Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby You're a Firework!

I'm having a moment.

I've fallen in love with a sappy, manipulative, incredibly commercial top 40 pop song — post chart peak no less — aimed at approximately teenage level, and I'm not sorry about it. The song is Katy Perry's "Firework," and that's the extraordinarily uplifting video for it above. Filmed in Budapest of all places, it's got a chubby teen girl dealing with self esteem and courage, kissing gay boys, a child with cancer, a kid defusing violence with magic and another kid stopping a battering parent. It's got happy happy people dancing in unison and cool and improbable special effects, and it all adds up to a positive inspirational message about self-empowerment. It's got a catchy, anthemic sing-along quality, and while the lyrics are precious almost to the point of preachy, there's something about this song that really grabs me.

"Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y"

The truth is I can remember being the person who needed this message. Heck, sometimes today I still need this message. I remember a specific moment in my adult life during my period of spiritual development when I was delivered this message and I remember how much it changed my life. When the world gets hard it can feel like a luxury to hang on to this kind of optimism and resolve. If the memory of being a sometimes alienated teen lives on in my middle-aged psyche, this song's dose of self-empowerment and spiritual reaffirmation comes as a refreshing reminder of, well, my own talents and abilities.

Go ahead, call me a little girl.


  1. I bet if I showed up at the State Capitol showing them my firework it would grab their attention. I'm working on it... thanks!

  2. LOL. Much as I would love to see your firework Annie, perhaps it's the wrong metaphor for an anti-nuke campaigner. You glow in the dark, baby!

  3. rofl..........on second thought I think you are right. lol

    Oh heaven help me... I think I may be cracking up...

  4. i have the same problem with katy perry, ish. and believe me, i try not to be crass, but i would love to get her in my bed. or even just look at her for awhile like a creepy dude. her music is catchy and terrible. terribly catchy.

  5. I say with some trepadation that I also love this song. I have mixed feelings about Perry herself (look up "URsoGay") but think this is exactly the sort of song that needs to be out in the world following last years spike in gay teen suicides.

  6. Yeah great point about the gay teen suicides, GWhiz. The gay boys scene is just so matter-of-fact here...I can't imagine how amazing that would have been to see when I was the age of this target dmeographic.

  7. Curse you, Ish. Now I can't get that doggone song out of my head. Also, I'm starting to fixate on "Friday". Oh noooooo....

    I knew Katy Perry's boobs were magic, but I never knew they sparkled!

  8. And hey MrBill, I know you're really into jazz. KENNY G is in her video for "Last Friday Night" /buzzkill

  9. buzzkill indeed, ish.

    haha i doubt it would ever happen. although katy did marry russel brand, so she clearly has standards lower than georgia's SAT scores!