Neverland by Zendaya
Most of us know what it means to have a Peter Pan complex. The idea of never wanting to grow up, and beyond doing a few adult things like paying bills, getting an education or a job, we have basically steered clear of being forced to become an adult. Or at least we should say we avoided the frustratingly, boring idea of what it is to be an adult. We tend to cling to the idea of a better tomorrow which is why most of us can easily fall in love with “Neverland by Zendaya” which is featured on the “Finding Neverland” concept album.
Zendaya has been one of our favorite singers in the past few years. She was been slowly making a name for herself with Disney but also outside of it. Her album, self-titled Zendaya, was a delectable array of pop and R&B, and was grossly underappreciated and spawned the popular “Replay.” Her voice is soft, and goes well with mid-tempo songs. This is all too true with “Neverland” as well.
The song starts out with the sound of a storm. It’s easy to imagine rolling clouds and rain that dances on the window pane. It is reminiscent of that moment when you are sitting near a window, watching the world washed with water and glistening from the lights that reflect off the water. It was the perfect sentiment for reading and getting lost in a great adventure story with something like Chronicles of Narnia.
The lyrics echo:
“Whenever I was frightened/ Or if I ever felt alone/ I turned to the night sky/And a star I call my own/ Somewhere I could run to/ Just across the Milky Way/ If you like I could take you/ It’s just a light year and a day.”
There is a desire to escape from the world, to reconnect with that hopeful part of you that has been lost in the midst of the all the frustrations and chaos of the adult world.
The song stays close to its established tempo once it picks up. It is steady, only growing in moderate ways, but that’s how we think the song should work. It is not trying to get you excited. It’s trying to inspire you in small but meaning moments. It reminds you of childhood with lyrics like:
“Through all my make believe/ There’s some reality/ in your reflection/ There’s much more than you see/ All that you hope for/ you hope for today/ is the love someone gives you/ In an unconditional way.”
But what’s important and what makes it endearing is that it knows that escaping isn’t enough. It reminds us that there is a bit of reality in it. Reflection refers to the inner self and therefore the reality of fantasy comes from inside of us, when we internalize these hopeful feelings.
The chorus, however, is where the song resonates.
“We can sail away tonight/ on a sea of pure moonlight/ we can navigate the stars/ to bring us back home/ in a place so far away / we’ll be young that’s how we’ll stay/ and with your hand in my hand / I am closer now/ to finding Neverland.”
Like those awesome adventure stories from our childhood, the imagination in our head expands like the clouds described in the pages. We feel the thrill of exploring this world of danger like that of the young protagonist. A smile forms on our faces, and it will be sad to put this story down, or navigate back home, but the hope of it being there again for us to visit in the future is well engrained in our minds.
The song ends with a line that’s bound to melt even the staunchest of hearts. “And with your hand in my hand/ I am closer now/ to finding Neverland.” It’s as if Zendaya is reaching her hand out and saying “come with me as I remind you of the imagination and hope that you think you were supposed to forget when you grew up.”
It’s an open invitation that is only accentuated with the soft, welcoming tone of her voice. The question then becomes. Will you let her take your hand and remind you of what was lost?