The 2023 A-to-Z blogging challenge theme is resilience. Resilience is the ability to get back on our feet and keep going after life knocks us down and kicks sand in our faces. Resilience is how the psyche survives and copes, but resilience doesn’t necessarily wear a cape of positivity.
The 26 songs I’ve chosen show us, musically, what resilience looks (sounds?) like. I’ll offer a reflection of the resilience in each song. The songs are alphabetical by the artist’s first name or the group’s name, except for M, O, U, and X.
B is for The Beatles and Help!
The Beatles released Help! as a single in July 1965. While it is credited to Lennon-McCartney as co-writers, John wrote the song with some input from Paul.
The narrator in this song has tied a knot in the end of his metaphorical emotional rope, and he is hanging on for dear life. Is he depressed? Suicidal? Having relationship troubles? A spiritual crisis? Financial woes? There are any number of scenarios for his current state of emotional and psychological turmoil.
He says he needs somebody, but not just anybody. This indicates he’s reaching out to a specific ‘someone’. He’s on a downward spiral, and he doesn’t know how to stop the fall on his own before he crashes. The song’s fast rhythm add to the urgency of his plea for help.
Realizing he needs help and asking for help are two signs of resilience. Pushing past his pride, and possibly the shame he feels for his self-perceived weakness of character, he admits when he was younger, he was independent, and he never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But his life has changed as he’s aged. Somehow, he’s lost control and his focus, and he’s asking for help to ‘re-ground’. He’s not so self-assurred. He needs a ‘rock’ to lean on and help him get his feet back on the ground where he can feel safe, secure, and ‘normal’ again. He’s looking for the light at the end of what seems like a dark, endless tunnel. This is the hope aspect of resilience.
Because he’s asking for help and it seems he genuinely wants help and will accept help, his resilience is strong. It just needs a boost from someone who cares about him. The last line sums up his determination to overcome what has brought him so low.
Won’t you please, please, help me? Help me?
*Knotted rope image by bambe1964
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time