International Tales : France

Participation from France, by Anonymous

Anonymous, 22 years old, lives in Bordeaux and studies Biology. This person does not want to share her identity, but her work still appears, I thank her for trusting me.

Youth & death – How Harry Styles’ Sign of the times made me view things differently

When I think about something that matters for me, it is not folkloric stories that come to my mind, but modern music that help to build my identity. Modern music helped so many of us growing up: strangers are able to put words on what are the complex feelings that you have and can’t process being young. It is so heartwarming to feel seen and understood when you feel like no one gets you. “Sign of the times” was that kind of special song to me growing up and I hope it will resonate within your sour soul as it did to mine.

If you want to listen the song while reading me, please click on the image that will sent you on the Youtube song ! With English subtitles

Where do we go when we die ? Do we realise what is happening to us ? Is it just like going to sleep ? Those are questions we all asked ourselves when we were young. But as the time flew, it seemed like most of us chose to forget it, as in a way of fleeing the harsh reality of what’s coming for us. Some people, some teenagers and young adult stayed there and didn’t move on: why is everybody just forgetting that we are building ourselves a life on nothing, for nothing, about nothing ? If we’re doomed, then what’s the goal ?

I was 10 when I started asking myself those questions. But as the time flew, they grew into a darkness I couldn’t fight alone. It became a huge part of my everyday life and thoughts as I envisioned myself being abandoned by the ones I loved. So when ” Sign of the Times ” came out, I understood that I wasn’t alone in my pitch black and death-ridden mind.

I understood that some of us youngsters were the same, panicking about something we couldn’t do anything about. I understood that there was a way out of this Dante’s first circle of hell I was stucked in. In modern music, we often hear lyrics telling us that we must fight when death arrives, as if we were some supernatural beings.

> This song was a revolution for me: accepting the way it ends for all of us, without fighting of suffering was something I rarely heard. Pain doesn’t go away as we lose a loved one, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Just stop your crying, have the time of your life. It’s a sign of the times.

At 10, you have lived nothing. At 30, you have lived nothing. But maybe the answer is right below our eyes. Maybe realising you have achieved everything you wanted in life is the gate to peacefulness and death acceptance. As I’m in my early twenties, I am not cured, and I still am afraid of death. But I’m hopeful that one day I’ll be able to accept the ending with no regrets, and that is my salvation. I’m sure of nothing but that’s the way I choose to cope with the fear. Marx said: « Religion is the opium of people ». I now accept to blind myself from the hard truth. Music is my religion.

Anonymous chose to illustrate her text with an illustration which is the representation of the engraving of Gustave Doré, 1st circle of Dante’s hell. The hell of Dante contains many floors including the 1st floor “Les Limbes” (vague place where souls who have not sinned but who cannot go to Paradise for lack of baptism awaits). There is Dante in the center, accompanied by a group of writers who rejected the existence of God (including Virgil). This engraving, like the song, helped them to deal with and accept death, without the religious precepts that can guide across.

Citer ce billet
noaderycke (2023, 11 décembre). International Tales : France. Festival Transversales. Consulté le 25 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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