A balding fat fifty-something male Bon Jovi fan walks into a local gym. As he’s huffing and puffing on the weight machines trying to stave off the ravages of age, he is singing the lyrics to Bon Jovi’s new single “Because We Can” out loud, without shame.
“I don’t wanna be another wave in the ocean,
I am a rock not just another grain of sand,
Wanna be the one you run to when you need a shoulder,
I ain’t a soldier but I’m here to make a stand,
Because we can”.
As he continues warbling through his workout, another man older than he approaches and says, “It’s wonderful to see and hear the sound of a happy man”.
Therein lies the point that some Bon Jovi fans who have dismissed the band’s new single are missing. No doubt everyone is entitled to their opinions and personal tastes; however, we need to come to the realization that Tommy and Gina are definitely older.
In fact, they’re US.
And just like the band millions have grown to love, they’re still together, but fall into the same stale relationship ruts we all inevitably endure. You know the kind: it douses the special spark that made us think all things were possible in this world with the romantic ideal of two people in love.
Then we stepped out into the world and what a shock it was to see that Life is full of suffering and inequities; that while it’s one helluva ride, if we’re not careful it can wear us down to a little tiny nub.
The beauty of Bon Jovi’s “Because We Can” is that it stoutly doesn’t accept the status quo of lives falling short and fond memories dimming faster than the setting sun while we give up on creating new ones.
And that’s precisely the point: I can, YOU can, we ALL can, and we can do it better TOGETHER.
Bon Jovi’s stagnant couple in the song find a way to choose to be happy; to not settle or be marginalized by their own self-imposed limitations or let the external forces of life dictate who and what they are or how they should feel.
Sure people can grouse that compared to earlier Bon Jovi songs dating back to “Keep The Faith”, “These Days”, or even “Bounce” this one is soft rock bubblegum; a catchy tune thrown out there on a new CD to fulfill a record contract and cash the band’s chips on one last tour.
On a grander scale, the world is growing larger, angrier, meaner, more selfish. We have more ways to communicate with one another but truly hear each other less and less and care about ourselves more than we should dare.
Like all previous Bon Jovi records, this song is not only a snapshot of where each member of the band is, but where we the fans in Jovi Nation find ourselves.
It proudly declares that the quality of our love lives and the way we live is in direct proportion to what we choose, despite the best effort of entire nations and governments and political bureaucracies to define and break us.
No Bon Jovi says, we’re not going to fail ourselves. YOU may be failing folks like us with dysfunctional systems that are irretrievably broken, but you’re not going to take us down with you…..because we can overcome ourselves, our circumstances, and you.
Not the Me, but We. Together.
In brief comments about the song, band leader and master of the Bon Jovi brand characterized the song as ‘idealistic’---romantic even---for daring to underscore such an upbeat message in a snappy little ditty that cloaks s all like a warm friends’ arm around our shoulder on a frigid night.
“Because We Can”, simply stated answers the question, “Why should I?”, because you can. “Why should I be involved?” Because you can. 'Why should I make a difference?' Because we can", the rocker said in a brief interview.
“Our songs always try to find the optimism; the glass is half full rather than half empty, and maybe that’s a little bit of a romantic version of the world, but somebody’s gotta spread that optimism”.
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