“Let It Go” Is a Great Song, but a Terrible Philosophy

Disney released Frozen a number of months ago. It was, honestly, quite a good movie, but the film was largely eclipsed by one of its songs, “Let It Go.” There’s some truth in the joke about Frozen being the song’s feature-length music video.

I like “Let It Go.” It may be ridiculously overhyped, but the song is really quite a catchy one. The remix above is by far my favorite. “Let It Go,” a slow, melodic ballad, translates unexpectedly well to dubstep.

Despite its beautiful music, I find “Let It Go” bittersweet. The song is defiant, exalting rebellion and egoism, lifted up from a broken heart, reflecting a bitter moment. “I don’t care what they’re going to say,” sings Elsa. “Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway.” She adds, “No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m free!”

I know people who live with that kind of selfish abandon. They’re some of the most miserable people I know. I think of them sometimes when I hear “Let It Go,” and my heart aches for them.

In the film, Elsa eventually finds a happy ending. (This is a Disney film, after all.) “Let It Go” reflects just one moment in her journey—a particularly selfish, defiant moment. The song’s pathos is touching, but it represents a horrible attitude toward life. It makes me sad that in a film celebrating loyalty and love—real love, “putting someone else’s needs before yours,” not Disney’s usual follow-your-heart nonsense—the thing most people latched onto was the song about selfishness.

“Let It Go” may represent a terrible philosophy, but it’s a great song. I particularly enjoy the remix above. Nothing brightens up a sad song like stuffing it with dubstep beats!

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