“Colors of the Wind” Soundscape

The song begins with a strong drum beat, reflecting Pocahontas’s inner agitation at John Smith’s ignorance of the Powhatan tribe and the natives in general, before it reaches 0:41, and the listener is treated to a different tone. It softens up, and changes. No longer is it harried and harsh, but rather mournful, then playful. Pocahontas is so eager to show John Smith how much he’s missing.

The song really resonates when Pocahontas crescendos. The background instruments also mesh together to make such a rich tapestry of instruments, and when they come together in the rising and falling of her voice, it is absolutely incredibly. At 1:18, when she asks if he’s ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon, the hoot of the owl simply gives me chills.

Emotionally, this cuts deep. She touches on so many subjects that are still relevant today, despite the historical time period the film is set in.  Pocahontas sings that “You think the only people who are people, are the ones who look and think like you”. Unfortunately, we still hold that concept today. We see it all the time in the media, when the police discriminate against others simply because of their skin color. I’m of Persian heritage, and my sister (in high school) gets picked on, and called a “terrorist”. America is supposed to be all-accepting, but how can it, when it’s built upon foundations of discrimination and invasion?

Even now, we always assess the value of certain objects or actions. It’s tough for us to look at a lovely garden and not think: “Okay, so this took three months to just plans, and they spent over a hundred dollars on the Japanese Maple”. We assign dollar values to everything from nature to love and never take the time to sit down and simple appreciate the simplistic beauty of things. Not only does the song tell us to be more open minded, it also encourages us to take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

It’s a strong lesson to keep in mind, especially as we take into mind factors such as global warming and how the environment has been affected by the pollution and carelessness of people. We are so focused on ownership of land and objects and the earth as a “dead thing we can claim”, that we forget that we’re not going to be here forever. We only have a short time to be here, and so our lease on the land should keep that in mind.

Furthermore, we also need to remember that this is when John Smith and Pocahontas really fall in love- not just with each other, but she teaches him how to love the land and treat it with respect. Perhaps I’m being a bit too much into the ‘tree hugger’ aspect of the piece, but it makes a strong impact on me.

Thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Comment below!

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