In "Sing Street", I learned you've got to drive it like you stole it!

In the indie movie “Sing Street”, I learned you’ve got to drive it like you stole it!

Music has an ability to touch me in very profound ways. I can hear a song popular from my youth and the nostalgia can sometimes be overwhelming. As I started going through my faith transition, my ears perked up for things that I hadn’t noticed before. I found lyrics to some songs were very applicable to my situation or feelings, even though the original intent of the author might not have been intended for someone in a faith transition. I have a friend who is a skilled artist, and I once asked him if it was OK with him if others interpreted his art differently than he originally intended. “Of course!” he said. “I love it when people do that. I love seeing what they can pull out of my paintings for themselves.” In my own scriptures in 1 Stevie 19:23 it reads: “…I did liken all lyrics unto me, that it might be for my comfort and understanding.” Here are some lyrics that I feel have applied especially well to my faith journey.

“Cuts You Up” by Peter Murphy

It spits you out
When you desire
To conquer it
To feel you’re higher

To follow it
You must be clean
With mistakes
That you do mean

Move the heart
Switch the pace
Look for what seems out of place

Peter Murphy is a Sufi, which is an Islamic mystic. The words and music to this song are both haunting and beautiful to me. I’m not totally sure what he meant by “it” in his lyrics. For me, maybe “it” is my faith transition, or my desire to find my new path. It cuts me up when I try to conquer it, and to feel I’m reaching a higher potential.

“To follow it / You must be clean / With mistakes / That you do mean” is a beautiful phrase that means to me I can have a clear conscience because I have made what some may think are mistakes with my change in faith, but I meant to make them and I embrace them.

“Move the heart / Switch the pace / Look for what seems out of place” reminds me how uncomfortable I felt with my faith, and how once I changed things up I felt so much better and more spiritually at peace.

“Wide Awake” by Katy Perry

I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I’m wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong

I’m wide awake
And now it’s clear to me
That everything you see
Ain’t always what it seems
I’m wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn’t dive in
Wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight
I’m falling from cloud nine

Many people have termed a faith transition as an awakening. The way I look at things changed very quickly, and for a while it did feel like I had crashed. I realized things weren’t the way I had always thought they were, and I wished I had learned some things earlier in life. I try not to dwell on what could have been, because I am grateful for what the LDS church gave me and where it got me to in life, even though I decided it no longer worked for me.

“Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails

God money I’ll do anything for you.
God money just tell me what you want me to.
God money nail me up against the wall.
God money don’t want everything he wants it all.
No you can’t take it
No you can’t take it
No you can’t take that away from me
No you can’t take it
No you can’t take it
No you can’t take that away from me
Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I’d rather die than give you control.
Bow down before the one you serve.
You’re going to get what you deserve.
This song helped me get out some rage during my angry phase. I’m no longer in that phase, but this song reminds of those feelings. I completely understand people transitioning out of their original faith (it’s universal to all fundamentalist faiths, not just Mormons!) who can feel intense anger over what they’ve been through.

“Tomorrow Is a Latter Day” from the Book of Mormon musical

I am a Latter Day Saint
(Latter Day)
I help all those I can
I see my friends through times of joy and sorrow
(Times of joy and sorrow)

What happens when we’re dead
(Who cares now?)
We shouldn’t think that far ahead
The only latter day that matters is tomorrow

The skies are clear and now the sun’s coming out
It’s a Latter Day tomorrow
Put your worries and your sorrows and your cares away
And focus on a Latter Day
Tomorrow is a Latter Day

I really love the Book of Mormon musical. Yes it has a lot of crude language, but I would expect that from the creators of South Park. The musical is also very funny, and even touching in some parts. The missionaries are portrayed as naïve, but also very earnest and sweet. They’re admittedly a caricature, but the musical is satire, and not intended to be realistic. For those who aren’t fans of South Park, they might not realize episodes often teach a moral that many people would agree with. In the case of this song, the idea is that we shouldn’t waste time worrying about the afterlife. We should instead focus on making the world we live in as good as possible. That’s the kind of Mormonism I can embrace!

“Drive It Like You Stole It” by Sing Street

I’m taking it back
I’m outta here, no turning back
In a baby blue Cadillac
Just when I was stalling,
I heard an angel calling
This is your life,
You can go anywhere
You gotta grab the wheel and own it
And drive it like you stole it
Rollin’, this is your life,
You can be anything
You gotta learn to rock and roll it,
You gotta put the pedal down
And drive it like you stole it

We get stuck in the dirt
And we can’t see where we’re going
We’ve faced all kinds of hurt
And the friction slows us down
But I won’t be waiting here
For the world to end in gold
I leave your dust behind me
Stranded in the road

I just heard this song for the first time last week as I watched the terrific movie “Sing Street”. I found myself with tears running down my face as I heard these lyrics, and realized in a way, I had “stolen” my life back. Now it’s up to me to “grab the wheel and own it / And drive it like you stole it”. I am grateful for the opportunity to choose my own spiritual path and control my own destiny! So far the ride has been scary, thrilling and rewarding, all at the same time. I look forward to what comes next!


Liken Lyrics Unto Us — 2 Comments

  1. I agree. Music captures an essence and feeling I often can’t express to other people. Yet lately I am in the anger stage. I have found new meaning in the RATM. “Now you do what they told ya”

    • It can be tough to get out of the anger stage. There’s no timetable, tough. Sometimes I still get angry, but generally I feel like I’m in a good place. I hope you can get there too.

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