Last week I was emailed by a lovely childcare worker who thanked me for helping to make Frozen. After the initial pang of being reminded of that time, what I first wanted to say was 'I really don't deserve any credit for the film as I hardly contributed to it at all' – which is true; to this day I don't know if any of my work made it down the pipeline, or what use it may have been to anyone if it had. But instead I thanked her for her email, and told her it had been a very difficult film for a lot of the crew, and the fact it turned out to be valued by people is nice to hear.
What I didn't tell her was that I have gone out of my way not to see the film. I thought I was getting over it, but that pang when I read her email signified otherwise.
( Tealin's Demon Theatre: Monsters' Ball )
"Society Song" is my "Let it Go." It's the song of an intelligent, independent woman who sees through the bullshit around her but rises above it instead of getting suckered in or kicking it in the nads and running away. It's poetic, meaningful, musically and lyrically sophisticated, and charismatic, and it gave me a defiant theme song around which my frustration and spirit could crystallize in a positive, constructive way. I did have riches they could never see, and something better up my sleeve, because four years previously I'd been set free by being given a story that made everything happening at Disney inconsequential, and knew I could leave at any time for a perfectly happy life back in BC. They were trying to manipulate me by assuming that I, as so many others, lived for Disney and would do anything to save my job there, but I was past that, and that was something I needed to hold onto. Another important thing to remember is that vengeance is rarely worth the trouble, and often the best way to get back at those giving you a hard time is to have your own priorities that have nothing to do with them.
I can't say "Society Song" made me leave Disney, the way "Lucky Me" turned my life around in 2007, but it certainly was never far from my mind or my headphones, and its validating effect reset and strengthened my inner compass. It certainly got me through the end of my time on Frozen, and while other trials awaited me, that one didn't bring me down. So, thank you, Sarah Slean, yet again my Angel of Music.
I am a little bit in love with the video for the song but I recommend you listen to it for the first time without watching – it imposes a narrative on what are basically abstract lyrics, so limits one's perception. Then watch the video, because it's fab.