Hall of Fame
What Young People Know
The Script, "Hall of Fame"
My sisters and I sometimes go grocery shopping together. It's a nice way to spend a few minutes together, as we push our carts to the carrots and tomatoes, then on to the eggs and orange juice. Michelle and I went shopping together last Saturday night—and a plaintive song began playing over the store's music system. I could not make out the words, but I found compelling the earnestness of the voice, pleading in a minor key. I asked Michelle if she knew who was singing, but she didn't.
Around us were young people. I asked a couple if they knew what the song was, and who was singing it. "I went to one of their concerts!" the young man said, but he couldn't think of the name of the band right off. His wife said: "I'll look it up on Siri." (Who knew there was a program that could detect a song in a noisy store and tell you what it is!) But before the program found an answer, the young man remembered. "It's The Script," he said. "The song is 'Hall of Fame.' "
When I got home, I downloaded it, and I have listened to it many times now, trying to understand it. The words of the song are upbeat. The singer is trying to get someone to dream, and not for small things. He goes through a long list of things to strive for: "You could talk to God—go banging on his door; you could beat the clock . . . you could be a hero," he sings. But the melody, in its minor key, has such melancholy to it.
We come to understand the backstory to this song in the music video. It shows two young people from different backgrounds, but each struggling: one, a young woman who is hard of hearing but who wants to be a ballet dancer; and the other, a young man from a home where he is not loved—his mother kicks him awake: "Get up, you good-for-nothing lazy," she shouts at him. He lives in a bad part of town, and he gets beaten up. He walks into a gym after one brutal beating, and asks for help; the older guys there teach him how to fight.
The young man and the young woman in this video represent everyone. We all must struggle with challenges life hands us. The singer implores his listeners not to give up.
The young man learns to fight, encouraged by his coaches at the gym; meanwhile, the young woman loses her balance at an audition, but is given a second chance: she runs her hands across the speakers so she can feel the vibrations of the music—and she dances beautifully.
When the bridge comes in this song, the singer changes from singing to one person to singing to everyone: "Be preachers, be believers, . . . be truth seekers," he sings. "Be a champion." If you try, you just might be "on the walls of the Hall of Fame," he sings.
Here is a link to the music video to "Hall of Fame":
And here is a link to the song on Amazon.com:
The Script is an Irish trio, composing and performing since the 1990s. If they continue to write and perform songs as beautiful and as inspiring as "Hall of Fame," surely we will hear from them for many years to come.
I created "But I Will Hope Continually," the image above, in 2006. It is based on Mandelbrot fractals. The title is from Psalm 71:14 (KJV): "But I will hope continually."