mic drop monday?
No, it’s not. It’s Black Swan Monday! I keep mentioning how this song really inspired me and got me back into the writing groove, so I thought I’d showcase this song for today’s Monday Music post. And this will also double as my writing post.
First, the way this song was dropped on A.R.M.Y. wasn’t with a teaser and music video (oh my gosh, today’s 1 hour Butter melting animation has me so curious as to what they have in store for us next month. I swear, BTS be making us all look like clowns, all the time, but let me get back on topic!)
On January 17, 2020, ‘Black Swan’ Art Film performed by MN Dance Company was released. Now, this was a solid month before the album came out and about 10 days before they premiered the song on The Late Late Show with James Corden. I was absolutely mesmerized. From the first opening of the video, the quote by Martha Graham, “a dancer dies twice—once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful.” Substitute the words writer and writing, and there you are.
So why do I credit this song in particular, when there are so many other songs from BTS that also speak to me on such a personal level? Because it’s about losing one’s passion for what they love.
“the heart no longer races when hearing the music play” …
“if this can no longer resonate, no longer make my heart vibrate”
For years I had been in a slump with my writing, putting out only a few small stories here and there, but nothing was really making me feel that rush I get when I’m writing from the heart and the words just pour onto the page like a floodgate’s been opened. So from these lines in the opening verses, I was already relating to the story in this song.
“heartbeat pulsing slow in my ears” …
“crying out a silent cry”
“my wandering feet held in a rut”
“every noise and sound’s been cut”
That’s pretty much how I felt, like my heart wasn’t really beating normally, like my voice wasn’t being heard. My writing, my storytelling, were definitely in a rut, and no characters were speaking to me.
“slowly, I open my eyes, I’m in my workroom, it’s my studio” …
“but I’ll never get dragged away again” …
“inside, I saw myself”
“heartbeat racing in my ears” …
“I shout out with ferocity”
And then, focus, seeing myself, seeing what needed to be said, what I wanted to share, I was able to “shout out with ferocity” by using my words, by crafting stories.
So, yeah, a very personal song. And for the videos, I leave you with three versions of Black Swan:
1) the MN Dance Company version, in which these dancers so grippingly convey the story. because it is danced so beautifully and because it was the first version of the song I heard.
2) the instrumental version from the opening of their 2020 MMA performance. there’s some slightly annoying background noise in this one but I didn’t want to push the full 17min performance on you all. (and by all, I mean you 2 or 3 readers 😉 )
3) the performance during BTS week on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. this is one of my favorite lives of this song because the set is stunning.
I really do recommend watching these videos even if the music isn’t your style, your taste. You can always turn the volume down and just watch these dances. 🙂
Thanks so much for reading through this and listening to me. Remember, as BTS continuously promotes, “love yourself, speak yourself.” Peace!