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I thought I would share one of my favourite songs. I don’t have a “top ten”, I have a “top hundred+” but this song has definitely stood the test of time and the repeat button. I chose to share this song because of the power behind the lyrics. Listening to music serves to ease tensions in life and boost my creativity. Often it can lead to a multitude of plot bunnies and inspiration.

The song begins with the innocent “I can ride my bike with no handlebars” but after the first verse takes a dark serious.

Look at me look at me
Just called to say that its good to be
Alive in such a small world
I’m all curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine
64 miles to the gallon on gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computer survive aquatic
Conditions I know how to run the business
And I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance ‘Cause

I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone
With a microphone
And I can split the atoms of a molecule
Of a molecule
Of a molecule

Look at me Look at me
Driving and I won’t stop
And it feels so good to be alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure
I can handout a million vaccinations
Or let em all die from exasperations
Have ’em all healed from their lacerations
Or have em all killed by assassinations
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don’t like ’em
I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command because

I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite
And I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope

And I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars
I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

I like all kinds of music and my taste is not limited to hip hop. What I do love about hip hop and rap (there are good and bad artists for every genre of music) is the focus placed on the lyrics. I felt like Handlebars successfully created a poetic, musical piece, an artistic montage of human history and dictatorship.

I loved how Handlebars started with an innocent proposition and ended with a dark, and sadly very human edge. How often have individuals with power, resources and brains started conflict, war and corruption? I think that this phrase “I can do anything with no permission/I have it all under my command because/I can guide a missile by satellite” is a particularly overwhelming one. Who is watching those in power? Do they act how they please because they have the public gripped in fear? The sad truth is that not only has history warned us about the danger of power but also, corruption continues to exist throughout the world today.

At the root of this song I believe is human achievement, both terrifying and wondrous human feats. At the core of human achievement lies power and consequently, corruption. From one feat – riding a bike with no handlebars to the extreme – ending the planet in a holocaust, humans are capable of great conquests and devastating exploitations.

What are your thoughts on Handlebars by Flobots? Do you find music a good source of inspiration for writing, or philosophy?

Ermisenda Alvarez

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