Last week, I promised I’d come with a new post about Poets of the Fall‘s song The Child in Me. What I have been wondering since is if it is another coming of age song like Once Upon a Playground Rainy. It would seem that the song title is rather self-explanatory which means not too much digging, at least at first glance. But, it is somewhat a Smoke and Mirrors meet Rewind kind of feeling – lyric-wise. Anyway, go figure why this particular track made me happy as I drove home last week… the lyrics are not particularly cheerful so why? I think that it might have something to do with, first and foremost, the intro… then yes the music… did I hear a hint of reggae in the background, bringing the melodies to rather chipper rhythm in contrast with the lyrics that sound – if you ask me – a dash sarcastic especially in the second verse. However, I know better than to only see the surface when it comes to Poets of the Fall. Something is certain that it is NOT though, a coming of age song.
There is this delicious discrepancy between the music and the lyrics which suits the song perfectly as there is this kind of self-derision theme going on in the verses, while the chorus brings a completely different level of spirit to the song and the story being told. I think, that The Child in Me is a song about love in the general sense of the term – yes, a lot of ground to cover, but I won’t go there. While the verses are more of a disturbing observation for our storyteller, the chorus brings it closer to home. How come it is so easy for you to make such a parody of love without being a train wreck? How come you look so happy etc.? Anyway, that would be one way to look at it.
A game of seduction
The first verse made me think of the times I was a teenager, thinking that I’d find love during summer camp and putting on my best behaviour to look like a grown up. Of course, it always backfired… but as a young girl, I had this ideal picture of love as the ultimate find, the ultimate goal of a life that was barely starting. What I had in my head and in my heart were so far away from reality though. I could not understand this
[…] constant flux of stages before they’re gone
But that was just a moment in time, and The Child in Me might tell the story of those who are happy to remain there. Is it that easy for them? Why can I not understand it? Are they really looking for love or just the thrill of the chase? Or still, are they just content to be without, only to play this game of seduction over and over? Love can be scary… I heard. Love… made into a business, a virtual reality where nothing is true or sincere… difficult to find oneself in such an environment. The innocence dying and the storyteller, that Marko is, has grown fed up with it. His observation drives him to wonder how he can go back to the ideal of love… an ideal that has to be true somehow.
Innocence, ideals, ultimate happiness… would that not be what a child believes in? I won’t say how old I or my husband are, but always ask ourselves “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Ridiculous, right. We are supposed to be there already, but at the same time, it is a funny way to remind ourselves that it is up to us to stay young in our hearts and minds… a nice way to keep the child alive and kicking. So, The Child in Me is about that too… because it is easy to forget… it easy to dismiss the child. Is it so that our favourite poets are afraid that the child will disappear, dying out? If one over analyses (as I usually tend to do), they are now wearing this cool tee-shirt with “Child of the Fall Apprentice” written in golden (?) letters on it. Inside joke? You decide… Somehow though, it feels like they are telling us to either remember the child and let him/her live on – side by side with the grown up, for balance and sanity (I would add)… or in worse case scenario, find him/her back.
I find the chorus full of tenderness brought on by a very nice melody, Marko‘s voice of course, and well simple words put beautifully together. To whom is he talking? What is the meaning behind the words? Let’s say that he manages to save the child in him, the next question would be how can that child survive our world… a world that has gone mad… or is he talking about his own world, the one that was made of ideals but that was “shattered” by reality? Maybe it is a little bit of both.
As long as one does not give up, there is hope still. No matter the whirlwind one finds oneself in, there might be the faint glimmer of this ideal hanging around… It requires strength and insight to notice it, but if you do not look the other way, you will see… and you will realise what you’ve been doing all this time… waiting. Maybe, this song makes me so happy because despite the self-searching message, I know that I am beyond the story that is being told. I am there, hand in hand with the child in me… very much in love, having found my sun… not falling anymore… away from the edge.
So, I leave you pondering upon these words:
I’ve been waiting, feel the love rebuilding
Off the edge now, falling down
Cos I’ve been waiting, I’ve been biding my time
On the edge now, falling down
Credits: Featured Photo from Jaakko Mäkinen Instagram – October 9th, 2016 – https://www.instagram.com/jaskamakinen/