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The Meaning Behind The Song: Sally Ride by Janelle Monáe

The Meaning Behind The Song: Sally Ride by Janelle Monáe


When it comes to captivating storytelling wrapped in a blend of soulful vocals and infectious beats, few artists can compare to the incredible talent of Janelle Monáe. One of her lesser-known gems, “Sally Ride,” not only showcases her musical brilliance but also delves into deeper themes that resonate with many listeners. In this article, I aim to explore the meaning behind this remarkable song while sharing my personal experience and connection to its powerful message.

The Lyrics: A Journey of Empowerment

As we delve into the lyrics of “Sally Ride,” it becomes evident that Janelle Monáe pays homage to the legendary American astronaut, Sally Ride. Through her captivating storytelling, Monáe weaves a narrative that goes beyond space exploration, delving into the realms of personal empowerment and breaking societal barriers.

“Sally Ride” opens with powerful lyrics that immediately set the tone for the song’s overarching message:

I’m a young black astronaut
Building unforgettable structures out of stardust
That’s what makes me who I am

Here, Monáe addresses the act of defying societal expectations and overcoming obstacles with resilience. By identifying as a “young black astronaut,” she symbolizes triumph against racial and gender stereotypes.

Throughout the song, Monáe’s lyrics beautifully capture the essence of Sally Ride’s unyielding spirit and her groundbreaking journey into space. She sings:

Ground control to Major Tom
Can you hear me all night long
Ground control to Major Tom
If something’s wrong, you can call me home

These verses pay tribute to David Bowie’s iconic song “Space Oddity,” while adding new meaning and depth to the narrative. The reference to Major Tom reminds us of the vastness of the universe and the bravery required to venture into the unknown.

As the song progresses, Janelle Monáe gracefully intertwines personal experiences with broader societal messages. She sings:

You can wait, but I’m never gonna come down
I’m taking my rocket to the moon
I’ll fly, fly, fly, fly, fly, fly, fly
You can call me Majorette
Come fly with me, I’ll take you high

In these lyrics, Monáe invites listeners to join her in breaking free from societal constraints and reaching for the stars. The repeated “fly” represents the infinite possibilities available when we dare to dream beyond the limitations imposed upon us.

A Personal Connection

For me, “Sally Ride” holds a special place in my heart. This anthem of empowerment reminds me of my own journey towards realizing my dreams and breaking barriers. Like Monáe, I have faced societal norms and expectations that tried to confine me. This song serves as a constant reminder that I don’t have to settle for limitations; instead, I can strive for greatness.

Moreover, “Sally Ride” highlights the significance of representation and visibility. Hearing a song that celebrates the achievements of an inspiring woman like Sally Ride empowers me as a woman in a male-dominated field. The song serves as a reminder that there are no limits to what I can achieve, regardless of societal expectations.

In Conclusion

“Sally Ride” by Janelle Monáe is far more than just a catchy tune – it is an empowering anthem that encourages listeners to break free from societal constraints and embrace their full potential. By celebrating the accomplishments of the trailblazing astronaut, Monáe reminds us of the importance of representation and the power of defying expectations. Personally, this song has become a symbol of my own journey towards self-empowerment, reminding me to reach for the stars and to never settle for less. So, let us all take Monáe’s invitation and join her in soaring beyond the sky, just like Sally Ride.

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