Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chained to the Rhythm



I have a confession: I like one of Katy Perry’s songs. “Chained to the Rhythm” is her latest single and she debuted the song on the Grammy Awards Show. Why do I like this song? The message of the song is aimed at the average person in North American culture, and the message is that we should no longer be content with the things that previously made us happy. The white picket fence, enough drinks to keep us comfortably numb, and our favourite songs to keep us dancing and distracted should not be the way to the good life. Simply putting on “rose colored glasses” and pretending that all will be well is not going to solve the problems of the world. It reminds me of another song, from another time, from another artist: “It will all get back to normal if we put our nation first. But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse.” (Bruce Cockburn, “The Trouble with Normal”)

The bridge of the song features Skip Marley and suggests that it is time to “Break down the walls to connect, inspire.” Yes, I can concur with those sentiments. He then begins to speak about rioting. Is that the solution? Surely in every culture, riots should be a last resort and they must always be peaceful. Martin Luther King, Jr. led what might be called riots; but it was always his desire that they remain peaceful. These protests have long stood as some of the most effective in history.

“Chained to the Rhythm” is designed to be a “wake-up call” for all of us. The artists of our culture have often provided a prophetic role. The solutions remain for other prophets to proclaim.


Chained To The Rhythm
(Written by Katy Perry, Max Martin, Sia Furler, Ali Payami, Skip Marley)
(Listen to the song while you read the lyrics.)

Are we crazy?
Living our lives through a lens
Trapped in our white picket fence
Like ornaments
So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
Aren't you lonely?
Up there in utopia
Where nothing will ever be enough
Happily numb
So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble

(Aha)
So put your rose-colored glasses on
And party on

Turn it up, it's your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion

Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie, yeah
We think we're free (Aha)
Drink, this one's on me
We're all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm
To the rhythm
Turn it up, it's your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie, yeah
We think we're free (Aha)
Drink, this one's on me
We're all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm
To the rhythm

Are we tone deaf?
Keep sweeping it under the mat
Thought we could do better than that
I hope we can
So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble

(Aha)
So put your rose-colored glasses on
And party on

Turn it up, it's your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie, yeah
We think we're free (Aha)
Drink, this one's on me
We're all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm
To the rhythm

Turn it up, it's your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie, yeah
We think we're free (Aha)
Drink, this one's on me
We're all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm
To the rhythm

It is my desire
Break down the walls to connect, inspire, ay
Up in your high place, liars
Time is ticking for the empire
The truth they feed is feeble
As so many times before
They greed over the people
They stumbling and fumbling
And we about to riot
They woke up, they woke up the lions
(Woo!)

Turn it up, it's your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up (turn it up, turn it up), keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie (like a wasted zombie), yeah
We think we're free (Aha)
Drink, this one's on me
We're all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm
To the rhythm

It goes on and on and on
It goes on and on and on
It goes on and on and on
'Cause we're all chained to the rhythm

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