“Praying” documents Kesha’s transformation from bad girl to mature woman.

I heard this song, “Praying,” for the first time today and when I found out it was Kesha I thought I was being punked.

I’m blown away by Kesha’s transformation from her shallow, partying “Tik Tok” days to the woman she has become.  I’m also blown away by her incredible, powerful voice.  I always thought she was a lightweight vocally, more a rapper than a singer really.  How wrong I was!

The raw emotion and spiritual depth she shows here is so different from the cartoonish “bad girl” image of 2009.   She fought hard to get here.

Yes, the dollar sign in her name is gone.   It would no longer fit.   Something tells me she was never that shallow, cartoonish bad girl, but was always a butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis.   I’m a fan now (though truth be told, “Tik Tok” was damn catchy).

This song is emotionally cathartic for me.   It may be for you too.

“Praying” was released last year. Kesha is a warrior who not only managed to conquer her own demons of bulimia and depression, she also held her own against a controlling and abusive manager who tried to destroy her. From her psinful struggle, she learned that it’s from the greatest pain that empathy can be born and true forgiveness can occur. Few ever learn this valuable truth. She writes:

“Praying” was written about that moment when the sun starts peeking through the darkest storm clouds, creating the most beautiful rainbow. Once you realize that you will in fact be OK, you want to spread love and healing. If you feel like someone has wronged you, get rid of that hate, because it will just create more negativity. One thing that has brought me great relief is praying for those people. Being angry and resentful will do nothing but increase your own stress and anxiety — and hate is the fuel that grows the viruses. Don’t let anyone steal your happiness!

In this emotional interview from Good Morning America, Kesha talks about her spiritual and emotional journey (and sings too).

Monday Melody: Beautiful (Christina Aguilera)

I really should start calling these Sunday Songs, since I seem to post them so often on Sunday night instead of Monday–but Sunday Songs sounds like religious music, so I guess I won’t be changing the title.

My apologies for slacking on posting every week as I promised, but I did post The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” a few days ago, because I didn’t want to have to wait.   That song was my obsession that day.

“Beautiful” is one of those big diva-ballads of the late ’90s and early 2000’s I don’t normally get into that much.  Don’t get me wrong–these ladies (Christina, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and their ilk) are incredibly talented and their success is well-deserved, but their melismatic r&b style just isn’t usually my cup of tea.  I’m more into rock or indie and alternative type of music.

“Beautiful” is an exception.  On every level it’s amazing.    It’s not a shallow song about physical perfection as one might think; it’s an empowering song about self esteem and not fitting in because you’re “different,”  but learning to love yourself anyway in spite of those differences.  Christina belts the lyrics out with so much raw emotion I always feel like I’ve been hit in the gut.  Rumor has it she she cried while recording it.  I believe it too.

I heard it again today and it brought tears to my eyes, so I decided it deserved to be this week’s featured tune.



Don’t look at me
Every day is so wonderful
Then suddenly it’s hard to breathe.
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain, I’m so ashamed.I am beautiful no matter what they say.
Words can’t bring me down.
I am beautiful in every single way.
Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no.
So don’t you bring me down today.To all your friends you’re delirious,
So consumed in all your doom.
Trying hard to fill the emptiness.
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone.
is that the way it is?

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down….oh no
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring you down, oh, no
So don’t you bring me down today…

No matter what we do
(no matter what we do)
No matter what we say
(no matter what we say)
We’re the song inside the tune
Full of beautiful mistakes

And everywhere we go
(and everywhere we go)
The sun will always shine
(the sun will always, always shine)
And tomorrow we might wake on the other side

We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won’t bring us down, no, no
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring us down, oh, no
So don’t you bring me down today

Oh, yeah, don’t you bring me down today, yeah, ooh
Don’t you bring me down ooh… today