The majority of people, when they listen to music they are most likely not thinking about philosophy much less the idea of transcendentalism. In fact, if one were to ask about the transcendentalist beliefs they probably wouldn’t know they are; it’s amazing to see how many of the ideas are in many modern songs in today’s culture. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were essayist that came up with the concept of transcendentalism. The song «Tears and Rain: by James Blunt, is transcendentalist because it describes the ideas of embracing the positive and the negative experiences, transcending the ordinary and the worldly, and choosing between good and evil.
Whether something turns out good or not embracing all of ones experiences teaches about life, they make your life complete. Of course, one should learn from their mistakes and grow from them, on the other hand not all of ones experiences are bad or mistakes and they help you grow as a person. Blunt states in his song «I’ve heard what they say, but I’m not here for trouble. Far, far away; find comfort in pain. All pleasure’s the same: it just keeps me from trouble. It’s more than just words: it’s just tears and rain.» Emerson agrees with this by saying «that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good?».
Undoubtedly, transcending the ordinary and the worldly was an eccentric idea to grasp many years ago when people weren’t as accepting as they are now. Once one transcends from the worldly then the Truth is revealed. The speaker of the song says, «How I wish I could surrender my soul; Shed the clothes that become my skin;» and in another part «How I wish I could walk through the doors of my mind;». Similarly, Emerson believed, «accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of you contempories, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trust-worthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating n the being?».
Generally speaking there is no absolute good and evil; the individual must decide for himself. It is up to the person to choose what is good and what is evil, not everyone sees the same as the next person. For example, in stanza three Blunt expresses this by saying «How I wish I could choose between Heaven and Hell. How I wish I would save my soul. I’m so cold from fear.». «Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it?» says Emerson.
The song by James Blunt, «Tears and Rain» is transcendentalist because it describes the ideas of embracing the positive and the negative experiences, transcending the worldly and the ordinary, and deciding between good and evil. Even though Emerson and Thoreau wrote their beliefs many years ago, they are still influential to many modern things, especially music. Would you ever have thought that there is an extraordinary amount of lyrics that is influenced by transcendentalist philosophy?