51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 6: Katy Perry – Firework

It’s not often that a video for a song speaks to me more than listening to the song itself. This week, I’m bringing you an example of a favourite song and its video which I recommend everyone watch, especially at times when we’re experiencing self-doubt.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

Firework, sang by Katy Perry, was released in 2010 and has sold over 7.1 million copies in the United States and just over 1 million copies in the U.K. Reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, the song went on to chart in the top five on 20 charts around the world.

The video opens with Katy gazing down upon the city from a balcony. As she sings into the night, fireworks burst from her soul and soon inspire young people throughout the city to overcome their fears and insecurities, in the process igniting their own fireworks.

In the video, we witness a shy overweight girl, playing the role of a wallflower at a pool party, who finds the courage to shed her clothes and jump in the pool with her friends. A leukaemia patient at a children’s hospital proves to herself that she can show herself out on the street and in public despite her loss of hair. A teenage boy approaches his male friend in a club and kisses him on the mouth. These are just some of the examples in the video that makes me think just how lucky I am. They also act as a reminder whenever I am feeling self-doubt.

The video never fails to send tingles up my spine. It’s been watched over 850 million times (not by me) and I do wonder what would happen if 850 million tingles of the spine happened all at the same time.

If only this song had been around for Hazell, the featured artist of last week’s song choice.

Is there a song that helps you get over self-doubt?

Thank you to everyone who left a link to a favourite song in the comments section of last week’s post. And a big thank you to Ruth, Barbara, and Kat who all joined in with publishing a blog post of a favourite song.

Want to join Hugh in building up your 51 favourite songs from the past? Leave a link in the comments section below and showcase your next song.

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100 comments

  1. Didn’t immediately recognise the song, but as it progressed it all came flooding back. Hadn’t seen the video, but the combination works well and does lift you.
    My choice this week probably won’t connect with everyone, but comes from when I went to a Tony Robbins seminar (I did walk on hot coals). As the song says, after that weekend, life was never the same again

      1. Thanks, Hugh. To be fair, the hot coals was the easy bit. Looking into my own emotional baggage was the hard part.
        Enjoying this series of yours, by the way. It has prompted me to finally get started on my own musical reminiscences – I think you’ll recognise the first one.

        1. Hi Graeme. Create a pingback to this post and I’ll create a pingback to the post you’re publishing at the weekend. That way, people can then click on the links in the posts to see both our posts.

  2. I don’t watch a lot of music videos unless I’m considering using the song for a post so this one was new to me. It gave the lyrics much more meaning. 🙂

    1. Wow, doesn’t Robbie Williams look so boyish in that video! So different from his recent New Year’s Eve show on the BBC. His ‘stare’ frightened me that night!
      Great choice for the Wedding party evening, Matt.

    1. Loved both the song and the wonderful video (even if I was a little concerned about the young boy leaving his skateboard behind and walking off having forgotten it). Thanks for introducing me to another inspirational music video. It was lovely to watch.

  3. Although I have heard this song many times, I had never seen the video. It has given me a totally new outlook on it Hugh; it is very inspirational.
    This week I have chosen another Hazel, this time Hazel O’ Connor and her song ‘Will You.’ So many things to like about this, the film it came from, the lyrics but most of all the sax at the end. I have always been a sucker for a bit of sax! 🙂

    1. Hi, Judy. I’m glad you enjoyed the video. It’s one of the best music videos I’ve seen. It just says so much and is certainly a ‘pick me up off the floor’ tune.

      There was no tune attached to your comment. I do know of Hazel O’ Conor. For some reason, she always reminded me a little of Toya Willcox

        1. Well, I’m not going to argue with Mr Grump, Judy. 😮
          This song is another which I’d long forgotten but came flooding back when I heard those first few bars. A nice one to slow dance too.

  4. Hugh so far we seem to have very similar taste in music, I love this video it is my favourite Katy Perry video. It always makes me cry , I love the words and the stories told in the video’s . I think Katy Perry is very underrated as an artist. Now when I need a laugh her best video for comedic value is Last Friday Night

    1. I’ve never heard ‘Last Friday Night’ before, Willow. A completely new song to me. As I was saying to Erika, in a previous comment, I’m not very good when it comes to any of Katy’s other tunes. Tell me a title of one of her songs and I’ll look blank. Play me the tune and I may recognise it, but not this one. I’m so very out of touch when it comes to songs of the modern time. 😕

  5. brilliant. I knew the song but not the video; you’re right it’s skin tingly! Makes my chose rather grubby but there’s fire in the title and it marked a turning point in my appreciation of music from a rather twee sentimental phase to a more considered darker rock phase https://youtu.be/M_yWyBjDEaU

    1. Oh my goodness! The opening of that video. I thought somebody was playing a record backwards. Then it went into the tune I knew. Phew!

      A darker rock age? I’ve never enjoyed heavy rock music. Too much head banging for me, but I don’t enjoy opera either. Two ends of the music spectrum where you wouldn’t find me. I guess I’m more a middle kind of guy when it comes to music?

  6. Hi Hugh,
    I am enjoying and anticipating your pop music post. However, I am of the age where much of the pop music is foreign to me. I’m still living back in the 80’s & 90’s. You would be embarrassed to ride with me and hear the songs I play. My music heart is still back in Texas and I love my Country Western songs. I met my husband in a Gay country western themed bar. I’ll wait in anticipation for the next music post. Perhaps I will know that one.

      1. Thanks Hugh, it’s Gogol Bordello, the band and the vocalist is Eugene Hutz, he is roma, and there is romany on my Dad’s side, that’s how I heard of them and when I listened I loved their music. This song got me through some really bad times.

  7. Great song!

    I hope all is well your neck of the woods. It’s been an age since we last “chin wagged!” I’ve missed you! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far! 😊

      1. I’ve only recently made a blogging comeback, to be fair…but I know what you mean about those WordPress Gremlins… they’ve been doing the same to me! Gah! So annoying. It means I have to rather embarrassingly “re-follow” people even though I didn’t “unfollow” then in the first place! I’ve written two blog posts… and am pleased to know that I am in a much better place! A new year, a new me …and all that. So great to be back too! 😊 Hope all is well with you! Have I missed out on much?

        1. I thought I’d not seen you in Blog land very much, but great to know you’ve come back in a much better place. Sounds as if a lot has been going on.
          Shot me an email if you like? Just use the ‘contact Hugh’ button on the menu of my blog. Be great to catch up, Amanda.

        2. It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster couple of months, but I’m happy to report that everything has finally settled down. Phew! I hope all is well with you. I’ll send you an email and we will have a catch up! It’s great to be back 🙂

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