;Like a Skyscraper;
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass “Like a skyscraper…” You may have heard the once popular songs “Wade in the Water”, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, and “Follow the Drinking Gourd”.
In the time of Frederick Douglass, the slaves sang while they worked. Slave songs were imbued with code and hidden meanings that were difficult for slave owners to interpret. These songs were the only means for the slaves to express their sadness and despair. Today, there are many ballads that do this as well. One of these is “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato. This humane and ineffable track was a way for Lovato to reach out to her fans, and express her feelings at the time.
“Skyscraper” reached a global level, touching fans all around the world, as well as affecting the artist and myself. “It’s a long way down, but I am closer to the clouds up here…” “Skyscraper” is about overcoming difficulties, and rising above them. In an interview with the artist, Demi Lovato said, “This song is so special to me because it’s inspired by my journey and the struggles that I’ve dealt with this past year. I hope people are able to relate to it and realize that they are able to rise above and overcome any obstacle, no matter the circumstances, and shine like a skyscraper.” Lovato had struggled with various issues in the past, including anorexia, bulimia, and many different addictions with drugs, alcohol, and self harm. “Skyscraper”, recorded right before she went into treatment, was written to inspire young girls that have gone through the same things as her, and let them know that everything will be okay, as well as work towards a life emancipated from the plague of bullying.
The effect that “Skyscraper” had on the world was substantial. It topped the charts in seven different countries, and was translated to three different languages; Spanish, German, and Filipino. “Skyscraper” reached number one in the United States, number four in the UK and Canada, number thirty five in Germany, number sixty three in Spain, and number twenty four in Australia. These statistics show that it had an impact on people all around the globe. “You can take everything I have, You can break everything I am…” Additionally, “Skyscraper” had an effect on the artist, Demi Lovato as well.
She recorded two versions, one in 2010 during her darker days, and one when she was let out of rehab, but she told E News, “It just didn’t feel the same, so we kept the original one. For me it was … so symbolic, it being the song I recorded before treatment and yet it was providing a message. It’s so crazy the way things played out, that it ended up being my symbol and it represented what I’m trying to spread the word about: getting help and rising above any issues that [I and] my fans are dealing with.
” Before, Demi had become a target of public odium when the paparazzi, who execrate her, snapped a picture of her cuts. She went to treatment and became an inspiration. Now Demi is respected and thought of as a role model to many girls in our generation. Nobody acts impertinent about her actions anymore. This tune, while helping many young fans through their problems, also helped Demi herself. It was a way for her to overcome her own issues, and help her fans do the same with theirs.
“Like I’m made of glass, Like I’m made of paper…” As well as having an effect on the world, “Skyscraper” has also had a large effect on my life. Whenever I am feeling down or hopeless, I can listen to it, and I know it will make me feel better. For example, one day I had gotten yelled at in school, and had a really bad day. As I was walking home, tears in my eyes, I was listening to music when “Skyscraper” came on. For the first time, I really listened to the lyrics, and the message they were sending.
Many people’s opinions are discordant about the meaning of the song, and it means something different to every person. Demi Lovato says, “I’m not going to be perfect, but … if I can make it through the day, that’s all that matters,” I could really relate to this, and the melody helped me to make it through the day.
As it did to many other teenage girls, this song reached my heart, and taught me to never give up hope, and rise like a skyscraper. “Go on and try to tear me down, I will be rising from the ground…” In conclusion, the song “Skyscraper” has had a large effect on the whole world, including myself, the target audience, and the artist. Just like the slave songs, “Skyscraper” was a way to express deep pain and regret, but also a way to express overcoming those things. Demi Lovato has used her forte for song writing to reach many girls. Overall, “Skyscraper” will earn much homage, and will not be forgotten for a very long time because it is so symbolic. “Like a skyscraper…”