I want to preface this post: I do not care for rap music.
With that being said, I know little about music pop culture. Feuds and the like are not high on my news reading list. So while I’m sure this song has some back story going on, but I’m not too interested in that. In truth, that might lessen my adoration for the song.
The first time I heard this song, I thought to myself it was surprisingly esoteric. Something about the song cries out to something that seems out of the singer’s reach. “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?” It’s such a culturally cliché kind of thing. And yet, it touches on something genuine. So many people “could use a wish right now.” Broken homes. Abusive relationships. Feelings of inadequacy. Fear. Sorrow. It’s everywhere. It’s not new. It’s always been part of the human condition. And I reckon that for as long as people have needed a wish, they’ve looked to the sky for the answers. And maybe they’re looking in the right direction.
Paul wrote about this kind of thing in some of his Epistles. I don’t think he had all the answers. He certainly didn’t lead people to believe that God was a cure-all for chronic trouble. But Paul thought that there was something important for everyone to understand: “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:6-8). And I think songs like this show that people haven’t quit searching for this.
Rap tends to be very egocentric, and this song isn’t any different in that regard. However, every time I hear Hayley Williams sing that chorus, I believe that even Bobby Ray knows this can’t only be about him. Something, someone else is out there. Perhaps in that Person, we can find that wish that we need. Right now.