There are many stars of Disney's Moana: the gorgeous animation, the wonderful performances by Dwayne Johnson as the demigod god Maui and newcomer Auli'i Cravalho as the titular Moana, a strong and adventurous Polynesian girl who is ready to set sail onto the ocean. But another star of the film is the beautiful music, which is no surprise since it was penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda could win an Oscar for Best Original Song for Moana's "How Far I'll Go," an empowering ballad Moana sings about being torn between her duty to be a chief to her people and staying on land, and her own desires to forge ahead into the unknown ocean that could provide more possibility for herself and her tribe than she could know.
Moana is a fierce and independent hero who young girls need right now, and "How Far I'll Go" is a song all about her finding her strength. And in the increasingly fearful and anxiety-inducing world we're living in, women and girls alike can find wisdom in this wonderful Disney song to help them get through any hardships we, unfortunately, come across.
These five lyrics from "How Far I'll Go" will help girls of all ages get through 2017, or at least provide a soundtrack to have a cathartic cry.
"I've been staring at the edge of the water/ Long as I can remember but I don't know why"
The opening line of the ballad is Moana expressing her desire to go out on her own — even if she doesn't know exactly why she feels that way. It's a reminder that the best way to understand the reasons behind wanting something is to just trust yourself, and even if the answer doesn't come to you immediately, there's a reason for the dream. If you want something more, you have every right to go get it, no matter the self doubt.
2. "Every turn I take, every trail I track/ Every path I make, every road leads back/ To the place I know where I cannot go/ Where I long to be"
Moana's conflict is between her duty to her father and her tribe on the island, and setting sail onto the ocean to discover what is beyond. Try as she might to listen to her father and respect his rules not to stray from the island, everything Moana does, consciously or not, leads her back to her need to explore the possibility of the ocean. So, if your heart is telling your head something over and over: Listen to it. You have to make your decisions for yourself.
3. "I can lead with pride, I can make us strong/ I'll be satisfied if I play along/ But the voice inside sings a different song/ What is wrong with me?"
Absolutely nothing is wrong with you! Moana, like many, many women and girls, is perfectly skilled at being a leader — a great one, in fact. But there's something else she wants outside the bounds of what she is "supposed" to do. Sometimes, when you want something that is different than what others expect of you, it can feel like a betrayal, like it's inherently wrong. But Moana hears that nagging voice that tells her that it's not, and eventually she learns to listen to it.
4. "See that light as it shines on the sea? It's blinding/ But no one knows how deep it goes/ And it seems like it's calling out to me, so come find me/ And let me know/ What's beyond that line, will I cross the line?"
The unknown is terrifying. As much as Moana wants to set sail, there's the fear of what's out there. It's not just self-doubt, it's the fear of failure, or whatever else may come. If only we could all look into the future and see what would happen if we took the risks that really scare us. Taking the first step can be the most difficult part, but there's no way to know unless you try.
5. "If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me/ One day I'll know how far I'll go"
Moana wants to literally sail away into the horizon and see what's out there. Her longing is for possibility, and that's something women and girls everywhere can relate to: finding out what their ultimate potential is. Moana eventually realizes that the wind in her sail is not only, of course, the actual wind, but her courage that pushes her to go the distance.
Here's "How Far I'll Go" so you can feel like you're soaring into the horizon every day this year, no matter how difficult it may be. And good luck to Lin-Manuel Miranda; this song could land him an EGOT!