“Just stop your crying, it’s the sign of the times.” This line marks the beginning of Harry Styles apocalyptic single.
Harry Styles has finally made his solo debut with his self-titled album. Following his influencers, the Brit-boy has chosen to ride on the legacy of rock music with an attempt to carve niche for his ‘style of music’. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that “Sign of the Times” seems to be great start of his solo endeavour.
The song is a parable that conjoint hope in its conclusion. In the song, Harry acts as a messenger whose job is to warn people and try to take them off the sad place. He wants them to “get away from here”.
In the video where he looks no less than Austen’s Darcy, he can be seen flying places. He is on a quest, a quest for peace. As he flies over rivers and mountains, a sublime effect is created for the viewers. The magnanimity of the scene around tells the viewer-there is hope, an entity greater than our problems.
Does Harry succeed in finding the peace he’s been looking for? Let’s see.
Sirens of War
Helping this messenger are the sirens that blow out at the beginning of the song.
As the song begins, sirens becomes a tune conveying the message “change is happening”. It prepares the listener for the further stanzas.
Harry uses siren to prepare people for the “final show”. By final show, one thinks either of “death” (reference to “best clothes””) or “end of miseries” in one’s existing life but there is an uncertainty with regards to its use.
As per my observation, war siren symbolises the lack of something significant but conveys it in a manner of quest, something that people need to look for, in hard times.
The war siren takes you back to Ernst Hemmingway’s “Farewell to Arms” where a sweet love story unfolds amidst war. As the story is set at the backdrop of tumultuous war, the lives of characters in the text depends on the siren.
But siren does not just end its reference in a classic text. It finds its reference in a song named SOGYEOKDONG that South Korean artist IU released years ago. The siren collaborates to the music of the song and talks about the longing of lovers for each other.
Intriguing First Stanza
As mentioned earlier, the song seems to be a conclusion to hard times. But it has a paradoxical format. The first stanza is most intriguing; it sets the tone for the rest of the track.
The first stanza is a stand alone track in itself that can be seen as a funeral song with a sermon. The messanger has a lesson for the listener, “you can’t bribe the door on your way to the sky”. In this song, lies the salvation of age.
No matter how difficult it may seem, Harry is attempting to glorify love, panence and human interaction. The time for the culprits have arrived and the sign of the times is that such people will find themselves in the place they best belong to.
The song builds a sense of community for people. It attempts to construct a belief system where human interaction is of prime importance.
Harry pleads the listener that “we should talk enough” and “we should open up”.
It is the communication that helps build sympathy amongst humans. The sisterhood helped create a women’s movement, camaraderie helped build students’ movement and it was the coming together of different people that helped LGBTQ+ community win their rights. Without onw another, we won’t be able to overcome our struggles. Harry conveys the message in a subtle manner but with a great impact.
Harry’s debut single comes out as a voice of “his times.” Artists were considered as the harbingers of truth. It seems the singer wants to bring back that belief into the world.
Did you like the song? I’d love to know your views. Please share them in the comment section. 🙂