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.
L is for Little Cosette and Castle on a Cloud.
I needed a song of resilience from a child’s perspective with the child singing, not someone singing a song about a child. I was stumped on this for quite a while. When I decided to use Hugh Jackman for “H” and What Have I Done? from Les Misérables, I was reminded of Little Cosette singing Castle on a Cloud, also from Les Miserables.
This song just tears my heart out for this little girl. Her loneliness is so deep.
Castle on a Cloud offers us a glimpse into the abused and neglected life of a little girl who has created a fantasy world as a way to endure the horrible living situation she’s in.
It’s a short song. The lyrics are simple. Her resilience comes through in the imaginary happy place she’s built in her fantasies. This happy place, where she goes in order to endure her wretched life, is a castle on a cloud. She dreams of this place as a way to escape real life, which is a resilience coping device.
She doesn’t have to sweep floors (aka work like a slave for her abusers) in this castle, and there are rooms full of toys, no one shouts, and there are girls and boys to play with.
No one is lost, alone, or abandoned in this castle on a cloud. No one cries there, either, because it’s not allowed. The reason it’s not allowed is because everyone is happy there.
Also in this castle is a beautiful lady dressed all in white, which is an opposite description of the cruel couple who are her guardians. This lady holds her, comforts her, and sings her lullabies. The lady is nice to see and soft to touch. Most importantly, this lady tells Cosette she loves her. This lady is Cosette’s mother. Cosette doesn’t have clear memories of her mother, but she desperately wishes her mother would come rescue her.
Cosette’s psyche has constructed a safe place in her mind in order to endure her abuse and neglect. This castle on a cloud represents hope that her life will someday improve. Constructing her castle on a cloud in her mind is her only defense against her abusers. They can’t reach her in her happy place.
*Girl at castle image by Alesia Kozik and Pexels
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time