“And I will give the world to you.” –This is the New Year, A Great Big World
I love this promise. Maybe it’s because I’m a romanticist and you really can’t get much more romantic than that. Maybe it’s because Blaine sings it to me in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZf-SDxwA20.
Or maybe I just really wish someone would promise to give the world to me.
I swear I could listen to Blaine sing that line a hundred times and still not get tired of hearing it. I’m sure it has a little bit to do with Darren Criss, but really, it’s hard to imagine that so much hope could be held in such a simple phrase.
The “And I will” part is a promise for the future. To me, “and” on its own is a promise, because it means that you haven’t reached the end just yet. Adding “and” onto the beginning of this promise makes it so much better because it acknowledges that this promise doesn’t stand alone, that it is a part of a much more complicated past. But still, “and” is about moving on to what’s next rather than dwelling on that past.
“Will” is about the future. Whoever is promising this hasn’t given the world just yet, and that makes it even better, because that makes it about anticipation. Anticipation alone is what gives this whole phrase hope, because no matter what your life is like right now, “will” means that it’s time to start thinking about the future. Promises are special because they are uncertain, and yet if the right person promises, they’re just as certain as the truth. I don’t know if that makes any sense. It’s one thing to do something without telling anyone, because then no one will know if you don’t succeed. It takes courage to make a promise, and it takes courage to believe one.
The world. The first time I heard this song, I assumed that “the world” meant anything a person could ever want. That’s pretty idealistic for obvious reasons, because it’s fantastic to think about having everything you could possibly ever want. Someone giving the world to you would be like using your first genie wish to wish for more wishes.
But then again, maybe “the world” is about opportunities. Because I remember that this line is all about the future, and sometimes when I think about being given the world, I think about that moment when you walk up the subway steps and New York City opens up like a popup book. Maybe being given the world is not a literal experience, but the feeling of being given a pen and a blank journal and told to fill it.
My favorite interpretation of “the world” though is one in which the world is still limited. Because it seems obvious that being given the world should mean that you should be able to have anything, but then you have to think about who’s giving you the world. “I.” “I” is a person. An imperfect person who maybe doesn’t even have the world to give to you, but tries anyway. Maybe “the world” isn’t literally everything, but rather everything that a person is possibly capable of giving. That’s a lot more realistic and also a lot more romantic at the same time, because you can’t have the whole world, but you have someone who is trying to give it to you, even if it’s impossible. It takes courage to promise, but it takes even more courage to promise something impossible.
“To you.” I love this because up until this point, this line is impossibly broad. “And I will give the world” is a nice sentiment, because it’s this image of someone trying to round up the entire world without being swallowed by it, and then “to you” is so small in contrast, closing in and focusing on you. And this person isn’t giving the world for you, they’re giving the world to you, which is the ultimate act of selflessness. Because you can give your all to do something for someone to make them happy, or you can give the world to someone and let them decide what to do with it. That’s courage.
I think my favorite part of this line is that it wouldn’t be complete without every single word. “I will give the world to you” is a promise, but the “and” makes it real, a continuation of all of the imperfection in life. “I give the world to you,” is a statement of past dedication, but the “will” makes it a promise for the future. “I will give [noun] to you” is a statement that anyone can make, even to a complete stranger, but not everyone can promise the world. “I will give the world” is about the giver, not the receiver.
“And I will give the world to you.”
That concludes this week’s episode of “If you don’t want me to analyze it, don’t bring it up.”