Stromae and Pocahontas? What could possibly link them? Well, when I listened to the song ‘Déclaration’ on Stromaes new album ‘Multitude’, it led me to reflect on different things. I share them with you in this review.
In these times, there are not many famous artists who I am really intrigued about. I find it a pity sometimes that so much music doesn’t have deeper meaning in their lyrics and that the voices of artists have become so mechanical. I miss the old songs sometimes.
Stromae is an exception to this, in my opinion. I am incredibly grateful that he came back with a new album and masterpiece videoclips. It’s noticeable how much work and thought he and his team put into creating it. Every little detail seems to have a huge meaning. Not always understood rationally, but with our soul.
Stromae's new album: universal topics & world rhythms
In his new album, Stromae speaks about different topics and uses different rhythms. I appreciate him being honest about what he’s been through. How he felt/feels alone sometimes and had suicidal thoughts. In this world, it is something that so many people deal with (that’s also why I created “I am listening to your story”) and I truly believe music and artists literally save people’s lives. There are rhythms in Stromae’s album that I recognize from South America - Cumbia from my times in Peru, Brazilian funk from my time in Brazil. It almost became a trip down memory lane in that way.
Déclaration & Pocahontas' Colors of the Wind
The song that really felt nostalgic and brought real feelings back is Déclaration. When I listened to it, I was brought back to a feeling that I couldn’t pinpoint. It was with this part:
“Mais faudrait surtout pas que madame porte la culotte
Même si la charge mentale, on sait bien qui la porte
Et si être féministe est devenu à la mode
C'est toujours mieux vu d'être un salaud qu'une salope”
Which means in English:
“But above all, don’t let her wear the panties
Even if the mental load, we know well who is carrying it
And if being a feminist has become fashionable
It’s always better seen to be a bastard than a slut”
The lyrics made me cry and realize the importance and influence of artists again. The number of women that will feel seen and heard by just listening to these words is healing in itself. Also, the refrain in this song where he says it will be alright feels soothing, and almost has the same calming effect like when Bob Marley says that every little thing is gonna be all right in his Three Little Birds song. Words have power. Songs can be spells.
The part of the song Déclaration written above has a melody that brought me back to my youth. To a beautiful young woman's voice that almost felt like it had enchanted me. I was trying to remember where I knew the melody from, until I realized I knew it from Disney! I started singing more and more parts of the melody and finally realized it was Pocahontas in the Disney movie who had also sung this melody!
Colors of the wind by Pocahontas - original sample
I had almost forgotten about Pocahontas’ existence but I was eager to search for the song again. I think the last time I listened to it was in my childhood. I loved how the exact part where she sings this melody in “Colors of the wind” has the following lyrics:
“You think you own whatever land you
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew”
And then I became silent. Right there I just felt like giving Stromae my utmost respect, blessing him and thanking him. Even though he might have chosen to just use this melody because it is soothing, energetically this feels very deep.
Spirits in nature & colonizers’ mindset
In a world where we all live further and further away from (our) nature, where modernity takes over, where respect for nature is gone, where the different nature beings, such as trees and water, are seen as mere objects, we don’t understand anymore that Spirit is alive in nature. That there used to be a reciprocal respectful relationship between human beings and all the other beings of nature.
We took care of one another. Water took care of us, we took care of water. The plants and trees provided for us, so we thanked them and made sure they were taken care of. And not harmed. It is an indigenous way of living.
Now, we as human beings think we are better than other nature beings. We think we can own things, we think we can own others.
The more we own the better, in this society of greed and power. We have all adopted a colonizer’s mindset. We have all misunderstood, living in an illusion. This superiority mindset is destructive. Looking at nature as if it isn’t alive but dead is sad. We are nature, too. Does this mean we also look at ourselves like this?
The fact that Stromae uses exactly this melody in his song ‘Déclaration’ that is about the inequality between women and men in our society, is striking to say the least. Both Pocahontas singing in the original sample song and Stromae singing in his song are bringing a message forward to/about people who believe they are better than someone else or see themselves that way and the results of it. Be it the colonizers mindset and the effects it has on the natural world, or imbalanced patriarchal energy and the effects it has on women.
Bittersweet aftertaste with Disney’s Pocahontas
The Disney movie Pocahontas has a bittersweet aftertaste. I loved it as a child but re-watching it as an adult makes me see the different layers. Even though it had this beautiful song “Colors of the wind” and other symbolism in the movie, the makers didn’t succeed in creating the movie without the colonizer “winning” or a white man “saving” the indigneous people. It’s contradictory with the other messages they bring forward in the movie, coming from the indigenous way of life.
Members of the Powhatan Nation, the descendants of Pocahontas (yes, she isn’t just a Disney character), made a declaration, where they state that they don’t agree with the movie. The declaration states that the movie “distorts history beyond recognition” and they lament Disney “perpetuating a dishonest and self-serving myth and using the real story, which is a sad story, for entertainment”. You can read the declaration here. I find it interesting that Stromae titled the song Déclaration, given that this Powhatan Nation also wrote a declaration. Stromae’s Déclaration & the Powhatan Nation’s declaration contain words that are important to take to heart and to let sink in. What is really going on here?
To me it is obvious that so many things in this world are upside down. A lot of the truth is twisted and therefore misunderstood. A lot of the shows and movies we see, songs we hear contribute to our belief systems and they program our minds in subconscious ways.
There is a lot of confusion. I am happy that with the offerings, ceremonies and teachings I am bringing into this world I am able to bring people closer to their own nature again & therefore contribute to clarity, purpose and respect for one another. My wish is that we all can bring our own gifts & talents forward in this world so that we can be in service to one another and all the beings, finding mutual respect, equality and harmony in our diversity, feeling happy and free. Asé.
Thank you for reading. Have a great day!