This Monday our Song of Empowerment is made up of 4 parts. This week’s titles are: “How far I’ll Go”, “How Far I’ll Go (Reprise)”, “I am Moana (Song of Ancestors)” and “Know Who You Are”. When combined together they so beautifully show an evolution of the character. Each part shows where the character, Moana, is in her evolution of becoming confident and owning who she is.
These songs are from the Moana Soundtrack, which you can find on iTunes or listen to on Amazon Prime Music.
The first song reveals the pressures of roles she needs to fulfill: “..wishing I could be the perfect daughter but I come back to the water no matter how hard I try…” She is the Chief’s daughter and is, of course, being trained to become a leader on the island, but there is also an underlying fear from her father about the passion she has for the water. She begins the song excited about the water, which would later be revealed to be a crucial part of her life’s purpose. She then informs us of her guilt for wanting to chase after the water and not stay on the island. This is something we can all relate to: knowing something deep inside of us and juggling the different roles our loved ones need us to be.
The second song is a reprise with the words, “..all the time wandering where I need to be is behind me…” bursts with certainty of what she needs to do. She knows at this point what her purpose is and is no longer afraid of taking the next step to take on her passion. We can relate to the angst of knowing we have a purpose, we have something great in us that, when it becomes clear what we need to do next, it is such a fantastic relief.
The third song is ‘I Am Moana’ and tells us “..nothing can silence the voice inside you..do you know who you are?..” Can anyone else relate to this line? I know there are times when I forget who I am, what I am meant to be doing, but when I hear this part of the song I become confident in myself and remember who I am.
The last song is ‘Know Who You Are’ wherein Moana sings to the island’s lava “I know your name.” This song brings tears to my eyes each time I hear it. Those who have seen the movie know that Moana’s mission involves restoring the heart to the island. Moana comes to realize the once-luscious green island, which is represented as female, has become consumed by its own pain and is angry and unforgiving; she is not who she really is. We all have these moments. In this part of the song, I interpret Moana recognizing the pain this island felt and how it made her into something she is not. The best part is Moana recognizes her and reminds her that “this is not who you are”. It not only shows Moana acknowledging the island’s pain but she sings “this does not define you / this is not who you are / you know who you are” give the island the ability to self-reflect. It is not about Moana pointing out how the island is not itself; it’s about giving the island that recognition of pain, reminder of forgiveness, and choice of choosing to be her truer self.
Moana was a fantastic film with such a wonderful development of its title character. The best part is you can hear it in the music without even knowing the film if you listen closely enough.