Do You Realize??

This week has been an emotional and exciting one, and the highlight came when one of our lads and his partner gave us the most wonderful Christmas gift: a healthy, wonderful, baby grandson.

Among the first songs this beautiful miracle listened to with his parents was The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” It’s a song I’ve heard many times, but never realized it is by the same band and from the same album as “Are You a Hypnotist??” (The latter song has a solid rock beat, so it is stylistically quite different from the softer, dreamy quality in today’s selection. Please check out my post on it.)

Listening to the words of “Do You Realize??” in the context of a new life, I was moved by the message of the songwriters. The lyrics offer a beautiful philosophy, gently telling the realities of life, love, beauty, wonder, and grief, and making the most of the good things in life. What sage advice to the very young!

“Do you realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do you realize – we’re floating in space
Do you realize – that happiness makes you cry
Do you realize – that everyone you know someday will die

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Do you realize – Oh – Oh – Oh
Do you realize – that everyone you know
Someday will die

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Do you realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do you realize”

“Do You Realize??” by Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins, Dave Fridmann. Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

In Western society, we often avoid talking about death and generally sugar-coat or sidestep the topic with children altogether. But when young people encounter the loss of the loved one, it can be normalized as part of life; not any less distressing, of course, though talking about it can help lead them toward acceptance and the eventual comingling of grief with gratitude for the life lived. (The connection between grief and gratitude is one I’ve discussed here a few times, including a year ago, in relation to Francis Weller’s book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief. Talking about death is a complicated and challenging discussion, for sure. Still, I can imagine these new parents doing it with lovingkindness, helping their child grow in confidence and trust in the world. (And playing this song was, I believe, a beautifully symbolic way to start that.)

I think the lasting benefit of these discussions is that children can learn to face problems rather than retreating in fear and hiding from them (and, by extension, any of the challenges they will face throughout their lives). In the end, the lessons make them more brave, self-sufficient, and able to cope in healthy ways with the difficulties life will bring to them.

The Flaming Lips are an American psychedelic/alternative/experimental rock band from Oklahoma, USA, formed in 1983. They’re prolific musicians with 16 studio albums, ten compilations, 18 extended plays, 15 singles, and four video albums. “Do You Realize??” comes from their tenth studio record, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, released in 2002.

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official music video from the Flaming Lips’ YouTube channel:

2 thoughts on “Do You Realize??

  1. Congratulations on the new grandson, and great song choice. My oldest son and his wife gave my wife and I a new grandson on November 12. Exciting times indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stephen, and congratulations to you and your family on the new addition, too! I’m glad you enjoyed the song choice. Cheers to our kids and grandkids!

      Liked by 1 person

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