Your Anthem: What Do You Stand For?

I’m obsessed with Fun’s “Some Nights.” It’s a truly great pop song. It’s also an upbeat anthem of sorts, and wouldn’t be out of place in a Broadway musical?

It has some dark lyrics, and seems to be about the experience of being deeply…ambivalent.

And that’s what it’s come down to: I identify most with an anthem about the gray areas of life.

“What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know…”


I’ve never really been a person who sees things in black and white. I’ve always been pretty obsessed with social justice, why things are fair for some and not for others, and I have never been able to be constrained by a narrow worldview. It would be easy in many ways to accept a belief system. Not to always QUESTION things. Sometimes, I believe my way of seeing the world is a misfortune. Some of the Mormon bloggers seem so HAPPY. There’s an acceptance that the world is the way Joseph Smith told it to them and I think that must be soothing.

This is just an example. I could use any religion or worldview, even a specific parenting philosophy as an example.

I think I inherited this tendency towards questioning from my grandmother. She was a great believer in the underdog, she abhorred injustice of any kind. She was an early supporter of civil rights, even though she lived in a very conservative state. She believed in the goodness of those around her. At least, this is how I remember her.

And oh, did she love baseball. To my grandmother, every great and terrible aspect of America was reflected in our nation’s pastime. She cheered when Jackie Robinson broke the color line. She was very angry at those players who took steroids and cheated. She loved her Atlanta Braves, but was always secretly thrilled when an underrated team took them on and beat them.

When I was very ill in my early 30s, a game of baseball really changed my life. I was so blinded by my pain and illness that I was unable to embrace life anymore. Darcy had had enough. Darcy loves baseball, the Giants specifically. One day, who knows why, I told him I’d like to go to a baseball game. I knew I’d be miserable at the game, but I needed to do something human, with my husband. So I went to a Giants game. It was exciting enough to jolt me out of my physical misery a bit. After that, I watched every game with Darcy in our living room. It became a ritual. I grew stronger and better, and by the time September of that season rolled around, I was on the road to recovery.

When I got pregnant, the All-Star game was in San Francisco. I went. It was one of the few times I went out in public. To me, baseball is good luck. I wanted to immerse the twins in that luck.


The twins now watch the baseball games with their dad. We’ve taken to playing T-ball in our yard every warm summer evening. My son LOVES to hit the ball. He’s so passionate about the game.

I want so much on these evenings to have my grandmother here, watching us. Maybe she is watching us from somewhere.

I’m ambivalent, but I have my hopes.

I always have my hopes.

Do you have any songs that you strongly identify with?



Filed under Discovering joy

15 responses to “Your Anthem: What Do You Stand For?

  1. My song is “By Way of Sorrow” from Cry Cry Cry. Not just my IF Song, my life song.

    I have a book recommendation – the Brothers K by David James Duncan. Baseball, religious angst, the Pacific Northwest, Viet Nam. Long and a little messy but one of my favorite novels of all time

  2. All my very favorite songs are quiet, sad songs and I always wonder about that question from High Fidelity: Does listening to sad music make us sad or do we listen to it because we’re sad? Sometimes I’m not sure.

  3. Yes: “do we listen to pop music because we’re miserable or are we miserable because of the pop music?” MiVida is basically the John Cusack character in some ways (he’s much nicer)….

  4. TheKirCorner

    when I was trying to get pregnant, my anthem was “Calling all Angels” by Train. Even today, “I won’t give up, if you won’t give up” can bring me to tears inside 10 seconds. I still tell my friends struggling with IF that I will “call the angels” for them and I believe in the power of prayer.

    I can’t tell you how much I loved this post, but I am going to PIMP it out and talk about it and share it because it is speaking to me today. You have to have that thing that gets you through the blue days, the bad stuff, the iffy moments.

    thank you for hitting publish. I needed it more than you know.

    (I would have LOVED your grandma)

  5. I have different anthems for different seasons of my life. Charlie Brown and my song, from when we first started dating? “Your Song” by Elton John. My IF rise-up-from-the-ashes-from-another-BFN song? “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. Finding the courage to try again? “Let Go” by Frou Frou. My pregnancy with Lucky? “Satellite” by Guster. (Which, ironically, made him cry when he was a baby.) When I lost my aunt and my pregnancy back in November 2010, it was Linkin Park’s “Waiting for the End.” Which I still love, actually.

    If I had to name an anthem today, I’m not sure I could. I love Florence + The Machine “The Dog Days are Over” and the Foo Fighters “The Pretender” so maybe them. They’re great running songs, and Lucky always makes me sing when they’re on in the car.


  6. OMG, I’m obsessed with that song too!! Like, I haven’t listened to anything else in weeks. OK, now that I got that out of my system, I’m going to go read the rest of the post.

    • My TTC theme song was of Montreal… “I’m in a crisis, I need help, c’mon mood shift shift back to good again.” My life theme song is “I like giants” by Kimya Dawson… “I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything.” Such a fantastic song.

  7. Love this post! Listening to music/song lyrics is so therapeutic for me and like others said, I don’t have just one anthem. But there have been many songs that have been important to me over the years and I have written about a lot of them on my blog.

    Some of my anthems in the past have been “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, “You Gotta Be” by Desiree, “Time” by Billy Porter and the entire Rent musical soundtrack.

    I recently made a page on my blog that links to the posts where I included song lyrics (in alphabetical order with the date I posted them):

    If I had to pick a anthem for my life right now it would be “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. I just love that song and it really speaks to the relationship I have with my husband and the journey we are on together with our family.

    Thanks again for this! Looking forward to reading more comments about other’s anthems! 🙂

  8. SRB

    It isn’t exactly an anthem, but the song I always go back to when I am having difficulties in personal relationships, or being a general shoe-gazer is “As Is” by Ani DiFranco.

    Particularly this part: “Cause when I look around, I think this, this is good enough, And I try to laugh, At whatever life brings,Cause when I look down, I just miss all the good stuff, When I look up, I just trip over things”

    It reminds me to literally just look around, and see things for what they are, not what I think they are. To take this “as is.”

  9. I think I need a new anthem. There were certain songs I played over and over on my iPod during the IF treatment days: Foo Fighters’ “Best of You,” “Ridiculous Thoughts” by The Cranberries, “Hate Me” by Blue October, Metallica’s “Fade to Black,” Howard Jones’ “Things Can Only Get Better.” Nice, positive, uplifting songs!

    I often sang “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” to D when he was a baby.

    Now? Hmmm… Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”? Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch”? Just kidding! Actually, I’ve always strongly identified with The Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine.” For work, I’ve often thought “Stuck in the Middle with You” perfectly describes my coworkers.

  10. I love this post. One of my favorite songs ever is Meredith Brooks’ Bitch. It captures the fact that we women are complex, mercurial, fabulous people.

  11. I, probably like a lot of people have different songs that I identify with depending on how I am feeling or who I am thinking about. I have special songs for different people and situations. I have lots of different playlists too.

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