I have missed writing for this space so darned much! These days I tend to write mostly on facebook and there’s a restraint to my writing that I do not like at all. I guess it took that for me to realise how much freedom writing here gives me, that this is the place my writing breathes and thrives and of course bubbles with richness and the essence of me.
Yesterday I was with some of the dearest people in my life in a lovely flat at Lekki Gardens and we saw three movies- two of them incompletely and one, we saw from the beginning until the credits rolled down the screen. That movie was the 2016 animated movie- Sing, and it was a fabulous movie. My heart swelled many times as I watched it, it felt like a love letter written by someone who loved me very much and knew me intimately and poured his/her soul into it and handed it to me. It’s about singing and talent shows and not giving up on your dreams. Just when I thought my heart would burst, one of the singing talents- a young gorilla who had a phenomenal voice and didn’t want to join his father in the inglorious life of crime, performed a song that made me want stand up and dance. The title of the song was I’m still standing.
I’m still standing was first recorded by Elton John in 1983 (where were you in ’83?) and it was performed in the movie and for the soundtrack album by Taron Egerton who played Johnny. Taron can sing! I think I’m a lowkey Elton John fan, this is rather surprising, seeing that I didn’t like him much when I was younger- dude was annoying my George Michael whose Careless Whispers nearly always made me cry whenever I listened to it, one day I’ll tell how I fell in love at eleven to a man who sang it at a party.
When I got home, I searched for the song (at the time, I didn’t even know it was originally recorded by Elton John), downloaded it and discovered it was originally by Elton John and it was his version I’d downloaded it. I wasn’t feeling it, so I searched more intently for Taron’s version and got it, then listened it a few times before I fell asleep. This morning on my way to work- I have to cross bridges and lagoons to get to work now- I put on my headphones and set the music app on my tab to the just added playlist so I could listen to the song. I bobbed my head to the song and was so lost in it when the song ended and Elton’s version came on, I sat up with widened eyes, Elton’s version had so much more energy! How did I ‘not feel it’ last night? Maybe I was too tired.
I listened to the songs all through today, my colleagues all asked about the song I had on loop as I arranged my ‘goods’ on the shelves of our new site. Someone at work has consistently tried to make my life miserable, she struck again today and as I played the songs over and over, someone passed by and said “Yass! Stick it to the haters” and in that moment, I understand what I loved the most about the song- the chorus!
“Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
And I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind
I’m still standing. Yeah, yeah, yeah
I’m still standing. Yeah, yeah, yeah”
It’s a post heartbreak song, something that says ‘see how fabulous my life is without you’ after a person a person leaves you. I really do not know why such songs resonate so deeply with me even when I was very young. From the phenomenally popular ‘I will survive’ to the song that launched the autotuned revolution- ‘Believe’ by Cher and ‘Sail on’ by my future husband Lionel Richie. There’s a visceral reaction to those songs that I cannot explain.
On my way home today, I was nearly swallowed by a flood of memories, especially memories from the past twelve months and as each memory ended its turn in the floodlit stage of my mind, it amazed me that I lived through them and the scars and pain could even fade. Then it hit me! I was standing through it all, after the devastation and desolation- I was still standing and even dancing! That had to be what drew me to the song with such force, the celebration of a beautiful life despite the pain that came before and the hope that tomorrow can only get better.
So yes, I am still standing… I have no intention of going anywhere.
PS: Have you heard of Funbi? Download his Halleluyah Here … Thank me later.