Thursday, March 27, 2014

What is it about that song?

Being that I work with children and with people who work with children, I hear this question a lot. Sometimes it's whispered in confusion. Sometimes it bursts out like a shotgun. Either way, a lot of adults are wondering the same thing.

Because we've all noticed it. Frozen has taken over the minds of our girls. Specifically, the song "Let it Go".

If you've been hibernating the last few months you might have missed the way this song has swept the nation. You haven't noticed the covers performed by everyone imaginable, the views on the YouTube video crawling up and up, the karaoke cred, the tumblr memes, or the way preteens get glassy eyed and passionate whenever the opening chords begin. If you've been hibernating the last few months, you're probably also very hungry and very annoyed that it's still rainy and cold here in Seattle.

Back on topic.

What is it about that song?

"Let it Go" occurs at a key point in the film, the point at which Elsa has fled her home after losing control of her special ice powers. She's spent most of her life trapped indoors, trying to live up to expectations and keeping a tight lid on her unique quirk. She believes that the way she was born is too large, too powerful, too unpredictable, and too dangerous to be anything except suppressed.

"Let it Go" is when she gives up on that. She realizes that she can't try for normalcy anymore. It isn't going to happen. Instead, in order to be fully herself, she has to live alone.

The reason so many girls have embraced this song is because they identify with it.

They know what it is like to have energy and ambition, emotions like thunderbolts, and strength that they aren't allowed to use.

They know what it is like to suppress all of that in the interest of being a "good girl". They know how to keep quiet, because they've been praised so many times for their silence. They understand artifice, because isn't social success built upon creating an acceptable persona? They fear that if anyone truly sees them for who they are, they'll be rejected. They might even hurt the people they care about.

"Let it Go" offers a dream of defiance. It offers hope, because it tells us that maybe that hateful secret we've been hiding can be beautiful. It suggests that maybe the worlds inside us are worth the cost.

Is it all that surprising that so many kids have gone bonkers for it?

So what do we do with this?

I'm not a parent, so I can't speak as a parent. I can only speak as a teacher and the lesson I'm taking is to leave room for exploration. To not sacrifice creativity for discipline. There's room for both. When done right, dance can provide a safe place for kiddos to get all that energy out and to be bigger than themselves. A place where their quirks can be an asset.

What about you? Does "Let it Go" make your pulse race? Were there any Disney songs from your childhood that had a similar effect on you?


While we're on the topic - This news story is absolutely adorable. Cheers to these courageous men who helped a little girl find her own courage. Massachusetts firefighters sing 'Frozen' song to keep little girl calm. 


  1. Spot on, as usual, Sarah. I loved Frozen, btw. Not just for little girls.

  2. You like dead socities? I guess you're not for Seventh-Heaven, rather, I guess you're for the Abyss. Bad news. Lemme see if WE can spark-thy-interest in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity; lemme fill-you-up withe avant-gardeness and wisdom necessary to achieve Seventh-Heavenly Utopia...

    Wanna find-out the fax, Jak, in a wurld fulla MissKonceptions? Wanna wiseabove to help a 'Plethora Of Wurdz' which are look'n for a new home in your novelty?? Follow us...

    Q: But [gulp] can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HeeHee Need a few more thots, ideers, wild wurdz (whoa, Nelly! easy, girl) or ironclad iconoclasms?

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go thro in this lifelong demise, I wanna help U.S. git past the ping-pong-politics, whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence". Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET! any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs (in [the] end without end -Saint Augustine) when my o-so-beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3, NJB

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go gitt'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoo, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9 ...shake well B4 use!

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL