Shatter Me, a piece featuring Lindsey Stirling and Lzzy Hale, is an incredible musical masterpiece. It portrays the struggle the majority of humanity face each day; the exhausting task of following the crowd and giving the impression that we are flawless beings in an attempt to be accepted and admired by society. We spend hours ensuring our next social media post promotes our perfection and conceals our weaknesses. We strive to impress others, make them idolize us, even envy us. Yet far beneath our delicate porcelain shell, we all yearn to break free.
“I pirouette in the dark, I see the stars through me. Tired mechanical heart, beats til’ the song disappears.”
This first verse segment describes our hearts as mechanical, beating until the song ends. Typically, when considering the traits of machinery, one might envision perfect, precise, robotic devices. Each fragment is designed to follow their individual tasks, and cease only when their programmer causes them to. Today, our “tired mechanical hearts” have adapted and been programmed to pursue the latest trends and the crowd rather than our own personal ambitions. These meaningless, worldly obsessions are what keep our robotic hearts beating and provides us with a false sense of accomplishment and purpose. However, the very second certain trends and figures lose public interest, we desperately search for the next thing to occupy our time with as if our very survival depends on it.
“Somebody shine a light, I’m frozen by the fear in me, somebody make me feel alive and shatter me! So cut me from the line, dizzy spinning endlessly, somebody make me feel alive and shatter me!”
These lyrics seem to depict a cry for help. We all discreetly romanticize the limitless realities that could occur if we simply broke away from the crowd. We all desire to escape the consuming, critical world of social media, to take risks and be different from the world, but are stopped by the doubt and fear which arouses within us. We worry that others will disapprove of us, reject us from society. Finally, the narrator pleads for somebody to make her feel alive and shatter her. This may be the most ironic piece of the song. When picturing destruction, many times we visualize an object being obliterated or torn to pieces. Revival and renewal often give the impression of something being pieced back together, such as creating bonds between a once broken family. In this instance, however, she begs to be shattered. Imagine that beautiful mask we all wear, the one social media outlets like Snapchat so easily provide, the one your followers admire, the one that conceals our scars and imperfections, being entirely shattered and revealing our true identities.
“If I break the glass then I’ll have to fly, there’s no one to catch me if I take a dive. I’m scared of change and the days stay the same, the world is spinning but only in gray.”
The bridge, building up to one last chorus, may be one of the most significant fractions of the song. In these lines, the narrator appears to be speaking to herself, reminding herself that if she decides to take this risk, this dive into the unknown, that she is going in alone. No one will be able to save her if she begins drowning. She overcomes this fear by admitting to herself that she is afraid, but recognizing how exhausted she is of living everyday exactly like the one before… a draining, ceaseless routine throughout life. Yes, life may be confusing at the moment, but how will you be able to find a better path when it is all the same dull shade of gray?
The rigid, powerful vocals and beautiful instruments, especially the violin, complement and empower each other beautifully to create this masterpiece, portraying this struggle of adolescents everywhere. This piece can overwhelm anyone willing to listen with a surge of realization and motivation. Many people are trapped inside this glass globe, a place where everything must be perfect. Just as a flawless ballerina spinning endlessly inside a beautiful snow-globe attracts the attention of young children, we often surround ourselves with fake, materialistic things to promote ourselves and attract the approval and praise of others.
Nevertheless, the weight of the masks we wear will become unbearable and suffocating, and we will exhaust ourselves from keeping up this act. As we attempt to break the glass, however, our worry weakens our blows. We fear that when we step outside, this perfect, porcelain outer-shell will shatter and our true identity, including our flaws, will be revealed to the world. Do not be afraid to take risks, to break free from the cycle of trends and go in a different direction than the rest of the crowd. Be willing to embrace your own differences and acknowledge your flaws, not cover them up. The beautiful message that this eye-opening song delivers is this: if you are yearning to escape from an exhausting, repetitive, aimless reality… if you have a true, burning desire to redeem yourself and break free from a fake world, if you want to piece back and mend the broken aspects of your life, you have to shatter yourself first.
Listen to the song here: