Like you are my brother
Love me like a mother
Will you be there?
Ever wanted a song to hold you like the River Jordan?
“Will You Be There”; a hit from the 90s yet very timely today, is a must-heard song in times of turmoil. Endearing, calming and full of life. We are living through turbulence as we face the aftermath of a pandemic that resulted an economic instability, along with it is a bulk of other issues. For anyone at risk of damage of their mental health, this year is difficult more than ever.
According to the World Health Organization, this coronavirus pandemic can cause a drastic fallout in mental health. What can we do? To start with, we can have a sweet conversation with our family or through virtual communication, our friends. It’s nice to turn away from the darkness of the current events for a while and face an array of supportive individuals who will care, whom will serve as your light of the night. Along with that, a song so warm it will calm your heart which will be very beneficial as many of us is in panic and worse, showing symptoms of anxiety.
There’s no more any fitting time to have a good melody to blast out to keep us going in our lives. One I would recommend would be from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. “Will You Be There” from the album Dangerous, is yet another Michael Jackson masterpiece, released on June 28, 1993.
The song is basically asking someone if she/he will care enough to be there “in the darkest hour, in deepest despair.” This line alone encapsulates our situation today. When times are tough, we all need someone to accompany, though not always physically but in heart and soul.
The song starts off with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus singing a segment of Beethoven’s ninth symphony. In German lyrics written by Friedrich Schiller, it sung about seeking the Creator “beyond the starry canopy.” Then, it goes on with the angelic voice of MJ telling the listener (or whomever it is addressed) to hold him like the River Jordan, to carry him like he is his brother, love him like a mother, and essentially to be there in times of confusion.
Personally, I hold this song so dearly and I keep it stored in my heart. Though I have only heard the song later in life (in fact, just earlier today), it reminds me of a beloved friend I lost due to a sickness. She was one of my teammates as we are both athletes but in different fields. Her last message to me through Facebook Messenger was when she notified me that she will be coming on the ongoing medical inspection for the upcoming athletic season.
She wrote, “Mo anha ko.” Roughly translated, she said “I will be there,” to remind me that she will catch up. Even though it didn’t really directly said that she “will be there” for me at my darkest hour like in the song and as much as I would love if she did said that, the message still holds a sentimental value as her last text and it also summarizes our relationship as we always catch up with each other. Along with it is a desire to hear her say “Mo anha ko” from her once more, in assurance that she is somewhere present and will be there with me soon.
As I go on through the depths of the lyrics, I realized that it is not only addressed to a friend, a family or a lover. The prologue inspired from Beethoven’s symphony and particularly its corresponding lyrics, suggests that it could also be addressed to an All-Powerful and Creator, and as stated in the song, the One we should “seek beyond the starry canopy.”
"Are you falling down, millions? Do you sense the Creator, world? Look for him above the starry canopy, He must live above the stars"
- 𝐴 𝑠𝑒𝑔𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝐵𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑛'𝑠 𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑡ℎ 𝑠𝑦𝑚𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑛𝑦. 𝐹𝑟𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐺𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑙𝑦𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑆𝑐ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝐸𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑖𝑠ℎ.
On this unfortunate time, it’s also important to have faith, if you’re religious — to God or Allah, or to whichever you believe in. We need to have something to grasp when all seems to fall. We need the guidance of an All-Knowing to guide us with our choices when “everyone’s taking control.” This song will teach us to admit that “we’re only human,” and thus we cannot make it all ourselves. We need guidance, a source of light—whether faith on the One beyond the starry canopy or the stars itself—fellow human beings around us, who will give a glimpse of light in our darkest hours, to support us and help us “walk when not able.”
I very much endorse this peace of art from the legendary Michael Jackson because aside from its harmonious tune perfect to clear our mind from stressful thoughts, it would also be lovely if we altogether learn the lyrics, sing them and send them through voice messaging to the ones we really care about, to show and remind them that we will be there in their trials, tribulations, doubts and frustration. Especially in this time of fear, turbulence and violence, we should carry each other boldly, as this song encouraged.