The Power of a Song

The Power of a Song

I am not afraid to admit that Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes” video was a thing to behold when I was in junior high school. That ending…I did not mind it at all! But it was another song by Adam and the Ants that really — actually — mattered: “Prince Charming.”

Prince Charming

In another time, pushed way down inside the person I once was…I’m not afraid to admit that this song saved my life — and probably the lives of those who picked on me in 7th and 8th grade. I would never even vaguely condone a school shooting, but I will say I understand why a lost kid would do such a thing at a time when a month feels like a lifetime, and it’s so hard to see that a handful of years do not equal an eternity.

And so, Adam Ant’s “Prince Charming” spoke to me, mostly in three lines:

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of…

Don’t you ever lower yourself, forgetting all your standards…

Respect yourself, and all of those around you…

That first and last line in particular hit me like few things at that time in my life. Looking back, it seems like I was another person entirely, trapped in a time that only existed in a story.

Sure, the lyrics mattered to me, but I didn’t realize then what that character meant to so many people…

What Mattered

The end of the “Goody Two Shoes” video was like something come to life from the pages of the magazines I had tucked away under my bed. For others, Adam Ant was a character blurring the lines of everything sexual, an androgynous being with whom to identify. I discovered this music about the time I read The World According to Garp by John Irving — so the transsexual character of Roberta Muldoon didn’t bother me at all; in fact, Roberta will always be a favorite literary character, no matter how over-the-top Irving sold her.

Lines were blurred, and while I was definitely a heterosexual, I realized there were people who were not easy to classify at the time, but…who personified the same feelings of being on the outside looking in that I felt.

People (Are People)

I didn’t care what people “were,” as long as they were good people. When some friends came out as gay after high school…it made sense to me because we all clustered together out of strength in numbers, whether the thing we hid was that we’d been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1978 or that we were gay all along. It hit me pretty early on: if I was friends with someone the day before I found out some secret about them, why would finding out a truth they hid for years change anything?

If you were my friend — we were friends!

I have one transgendered friend (that I know of). When I found out, nothing changed. It wasn’t a big thing to me because friendship comes from the heart. Gay, transgendered, or anyone else…treat me well, and I’ll do the same for you. Being a protective individual, I’ll even fight a little harder for those who get knocked by society than I will for myself.

Prince Charming

“Prince Charming” is a song I’ll always carry deep in my heart. As hokey as it may be, it’s a song that helped me love myself in a time when I felt nobody else did. But more than that, it ensured I later loved all my friends who were different in the eyes of so many people, but who were — and will always be — people I love as much as I was taught to love myself by an androgynous pirate in the 80s…

Comments

  1. Yes! 🙂

    I had such a crush on Adam Ant. What style! And his music…

    I’m glad his song saved your life. Sometimes it’s those messages that make it through the noise and pain that help us survive.

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