More Than the Sum of Our Parts

I am a big music person, without a doubt. I like quite a variety of music too. I love music that makes me dance. I love music that leads me to praise God. I love music that stirs emotions, whether they be joyful or thoughtful. But I think most of all, I love music with good lyrics.
In November, I was on an album downloading spree. I ended up choosing a few, which are all great, but my favorite by far is "Heart on My Sleeve" by Mary Lambert. I love albums that are thoughtfully put together, where it tells a story from song to song, and this is one of those albums.
 I was searching for a new to me female artist who wrote lyrics that were thoughtful yet not depressing. Mary Lambert achieves that greatly. The songs on this album are vulnerable, reflective, honest, and hopeful. They show perseverance and strength. The first song "Secrets" really sets the tone for what she wants this album to say. She sings:

"They tell us from the time we're young
to hide the things that we don't like
about ourselves inside ourselves
I know I'm not the only one
who spent so long pretending to be someone else
well I'm over it"

Mary Lambert unabashedly shares her heart, feelings and dreams with the listener and it is very refreshing.

I want to share with you my two favorite songs from the album, they both move me so much.

The first one is Monochromatic. This song describes so well what it means to be someone who feels very deeply.

When my husband and I were in premarital counseling, our pastor asked us to make a list of our top 10 favorite things about each other. Daniel said that I was passionate, and our pastor asked us for an example. He talked about a time that we were walking in the snow and saw one rubber boot left behind on the sidewalk, and I got rather emotional thinking about a one-shoed child in the snow. Another time when I was working at a berry farm a few summers ago, an old man was removing lost dog signs from our fence. I greeted him and joyfully said "you must have found your dog!" He sadly said no and walked away. I was weepy on and off for the rest of the day.

 I remember when I first discovered I was a feeler. I was in second grade and I was crying for no reason and couldn't stop. I told my mom there was always something to cry about (what ridiculously existential thoughts for an eight year old, seriously! My mom wisely told me there is always more to smile about). As I grew up I was frequently described as sensitive, later on emotional, and eventually compassionate. As I've matured I've learned how to harness this a bit (so I am not crying all the time!) and use it for good and not despair, but being someone who is hugely compassionate and feels things very deeply is a big part of who I am. Monochromatic describes this simply, beautifully, and incredibly truthfully. Here's the lyrics that really get me:

"Everybody's hurting
There's nothing more human than that
See the pieces of hearts missing
But watch how the light fills the cracks
My heart's too big for the city
My heart's too big for my own body
My heart's too big for you to understand me"

It's absolutely beautiful and sad and heartbreaking and hopeful, and it perfectly describes a big part of my heart.

My other favorite song is Sum of Our Parts. This song is powerful and inspiring. The lyrics speak for themselves:

"This is my skin that I've never fit in
I was born the queen of nowhere
This is how it begins
I wonder is this your life
Were you raised in deep water
Are they pushing you down
Are you gonna push harder

I want to know whoever broke you
I want to know how you can grow bigger
Don't go looking for some kind of rescue
You are the only one who can save you

 We are, we are more than our scars
We are, we are more than the sum of our parts

I didn't know I was a phoenix
Till I learned how to speak
Even with ashes in my mouth
I was still born to breathe
I wonder are you like me
Were you left in the fire
Are you raising yourself
Above your father's empire

 I want to know whoever broke you
I want to know how you can grow bigger
Don't go looking for some kind of rescue
You are the only one who can save you

 We are, we are more than our scars
We are, we are more than the sum of our parts

Look how bright we are
Look at all the things we have come from
Sometimes it hurts when you become them
Sometimes I bury myself in my own wreckage and
Don't want to come out
Which part of you is still in the wreckage?
Which part of you clipped your own wings?
Which part of you will begin at your own end?
Which part of you will you let live again?"

This song speaks strength, perseverance, new beginnings, hope, and the power to overcoming situations. A good reminder that we are more than our challenges or past or problems. We are more than the sum of our parts.

I'm thankful for artists who write from the heart, who write about darkness and sorrow but go past it to a place of hope and renewal. Check out this album for some thoughtful and soulful soft rock.

All of the lyrics shared in this post belong to Mary Lambert and her producers.


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