Monday, May 12, 2014

The New World - Jason Robert Brown

Opening: The New World

 A new world calls across the ocean
A new world calls across the sky
A new world whispers in the shadows
"Time to fly, time to fly..."

It's about one moment
The moment before it all becomes clear
And in that one moment
You start to believe there's nothing to fear
It's about one second
And just when you're on the verge of success
The sky starts to change
And the wind starts to blow

And oh, you're suddenly a stranger
There's no explaining where you stand
And you didn't know
That you sometimes have to go
'Round an unexpected bend,
And the road will end
In a new world.

A new world calls for me to follow
A new world waits for my reply
A new world holds me to a promise
Standing by,
Standing by...

It's about one moment
That moment you think you know where you stand
But in that one moment
The things that you're sure of slip from your hand
And you've got one second
To try to be clear, to try to stand tall
But nothing's the same
And the wind starts to blow

And oh, you're suddenly a stranger
In some completely different land
And you thought you knew
But you didn't have a clue
That the surface sometimes cracks
To reveal the tracks
To a new world

 You have a house in the hills

 You have a job on the coast

You find a lover you're sure you believe in

 You get a pool in the back

You get the part of your life

 You hold the ring in your hand

But then the earthquake hits

 Then the bank closes in

 Then you realize you didn't know anything...

Nobody told you the best way to steer
When the wind starts to blow
And oh, you're suddenly a stranger
And life is different than you planned
And you have to stay
'Til you somehow find a way
To be sure of what will be,
Then you might be free...

 A new world crashes down like thunder
A new world charging through the air

 A new world just beyond the mountain

Waiting there...
Waiting there...

A new world shattering the silence
There's a new world I'm afraid to see
A new world louder every moment
"Come to me! Come to me!"

*          *          *
Jason Robert Brown is one of my favorite composers, primarily because I adore the honesty and particularity in his lyrics. As I approach the homestretch of my junior year and enter my final year of college, I can’t help but connect with every single lyric in this song.

I wrote a post earlier this semester with regard to my angst and anxiety about the future. I concluded it by comparing life to a video game and saying that if my life were perfect, I’d have nothing to look forward to or to work toward. Likewise, this song reminds me that—at some point in life—I can “have a house on the hills,” “a job on the coast,” “a pool in the back”—all the colors that blend into the portrait of the American dream. “But then the earthquake hits” and “the bank closes in,” and we’ll realize that we “didn’t know anything.” We’ll never know everything. I’m not meant to conquer life, let alone have a perfect life plan at the age of 21. The new world I’m entering will “crash down like thunder,” bombarding me with innumerable surprises that will “charge through the air” every time I think I’ve conquered life. “The New World” certainly doesn’t erase my anxiety, but it certainly assuages it. Thank you, Jason Robert Brown, for calming me down.

All the best, folks.

Alex Hajjar

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