to experience a brief moment of passion without attachment. The kind of relationship Taylor Swift is describing is a relationship that is based on the external appearance, a flame that burns and sometimes diminishes, but then is kindled again. Yet this flame is not founded on principals of love respect, loyalty or true intimacy. Rather, it relies on casual sexual intimacy that ultimately damages the human soul. I can relate to this song because I have been in that same situation.
I have experienced moments when my judgement was clouded by feelings of loneliness, desperation and emptiness. I allowed men to use me, and justified it by telling myself it was “simply physical”. But how wrong was I! It is never just a physical act; it is impossible to detach feelings and emotions from such an intimate act. Every time that I hooked up with someone, not only was I degrading myself, but I also lost my identity. I began to forget what I was created for, and who created me. My desire and longing for love and acceptance was so immense that I thought that this hook up would bring me what I needed. I had been hurt so many different times, in many different ways, that I no longer wanted to feel anything. My decisions reflected the pain and solitude I felt. All I really wanted was for someone to see me. I think that Taylor Swift sings this because she also wants to be seen, loved and cherished, otherwise why would she run back towards someone she no longer feels anything for? This song seems to be about her pain and longing to be loved. We were created to love and be loved, after all God created us to know him.
“Wildest Dreams” is the other song that I had mentioned, which touches upon the same idea as “Style”. She sings:
I said, “No one has to know what we do,”
His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room
And his voice is a familiar sound,
Nothing lasts forever
And when we’ve had our very last kiss
My last request is
Say you’ll remember me.
Say you’ll see me again
Even if it’s just pretend
These words pierced my heart because of my past relationships. The way she sings is as if she has lost all hope and this is all there is. She makes it sound like there is no attachment, that it’s nothing more than a one-night stand, yet she hopes that he will remember her. I think it’s extremely sad that we conform to this. How many times did I conform for a guy who didn’t care about me and just wanted something from me. How many times did I look in the mirror and hate what I saw because I thought I was unlovable. How many times did I question if I deserved more than this. How many times did I hope that the guy that was with me that night would remember me. Too often I let the enemy lie to me and tell me that I was unlovable, that no one would ever want me, love me, respect me and cherish me. I would cry out to God and ask why? Why doesn’t anyone love me? Why am I alone? In every single moment God did not abandon me; in the loneliness, the emptiness and in the loss of my innocence, God continued to love me. He was wiping away every tear I shed with His sweet gentle hands.
Taylor Swift sounds broken and sad in the song as she is consumed by the lie that many other young women have been told. We were not created to conform to this fake, insignificant, and superficial idea of love. We were created as sons and daughters of the almighty God, who made us for Himself, to know and love Him. God so loved the world that He made himself one of us, to show us the meaning of true love. In Corinthians 13: 4, St. Paul describes authentic love: “Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious or boastful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” God embodies the love St. Paul speaks of. He is patient, kind, merciful, forgiving and bears all things. He endured all suffering and pain for us and He did it to redeem us, all because of love. Yet, we think that we are not valuable or worthy. It’s hard to believe that someone can love us in such a way. I didn’t believe it, even though I had been told many times that God loved me.
I want to conclude by saying music has the power to touch our souls and connect us. However, God has the power to heal and replenish all that has been damaged by sin. I know that even though I continue to struggle with many different things, He is transforming my wounds with His love, which is something music cannot do. Music may help us temporarily, but God’s healing endures forever. Let us always remember that it is in Him alone that we can be loved to the fullness of what we long for.