The Mood is……………………… A new segment on this blog where I try to examine the emotional depth of certain works in popular culture(songs, movies, albums, television, literature, etc.).
Album: Daydream (1995)
Writer(s): Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff
“You look at me and see the girl, Who lives inside the golden world but don’t believe that’s all there is to see. You’ll never know the real me.”
Fun Fact: The closing track on Carey’s 1995 album Daydream was written in 15 minutes. Ever heard of the phrase “everything that glitters isn’t gold?” Well the message of this song encapsulates this quote perfectly. Carey opens the song with the line “You look at me and see the girl, that lives inside the golden world but don’t believe that’s all there is to see.” What is the golden world? It is so easy to look at people we have it all and covet the things they have but the truth is we’re looking at the surface and nothing more. We can look at people we think have it all figured out and think that they’re happy of all of the time so when we they say “I’m not happy” or “I wasn’t happy” at a certain point of their lives we’re often in shock. Other people can also look at own lives and assume that we’re golden children in our golden world and that frustrates us because in our minds we think like Carey declares at the end of the first verse “You’ll never know the real me.”
“She smiles through a thousand tears and harbors adolescent fears. She dreams of all that she can never be. She wades in insecurity and hides herself inside of me.”
It is not uncommon to feel like when you are in certain settings that you have to put on a display of canned emotions that are not true to your true emotional state for the sake of professionalism or keeping up appearances. “Fake it til you make it.” is a saying a lot of us abide by. This display of canned emotions can often mask insecurity, embarrassment and hurt that we don’t want to make visible out of fear of appearing vulnerable or immature to certain individuals When we become adults some of us don’t like to admit to ourselves that we have insecurities or emotions that make us appear younger or more naive in thought in comparison to our peers.
“Don’t say that she takes it all for granted. I’m well aware of all I have. Don’t think that I am disenchanted. Please understand.”
When someone has success and prestige or what looks like a perfect life it is easy to assume that they’re complaining or acting ungrateful when they say that they aren’t happy with their lives. The protagonist is assuring the listener that she is grateful for her success and all that she has acquired from it and asking the listener to extend empathy toward her vulnerability and look at her humanity and the actual person underneath the “winner” or superstar. When we talk about the hardships in our lives, some people get so frustrated because they think “oh here he is complaining again” or “She has all of this, what is complaining for?” “Why can’t they be happy? If I had what they have, I would be happy.” It is ok to acknowledge our trials in our lives while also reflecting on the triumphs.
“It seems as though I’ve always been somebody outside looking in. Well here I am for all of them to bleed but they can’t take my heart from me and they can’t bring me to my knees. They’ll never know the real me.”
This last verse is like a realization and assertion/declaration of who the protagonist is. While Carey is pouring her heart out and being vulnerable with her audience and some people may take that as weakness, Carey is saying that they cannot break her and who she is. People may think they know who she is but she knows who she actually is. There is power in knowing who you truly despite others around you trying to define it for you.