“But give me to a rambling man, let it always be known that I was who I am” –Laura Marling

A calm song about strength.

If the video doesn’t play, go here Official Video

I think the visuals help. Here’s another video of her playing followed by an interview where she leaves the song open to interpretation.

beaten, battered, and cold
my children will live just to grow old
but if i sit here and weep
i’ll be blown over by the slightest of breeze

I think this was the part that got me listening to the song over and over again. For me, it’s about how the reality is that some people live their lives just worrying about the basics–food, roof, clothes–because that’s all that they can do.

Poverty. Hardship. I’ve seen it and had my share of it though I was too young to remember. Actually, I’m not sure I can say if I lived it because how can you live it if you don’t remember it? It was mostly my parents who went through this I guess. Days were connected by a string of events that center around the basic purpose of getting the next meal. I only know about this from stories told during those rare dinners. Some families think about the good ol’ days, my family laughs at the things my parents did to get by when they were young.

Knowing that your “children will live just to grow old” is a tough thing to realize. Why do people have children especially if they’re poor and know that the high probability is that their kids will live the same way (no this is not just about my parents)? Or maybe sex came first, thinking came second (oh Gaaah don’t think about it don’t think about it).

And only after do they realize that it’s a perpetuation of hardship.

I suppose that for enlightened and lucky people like my parents and their parents before them, it’s the investment in education. It’s the hope that the system of education is good enough and fair enough to give their kids a chance to a life where they can have the privilege of being able to read, talk, and philosophize in a way they wouldn’t otherwise if their life centered around the basic necessities.

As a first-generation immigrant who grew up in the United States, my burden is to be mature enough to realize how difficult it was for my parents to bring us over to this country. It’s difficult to partake in the rebelliousness that most American kids stereotypically get into without feeling guilty. It’s difficult to take the risks and chances that come with those fun, latenight, let’s go do something against the law sort of activities knowing that if you do get in trouble, it puts your parents to shame. They’d feel that they were failures. It’s the tug-of-war in old vs. new culture. In the United States, the general belief is that kids are different from their parents and they can be their own person. There’s more emphasis on the individual…hence capitalism.

In the Philippines, what you do is a reflection on your parents and family. More so than in the United States. Family is more important than the individual. What the individual accomplishes is because of what those before them were able to do to move the lineage forward in an ideally positive direction.

I think the trick is to find the balance between being cautious and taking risks that young people are supposed to be able to make (because we have time on our side). But also, it’s about remembering to show respect and due thanks to those who took the time to make certain sacrifices so I can take these risks and chances.

Full Lyrics

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