September 2, 2013

Music Review: James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"


As I was listening to the radio the other day, the song "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt came on. Now, I realize this song is quite a few years old at this point, but I remember a time when this song was so over-played that it was frequently stuck in my head. I suppose that's how #1 hits are! Anyway--as I was listening to the lyrics, I must admit that I developed quite a beef with this song. Bear with me...this will be a rant.
[DISCLAIMER: I realize this song is not written from a Christian perspective, but do think that believers can get hooked into this mentality, though...especially we who are young women!]
To most listeners, "You're Beautiful" is just an oober-romantic song about an unrequited (or unfulfilled) love gone by; however, I see the song as a subtle, yet fully identifiable attack against a godly pursuit of marriage. In our culture, we've become too accepting of an "I see it...I want it...I gotta' have it!" mentality. But God's Word tells us this type of attitude is A) covetousness and B) adultery of the mind.
Let's go back to Blunt's lyrics: the first line of the song states, "My life is brilliant; my love is pure." The first problem is that his love IS NOT pure. Why is this? Well, as you read to the following declarations, you'll see the impurity: he sings, "She smiled at me on the subway; she was with another man. But I won't lose no sleep on that 'cause I've got a plan." So...is his plan to break them up? To have an affair? What? This sounds more than a little shady to me, girls.
Moving on, the chorus focuses solely on the woman's outer beauty, saying that he "saw [her] face in a crowded place," bemoaning the fact that he's so in love with her, but it'll never work. From his words, "She caught my eye as we walked on by"...did anyone catch a conversation taking place? Was there any time spent getting to know each other? All of these feelings he says he has are based on brief, chance encounters where he only catches a glimpse of this girl. In a godly view, a true pursuit of committed love is not characterized by the "[lust] at first sight" image I see in this song. Blunt continues with, "I don't think that I'll see her again, but we shared a moment that will last 'til the end." Which moment? 'Til the end of what? Honestly...as the song goes on, my questions build a mile high.
Although I could go on in speculation about this song for a while...I guess what it comes down to is this: when I was in middle and high school, I had the mentality found in the lyrics. I had crush after crush on boy after boy--most girls do. But over the past few years, I've been researching and teaching young girls about godly relationships. The main thing I dislike about this song is that I can identify--at least, my 7th grade, 10th grade, and sophomore-in-college, self can. Unfulfilled desire for a boyfriend sucks the life out of young girls every day. Girls cry themselves to sleep at night over guys that should never mean that much to them. So often, I was distracted from growing in the Lord as a teenager because I obsessed about relationships that God never meant to be. Yes, the tune of this song is entrancing; and yes, the timbre of Blunt's voice is appealing. However, as God's children, growing in His truth, we must choose to listen to things that build us up. I refuse to delight in a song that seeks only to transport me back into all those old feelings and old memories when the Lord has SO much more in store for my life.
Please, ladies...seek to challenge the stuff you take into your eyes and ears. If it falls short of encouraging you in Christ, seek to see it for what it is and possibly root it out of your life. Let us not seek to fill our hearts and minds with easily memorizable lyrics that lead us back into the bondage of sin or hopeless worldly desires. Let's all seek to do better!

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