Friday, February 12, 2010

Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall

Me as a high school music theory teacher-T
Female music theory student-F

T-so Allison, what music have you brought on to share with everyone for listening day
F-I have this fantastic song that I love by KT Tunstall called “Suddenly I See”
T-sounds great, tell me a little about it.
F-well, it’s like rock, but it’s got a unique beat and the lyrics are really cool
T-What it is about the lyric that like?
F-I’m not sure
T-Well, what’s the lyrics like, let me rephrase my questions, what is this song about?
F-It’s about a girls whose face is a map of the word.
T- . . . um. . . ok. . . let’s take a listen.

Wow, well. I guess?!? Sigh, some people have a way of taking lyrics literally, but really?

After I got over the fact that my student so literally interpreted the lyrics I really go into “Suddenly I See.” This is one of those great revelation songs, which have been featured in television and film, most notably at in The Devils Wears Prada.

KT Tunstall is a Scottish singer-songwriter, whose break out hit reminds us that there across the pond there is fresh interesting and amazing things happening in popular music. Tunstall voice is carefree but weathered. There is grit in her tone but the her laid back delivery draws you into the world that she weaves.

“Suddenly I See” is not is about a girl who inspires a revelation, but an understanding of bigger things. The “map of the world,” isn’t exactly that but rather a way that Tunstall figuratively describes the character of this woman. Along with the great lines like “she fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white” we get not so much a visual idea of this girl rather the way it feels to witness her walk by, what it feels like to suddenly see the light.

Life is a constant struggle to understand not only what we want to be but also what we are. In describing who we are, the person that we want to be often gets mixed up as the level of self-reflection and strength to truly look within takes more courage than most of us can muster. This song reminds us that sometimes through looking at others, we see into ourselves.

It’s often said that the things we dislike about our parents are the things we do not like about ourselves. In this same vein, the insults we direct towards others are simply reflections of our own insecurities. As painful as this is to think about people, it’s true. The thing is that understanding always makes us feel better about our lives even if it means understanding something that we don’t want to admit to ourselves.

The light bulbs illuminating above our heads feels so good because it means there is less in the world that is in the dark, less that we can’t handle. We fear what we don’t understanding and every little ounce of fear that we diminish from our lives makes the sun shine that much brighter.

1 comment:

  1. The song is actually a tribute to Patti Smith and is talking about looking at her album cover for "Horses," and about KT realizing what she wanted to do with her life. (I'm kind of KTs biggest fan).