The Gift – A short reflection.
If I was ever asked to pick my all time favourite Annie Lennox tune I would probably say “The Gift”. I heard the song for the first time back in the early 90’s and it has stayed with me ever since. “Take this gilded cage of pain and set me free/Take this overcoat of shame, it never did belong to me”.
There was something about this verse that immediately struck a chord with me. I can’t explain why, it just did! Every one of her words feels weighted with meaning. Thematically, “The Gift” deals with change, freedom and independece; it is a song about having the courage to change something that obviously needs changing. “I need to go outside, I need to leave the smoke, cause I can’t go on living in the same sick joke”.
Lennox seems to imply that if we want to stay true to our inner self and at the same time grow as human beings, we sometimes need to break up and make a change, even though it might seem frightening at first. The sweeping imagery and confessional tone of Annie Lennox’ words have earned her position as one of our finest modern lyricists and classical pop icon for decades.
And in a new era of hype and shallowness “The Gift” is still in the truest sense a rare and indisputible masterpiece!