The Latest 'Moana' Track Will Inspire You

by Amy Mackelden

Nov. 23 is going to be a great day, because it will bring about the long-awaited release of Disney's Moana . There are so many reasons that I can't wait to see the movie, but one of them has to be that Lin-Manuel Miranda has written the songs for the soundtrack. As the winner of two Grammys, three Tonys, an Emmy, and a Pulitzer Prize, amongst many other things, Miranda is a fantastic choice for Disney's latest animated musical, and I can't wait to hear the results. The latest glimpse we have of the Moana soundtrack comes in the form of a new music video featuring Canadian singer Alessia Cara. Written by Miranda, the lyrics for "How Far I'll Go" from Moana are about strength, independence, and finding your own way in the world.

Cara's version of the song will play over the end credits of the movie, and the song definitely hints at what fans can expect from Disney's latest film. As usual, Miranda's lyrics are impeccable and totally inspirational. Singing from the perspective of Moana, it quickly becomes clear that the lead character is ready to make some dramatic changes, to follow her dreams, and not be held back by anybody else. It sounds as though Moana is ready to leave the island where she lives, and her life-changing decision isn't going to be easy.

From the outset, Miranda's lyrics give us a real insight into Moana's thoughts and emotions, and the internal struggles she's facing. While Moana recognizes that she has responsibilities as a daughter, she can't pretend to be someone she's not, and the water keeps drawing her back, whatever she does.

I've been standing at the edge of the waterLong as I can remember, never really knowing whyI wish I could be the perfect daughterBut I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try

The place that Moana keeps being drawn back to is significant, because it's forbidden.

Every turn I take, every trail I trackEvery path I make, every road leads backTo the place I know, where I can not goThough I long to be

Miranda's lyrics are reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, particularly when Ariel sings about wanting to live in the real world instead of under the sea. She wants to follow her dreams by traveling somewhere far away.

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls meAnd no one knows, how far it goesIf the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind meOne day I'll know, if I go there's just no telling how far I'll go

The song hints at a sense of discord between Moana and the people in her hometown. She notes that everyone else seems happy, but she isn't. There's a real sense that she has so much potential, and if she could only get away, she would realize it.

I know, everybody on this island seems so happy on this islandEverything is by designI know, everybody on this island has a role on this islandSo maybe I can roll with mine
I can lead with pride, I can make us strongI'll be satisfied if I play alongBut the voice inside sings a different songWhat is wrong with me?

Miranda's lyrics are simple and straight to the point, and that's why they're so inspirational. Moana feels that her destiny is elsewhere, that something is calling her, but it's just out of reach. She's ready to make the move, to follow her dreams, and to live the life that's meant for her, but she just needs to take the first step.

See the light as it shines on the sea? It's blindingBut no one knows how deep it goesAnd it seems like it's calling out to me, so come find meAnd let me know, what's beyond that line, will I cross that line?See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls meAnd no one knows how far it goesIf the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind meOne day I'll know how far I'll go

Moana is released on Nov. 23, and, until then, you can play Alessia Cara's "How Far I'll Go" on repeat.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures