Posted 11 a.m., Oct. 31, 2013

Mandy Neely

Mandy Neely

There is a reason why I sing

'Give it all' a song with a message to exist

By Mandy Neely

“I give it all, there’s a reason why I sing.

“So give it all, it’s these reasons that belong to me.”

Rise Against’s “Give it All.”

Music surrounds our culture. From the Top 40 hits to the underground scene, it’s everywhere. A majority of today’s lyrics use the same formulas for everything: sex and heartbreak. However, some songs floating around have a real message, one to teach the listener or to be a helping hand reaching from the stereo speakers to pick him back up when he falls. They say, “You aren’t the only one who has gone through this.” I found the music that did that for me when I moved away from home.

At 17, I left home, prepared to jump feet first into college. During my first semester, I realized I needed a new form of motivation. I was losing track of my work and getting lost in the new people. My first roommate in the dorm hall was loud, liked to party and get drunk, so I began to look for louder music to drown out the sloppy giggling coming from my living room, thus stumbling upon Rise Against.

Rise Against is loud. It seems like angry punk music, but every song has a message. The song that spoke to me the most was “Give it All” which is about keeping your reasons to live with you. They may not be everyone’s reasons, but they are yours.

That song became my reminder to keep working. I have nothing to take with me besides experience, and I only leave behind a story. So I should give everything I have and make it a damn good story.

Tattooed 'give it all'

When I went home for winter break, I decided I wanted that song to always be with me. Leaving for the beach, one of my favorite places, I found a tattoo parlor and had “Give it all” inked into my right shoulder. Now every time I look behind me, I have a reminder to keep moving. Every time the world gets a little too heavy for my young shoulders, I have something to help carry the weight. When I think of my tattoo, I think of the beach, determination and youth. I want to look back on my youth and see I lived like my favorite song, see that I gave it all.

Youths today are lost to our ever-changing culture. The newest technology and the pointless wants that fill shallow hearts are replacing real plans. Happiness is sought in shiny touchscreens rather than in actual goals. I may only be 19, but I want to exist outside my possessions.

So look for what makes you sing! Let your happiness be the reason for your ambitions. I am still realizing how to live my life, but when I forget, all I have to do is listen to my favorite song.

I sing for creativity. I love making art and sharing it. That’s why I do what I do; I help create a newspaper from nothing. It’s what makes me happy, and I am living for that.

Do what makes you happy and give it everything you’ve got.

“Today I offer all myself to this, I’m living for my dying wish.

“I give it all, now there’s a reason, there’s a reason to give it all.”

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