Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Challengers

Yesterday I did some six-disc changer switching around in the Jetta. I took out La Roux to listen to it in the office, and I put in the Bends because I was feeling a little out of touch and needed something to put me back in a good place. So for some reason I had the Challengers by the New Pornographers shoved into the Bends CD case, yes I still buy CDs, although I haven't in quite some time, and ever since about 930am yesterday I have had the song the Challengers stuck in my head. This morning I had a dermatologist appointment, and on my way there I decided to have a listen to the song I had been singing literally non-stop all morning. (Sidenote: Paul was shaking like a leaf when I left today, I think I scared him with my awful voice).

So after listening to this song four times in a row, interrupted only by a phone call to the dermatologist to let them know I was running 15 minutes late to my appointment, I started to really think about what it means. I will get to that in a second...

I went through a phase about two years ago where all I would listen to is this CD. I was obsessed. I go through that about every other month. I find an album I just play to death, and then I set it aside, usually for eternity. The only bands I want to listen to everyday forever are Radiohead and the Beatles, but there are a few songs out there that I could play over and over again and never get tired of. The Challengers is one of those songs. I know that some of my readers don't like this song, I remember one in particular who told me he disliked it quite strongly during my New Pornographers stage, I won't call you out but you know who you are :)

ANYWAY, my point is, I love this song. My understanding is that it is about two people falling in love when they are both already with someone else, and coming to terms with the fact that they will just have to wait to be together sometime in the future when the time is right. Maybe they had an affair, maybe they just stayed up all night talking, but, I think that there is so much more to the message than just that. To me, it has to do with everything in life that is worth putting away in safe-keeping until the time is right...you know everything worthwhile is worth waiting for. Whether it is true love, your dream job, finishing your novel that you have started nine times but never written more than five pages (well that might just be my fault), finding happiness...you get my point, these are all things that don't happen immediately even if it feels like they should, like you deserve them, or that you want them so bad. You have no control over it and you just have to wait until the accounts are cleared, and one day it will all make sense and come together. I like to think that this is how the world works and that eventually it will all come together for me...until then I will remain a challenger of the unknown.

Have a listen for yourself and let me know what you think...

Happy Tuesday everyone!



  1. i feel so out of touch that i don't know what song this is, but i can't wait to listen. very touching message: everything worthwhile is worth the wait. all i have to say is, lunch better be worth the wait today. Cant wait to have a listen.

    have you heard the new mariah carey track? i kid, i kid. xo

  2. Ande, you know I can't stand Mariah Carey.

  3. this is going to be very "Alexis goes to Bible study" of me to say, but there are some Psalms that talk about the importance of "waiting patiently on God" and to "be still and know that I am God". anyway, i do believe there are times in life we do have to wait and remember there's a big picture. i bet that's how Mariah felt when she married Nick Cannon, "this is why i divorced Tommy Metola..."

  4. i think the big picture theme is don't cheat on your girlfriend, or you'll get covered in paint. did this video come out before or after Pleasantville? i do have to say Sarah, i appreciate your optimistic take on the song; much more appealing to romanticize infidelity and separate lives than to write a song about what the challengers left behind! i just listened again and i think it's her voice that gets you to that place...

  5. O la O la O la O la.... hehehe

  6. HAHA - "don't cheat on your girlfriend or you'll get covered in paint"

  7. I am not romanticizing infidelity, I am simply saying that the song serves as a reminder that I need to be patient because certain things are worth waiting for. I have been thinking about this a lot lately because I am really getting frustrated that I am not yet the next JK Rowling.