What does Black Swan mean?

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BTS: Black Swan Meaning


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Song Released: 2020

Black Swan Lyrics

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  1. anonymous
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    Sep 15th report

    The message in this particular song/performance is about the doubts and hesitation one can eventually have towards their passion, which a lot of people (especially artists) struggle with at some point. Some people end up giving up on their dreams because they end up convincing themselves that it wasn't for them, instead of managing to push through the temporary slump. BTS here talks first about how stopping the practice of one's passion is like a first death, referencing Martha Graham's (often referred to as the mother of modern dance) quote used in their art-film "A dancer dies twice — once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful". In the first half of the song they sing about how painful it can be to feel yourself loosing the initial fire and passion you once had for what you do, how you feel like it no longer makes your heart vibrate, and the negative brooding that comes with it, with lyrics that use imagery referencing a deep & dark place like the ocean and the forest (which explains the set): feeling yourself sinking, depressed, caught in a rut, crying out a silent cry.

    They paint a defeated and dreading image of themselves, using lyrics like:

    "The heart no longer races when hearing the music play.Seems like time has stopped... Oh that would be my first death I've been always afraid of.If this can no longer resonate, no longer make my heart vibrate."

    "Then like this may be how I die my first death, but what if that moment's right now?..."

    "Heart pulsing slow in my ears - Try to flee but back into the maw" "No song affects me anymore, crying out a silent cry"

    "Ocean with all light silenced shut, my wandering feet held in a rut, every noise and sound's been cut, killing me now, killing me, do you hear me yeah?"

    "Sinking slowly as if in a trance, struggle but it's all ocean floor, every moment becomes eternity..." very powerful imagery indeed.

    I understand why they would call this song Black Swan because it shares many themes with the movie, but also possibly in reference to the Swan Lake ballet.

    Then in the second half they come up from that dark place, opening up their eyes to their own "forest", delving into it with acceptance and fearlessly. It makes sense, because one of the best ways of dealing with such situations is to acknowledge one's feelings and thoughts instead of trying to reject them and blame yourself for having them.

    So Suga raps "I’m slowly opening my eyes. - Even when the dark and rough waves pass by, I won’t ever get swept away again. Inside: I saw myself".J-Hope too, first rapping "Deeper, yeah I think I’m going deeper, I keep losing focus... just let go of me, I hate this" about the initial negative experience they struggled with, he follows up with:"Let my own feet carry me, I’ll jump in myself, into the deepest depths. There, I saw myself". Which is again about facing yourself, your fears and worries, and accepting them. Which is no coincidence, given that the theme of this album is "Shadow", and is based on Carl Jung's Map of The Soul, borrowing from concepts of analytical psychology.

    So the message is that after coming to terms with one's inner turmoil, you are able to watch your thoughts and emotions from a more rational perspective without getting caught up in them, as if watching waves pass by, as sung in the above lyric by Suga: "Even when the dark and rough waves pass by, I won’t ever get swept away again".

    Following this, BTS moves into more positive lyrics, as if evincing their grit to overcome this rut. They sing: "Eyes wide open into my forest, jump jump jump". They show their unyielding and firm stance to not get swept away by their fears and inner demons, they sing: "I shout out with ferocity, nothing can devour me!".They then still comeback to a chorus and verses repeating the lyrics used in the first part in which they showed their weak and struggling selves, as if to say that even after overcoming one hurdle, you'll still always continue to face other lows and highs in life, but if you equip yourself with the right mindset and maturity, you'll always be able to push through again: "I'll never be swept away again".

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