Grace VanderWaal brings a much-needed message to her peers and youth in general with the release of her new single “Clearly.” which remakes Johnny Nash’s classic “I Can See Clearly Now.”
VanderWaal’s fresh take on the classic, which is most widely known for its previous cover by Jimmy Cliff for the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings,” redirects the upbeat sun-is-perpetually-shining tune and applies a more realistic spin.
It is a question that demands an answer. Okay, it’s going to be a bright, bright sun-shiny day…but how do I walk out when the clouds are skewing my view? What does this look like in real life?
The song is more of an original with the cover revealing itself in the chorus. Even there, VanderWaal puts a little bit of her own twist on it:
“I can see clearly now //
The rain has gone //
I accept all the things that I cannot change //
Gone are the dark clouds //
The dawn has come //
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day”
I accept all the things that I cannot change…a tough, but necessary resolve if we ever hope to keep our sanity.
The verses are penned with the maturity and vision of someone who has experienced the darker side of life. She cannot forgive herself for the mistakes she’s made and so her only solution is to hide away from a cruel world that only seeks to remind her of her previous failings.
The video gives a great visual of a very literal hiding away with VanderWaal having locked herself away behind closed doors. She “shields” herself with makeup, thinking that this will be an added layer of armor that will help her to hide her pain.
But as Vanderwaal realizes that a layer of paint and a worldly-standard is not what is going to help her overcome her obstacles, the winds of change begin to blow through the room. A visual representation of the fierceness inside that will allow her to break free from what holds her back.
She emerges from her room ready to take on the world (special appearance by Doc Martins) and out into the very literal sunshine, gospel choir in tow.
The pop sweetheart gives us another deeply valuable lesson for all ages. We can hide physically or metaphorically but ultimately those are not the things that will mend our hearts. Sooner or later, we’ve got to deal with our pain if we ever hope to heal and move forward.
With each new release from VanderWaal, I grow more impressed. She sings with the maturity of a chanteuse far beyond her years, but consistently brings a message of purity that is so vitally important for her generation in time where the world is telling young women that all they have to offer is their sexuality.
It is a message of hope that we all need – – that all is not lost, and purity (in every sense of the word) still does exist when we are purposeful to turn from what may be expected of us and walk in the light.
We are never too far gone.