In honor of Superbowl Sunday, this week is all about fight songs—the songs that fire us up, motivate us and help us fight back. I feel like I could do a really long playlist on this topic and it has been really hard but I’ve paired my selection down to a few (and cleaned it up a bit).
For fighting back…
I know it’s not the most positive music but sometimes life is gritty and picking yourself up and fighting back requires getting dirty. For me, deep beets and flowing rhymes (like the ones in this song) are an anthem of my angsty teenage years. In my room, I was isolated and disconnected from the world around me. I was harboring secrets, pent up with anger, and never really felt accepted. Artists like D12, Bone Thugz & Harmony, Nas, Jay-Z, and (most predominantly) Eminem became the soundtrack for all the parts of myself that I couldn’t share with the world…all the things that separated me from those around me. I have always considered Hip Hop to be modern day poetry and through it, I learned what it was to be raw…to be proud…and to fight back. For my soundtrack, I’m choosing a more contemporary song by Eminem, because it is the one that I can connect with in my adult life the most.
“If I ain’t got enough in the tank, maybe I can just syphon enough” —Survival, Eminem
That’s exactly how I feel with a table full of bills, a to do list that grows by the minute and the needs of everyone around me piling up to my neck. When I feel that I don’t have enough, I just reach down deeper and syphon some more.
For fighting those who try to hold me back…
This song reaches me on so many levels. Everytime I hear it, it pumps me up and makes me feel strong. It reminds me that every battle I have ever fought and every person who has ever tried to hold me back has only made me stronger. Now, I’m done fighting with people. I’m wise enough now to recognize the truth inside…to see people for who they are and avoid the ones that want to use or damage me.
“Never saw it coming, all of your backstabbing. Just so you could cash in on a good thing before I’d realize your game. I heard you’re going round playing the victim now. But don’t even begin feeling I’m the one to blame. ‘Cause you dug your own grave. After all of the fight and lies ’cause you’re wanting to haunt me. But that won’t work anymore, no more. It’s over.” -Christina Aguilera, Fighter
**The above lyrics from the song speak particularly to the desolation of my failed marriage***
Born this Way-Lady Gaga
For fighting myself…
On the days that I’m fighting myself…the days that I revert to my childhood state of not embracing myself for everything I am and everything that I was made to be, I crank up this song. Only then do I remember that “I’m beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes.” This song hold particular significance as a fight song for me because one of the things I have fought against my entire life was my sexuality. I really feel that songs like this helped me find peace with the fact that my attraction to members of the same sex wasn’t something to hide…that if I learned to love me for me, then the world would do the same. I was much more worried about my own mother’s reaction than that of “the world” but when I finally found the strength to tell her, her response was “Yeah, I’ve known that since you were a teenager”. Finally, I accept myself and the world accepts me…I am whole and ready to take on the world…
Girl on Fire-Alicia Keys
For conquering the world…
I’ve only just begun fighting. I feel that I’ve gone through the trenches and fought all my inner battles. I’ve slayed the demons in my life and now I’m ready to move forward. I’m a soldier and a survivor. I’m an independent woman, single mother and I’m building a name for myself (one brick at a time). If I get weary and my confidence begins to falter, I simply have to remember all the battles I’ve fought to get to where I am right now…I simply have to remember that I’m a girl and I’m on fire.