Arts & Culture

Sign of the Times: The Stylish Cry for Equality

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A strong ballad that reminds you of the quintessential essence of Music, Harry Style’s Sign of the Times echoes our struggle for equality and keeps our hopes alive for the young must conquer. 

There’s a special thing about Music and lyric – it’s eternal presence; the ever long availability and it’s the ability to feed in artificial and human memory makes it a significant instrument to strike the chords of change that are hard to achieve otherwise. These crisp, short, hard-hitting words in sumptuous symphonies or in an amalgamation of rock and roll deploy a certain kind of adrenaline rush. Coupled with the popular stars who have an increasing base and reach, the theme of political and social relevance often finds a place in their approach and outset that promulgates important messages. 

From Beatles to Beyonce, music together with other performance arts has been an important tool to achieve social objectives, from racism to mental health and in dealing with events like elections and gun violence in the states. ‘Every revolution has a sound,’ the echoes of the modern struggle for equality is well observed in many songs but for many specific reasons I choose Harry Styles debut solo single ‘Sign of the Times.’

A subtle and splendid number from the ex One Directioner, was a surprise to many that harkens back to David Bowie transcending the 70s to modern geopolitical context, ‘Sign of the Times’ takes somewhat an eschatological end born out of the political suffering. 

The lyrics of the song are just like the untangling of the complexity of an extreme simpleton, basic words, strong sentences, construct hard phrases that leave ambiguous interpretations. The song is about the pangs of a dying woman who is being separated from her child after childbirth, she has five minutes for being all the moral and didactic to her child who needs to ‘conquer the world’ as the reality approaches, but is that it? In an interview with Rolling Stone, Styles talks about the ‘Fundamentals’ that inspire him for this piece, things like Equality, Human Rights. Styles compels us to think about these basic things that are often sought to be an obligation on the part of the authority are due essentials on the part of every single being. 

In a further exchange with the New York Times, Styles takes on the political upheaval and catastrophes ensuing the show of political superiority in the world, he talks how the outside chaos in the world can’t be segregated from his song. He says, “We’re in a difficult time, and I think we’ve been in many difficult times before.” Further quotes, “But we happen to be in a time where things happening around the world are absolutely impossible to ignore … It’s very much me looking at that. It’s a time when it’s very easy to feel incredibly sad about a lot of things.”

The current situation appropriately explains the lyrics and the feelings that a significant amount of population carries in times of distress, the sense of freedom, the idea of hope to calm the human emotions that are inevitable in a crisis as such. Sceptical about it? Remember the lines. 

“Just stop your crying It’s a sign of the times We gotta get away from here We gotta get away from here Just stop your crying It’ll be alright They told me that the end is near We gotta get away from here”


Image Credits: spin

Faizan Salik

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