Fear or Freedom lyrics analysis

March 3, 2020Behind The Lyrics0 Comments

I really enjoyed making this song! It’s one of the more uplifting, fun songs, but still has deep underlying messages.

I really wanted to write a song about anxiety and talk about how it holds you back. You don’t necessarily realise how much anxiety hinders you until it’s gone. Once that anxiety is gone, it feels so freeing!

“I declare I was most anxious
Wearing coats just like a blanket
To freeze or flee was my reaction
There was a dragon in my fragment

Of imagination, I panicked
Now I seek tranquil for my anguish
Substantial damage, was a bandit
Stole my joy, I had to capture it”

I like wearing my coat because it makes me feel protected and safe. It is one way I feel less anxious. “To freeze or flee” is a reference to two of the three common responses to anxiety (fight, flight, freeze) and talks about how a person might freeze or run away from the things that frighten them. ‘There was a dragon in my fragment of imagination’ means that a person can often fear things that don’t exist, these fears are only in their mind. I describe anxiety as being a “bandit”, something that steals a person’s pleasure and ruins their experience of life.

“I’ll be frank, I say that I’m gangsta
I won’t be hampered, see me just vanquish
Thanks for my canvas, time for some acting
Alis Rowe, you know, the assassin”

I really wanted to get the word “gangsta” into at least one of my songs since I really like gangsta rap! Lol! It was a bit of a fun line for me. I won’t get away with using it in most of my songs but I could just about get away with it in this one lol! More seriously, this paragraph is about recognising that a higher being has given me a “canvas”, i.e. a body and a brain, and it’s up to me to use it to solve my problems. There’s also a reference here to the third response to anxiety, which is ‘anger’. I wanted to make a point that we can flee or freeze, but we can also fight our anxiety. And we can try to eventually kill it.

“Emotions don’t shadow my captain
Won’t imagine what doesn’t happen
I fell off but I got back on my wagon
I’m steadfast, now’s the expansion”

People should not allow their emotions to take over their intelligence (their “captain”). Emotions can be incredibly strong and upsetting, however, emotions do always pass. “Falling off and getting back on the wagon” refers to that we might go a bit off track occasionally but we can get back up again. Often it’s recovering from difficult times that make us more resilient. We “expand” our mental strength from going through hard times.

“I didn’t have dreams, I couldn’t see
Fear took away my self and esteem
Absent destiny deservedly
Bears and tigers I was stuck between”

This talks about fear destroying a person’s self-confidence and not allowing them to have the future they deserve or reach their potential. “Bears and tigers” was inspired by a quote from The Wizard of Oz. It means that a person might feel there is danger all around them.

“A lion conceals, he achieves no deeds
Lying between life and death, I redeemed
I went out there so that I could be free
I came out my mind to enter reality”

There’s another bit of Wizard of Oz inspiration, because it refers to the cowardly lion. A lion hides away and doesn’t achieve anything. “Lying between life and death I redeemed” means that it can sometimes only be when we face our darkest fears that we overcome them. People often have to come out of their comfort zone in order to develop confidence.

“Fear kills more than failing ever
Just get up and do it ay, be the possessor
You only get brave if you on the adventure
Time is all we have so it’s now or it’s never”

I think this paragraph is self-explanatory!

“On the other side of fear yo that’s my freedom
I’m seeing it in the distance
And I’ve got my reasons, my ideas
I’ll chase it… and I’ll stop sleeping”

When I read this paragraph I have a strong image in my head of a long bridge or a lot clouds that are blocking my vision… but far away you can just about make out “freedom”, which looks like whatever you want it to look. For me, it looks like a beautiful city which I would love to enter. I have plenty of goals but I am only able to achieve them if I stop “sleeping” like a cowardly lion.

“I never lived, I just existed
Limited, I didn’t witness
The things I’d have benefit from
I just hid, listless and witless”

Anxiety stops people from truly living. It can even stop people from making use of strategies that are going to help them.

“I was tearful, it was viscous
Since villains though, I was fearless
Recognise that I was gifted
I drive my ride, unrestricted”

Life can be really frightening, but once a person faces their fears, they may become “fearless”. Once fear is overcome, a person can really start to recognise and appreciate their worth and live a life feeling free.

“I was imprisoned and I didn’t even know
And now that I’m out all the power that I hold
I play it on a console like I rule the world
Cuz fear only comes when I lose control”

Anxiety traps a person, but the person may not even know they are trapped. When anxiety is gone, a person can feel powerful. Anxiety makes a person feel as though they have no control over their life.

“Ensure yourself you truly know
Even though elves are small they can have big shadows
Be a hero cuz you don’t feel sorrow
So build your mind windows cuz fear made it narrow”

The first step to managing anxiety is to understand what makes you anxious (“ensure yourself you truly know”). Everyone is on a continual journey of self-discovery. Finding out what your triggers are – what makes you happy or sad is key. Knowledge is power and self-knowledge is a superpower!

Even little things can feel like big battles (“even though elves are small they can have big shadows”). Anxiety can narrow your mind and make you very self-centered and self-conscious. It can make you think about things in a distorted or negative way. When anxiety is gone, you often see things in a much clearer and more positive way! “Windows” in your mind are really important!

I hope this explains the lyrics and the song. I hope you enjoy the song. Thanks so much for your support!

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