Yesterday our elementary school had a fantastic arts festival. It happens every year — volunteers work hard to put it on. Art gallery, craft and activity tables, bake sale, lemonade, performance stage. Kids sign up for song, spoken word, instrument — whatever they think they want to do. This year, right about half of the songs were from Frozen.
If you missed it, go see it, rent it, watch youtube videos of the songs, or whatever you’re up for. I love it. It’s the anti-Disney-princess Disney princess musical. I mean it takes all the horrible tropes of fairy tales and subverts them. Prince and princess who fall in love and get married and live happily after? In one glorious song, they head toward that ending, and then the song is over and the whole thing turns out to be a con. And by the way, men pick their noses. The kiss of true love? Not what everybody expected. (Oh, and did I mention, it turns Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen upside down too?)
Anyhow, the story isn’t about a prince and princess. It’s about a princess and her sister. Passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. It’s going to influence an entire generation of girls, but even more than that, so are the songs. My daughter and I have all but memorized “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” — and it’s those two songs that made an appearance at the festival.
Couple lyrics from “Let it Go”:
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway
This taps in to something so deep: the expectation that girls hold in all their feelings and act like perfect little goody-goodies, and the passion that’s let loose if we decide to throw it all to the wind. I feel it myself and that’s why I keep singing it.
Anyhow, it was performed three times at the arts festival.
“Do You Want to Build a Snowman” must also tap into something deep, because it was also performed three times. In it, a little girl keeps knocking on the door of her moody teenage sister asking her to come out and play. Maybe it’s about girl friendships generally.
A bonus, and not from Frozen, was a performance of “Brave.”
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
This was especially cool because I am so conditioned to hearing sappy love songs that I always thought it was “I wanna see you tonight!” But nope, like “Let it Go,” it’s a song about letting out what we think and feel.
Anyhow, it was a great arts festival all around, and . . .