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Meaning of the song ‘symptom of life’ by ‘WILLOW’

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Released: 2024

In “Symptom of Life,” WILLOW engages listeners in a meditative self-reflection, where she digs deep to the root of her being, addressing the complicated, sometimes paradoxical, relationship between beauty, suffering, and identity. It’s a daring dive that grapples with the fear and curiosity of self-discovery and the transient nature of life.

She begins by “Pushing and peeling myself out of my disguise / Looking at you, now I am wondering who am I.” Here, Willow speaks of the process of self-discovery, where she’s shedding off her pretenses and looking inward. As she does this, she starts to question her identity, underscoring the fear that comes with the loss of familiar anchors.

Her lyrics, “Magic is real / When you see it inside, you decide,” encapsulate the transformative power of self-perception and determination. She’s saying that the real “magic” lies within us, and it’s up to us to recognize and nurture it.

“Feast my eyes on lower things / While beauty is a symptom of life / Gotta decide if I’m gonna see it,” she metaphorically communicates the concept of perspective. Even amid trials or “lower things,” beauty can still be found as it’s inherently part of life. However, it’s up to the individual to choose to see it.

The lines “Feast out eyes on lower things / When suffering is craving the light / Gotta decide how we’re gonna heal it,” provoke thought on the paradox of life — we often yearn for light (happiness, healing) amid our trying times and sufferings. But it’s this very struggle that propels us towards healing, suggesting that we have the power to decide the direction of our healing journey.

In the chorus, the repetition of “why” accentuates the universal human quest for understanding. We grapple with the reasons behind our actions or ways of seeing things. It’s a question that speaks to the heart of introspection and self-understanding.

It’s beautiful the way WILLOW uses natural metaphors like a snake shedding its skin and a turtle making its way to the ocean to depict the processes of creation and evolution. They give the song a visceral feel, making the cycle of life more relatable. It conveys the message that change and transformation are fundamental aspects of life.

Rounding off, when WILLOW sings, “Yeah, gotta decide how we’re gonna feel it / I (desperately) am trying to find out,” she makes clear the importance of being proactive in deciding our emotional path. The word ‘desperately’ underscores the urgency and struggle tied to this journey of self-discovery.

Ultimately, “Symptom of Life” is a beautiful exploration of self-perception, change, and healing. It encourages listeners to engage in self-reflection, to look inward and recognize the inherent beauty within, despite life’s trials and tribulations.

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