Hear That Sound

Perhaps intentionally, “Hear That Sound” is the last song on the album X, leaving listeners with the repeated refrain that the impetus for positive, progressive political change lies within each and every one of us. Most of the lyrics of this song speak for themselves, however, there are nuances strewn about the song which the authors will examine in more detail.

SO YOUR TIME HAS COME

CHILDREN WATCH THE FOOLS

DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU

WHAT YOU MUST DO

DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE

OR DOES IT MAKE YOU CRY

USE YOUR IMAGINATION

AND START A FIRE

HEAR THAT SOUND

THERE’S A VOICE TO BE FOUND

MAKING CHANGES GO ROUND

HEAR THAT SOUND

AND MY SELFISH WAYS

DISAPPEARED ONE DAY

WITH THE REALIZATION

OF A NEW WAY

IMAGES OF THE FREE

COMING INTO VIEW

OUR HEARTS FULL OF PROMISES

OF ALL WE CAN DO

HEAR THAT SOUND

THERE’S A VOICE TO BE FOUND

MAKING CHANGES GO ROUND

HEAR THAT SOUND

SO YOUR TIME HAS COME

CHILDREN WATCH THE FOOLS

DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU

WHAT YOU MUST DO

DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE

OR DOES IT MAKE YOU CRY

USE YOUR IMAGINATION

AND START A FIRE

HEAR THAT SOUND

THERE’S A VOICE TO BE FOUND

MAKING CHANGES GO ROUND

HEAR THAT SOUND”

“So your time has come,” calls one into the present, suggesting that the listener is empowered here and now, where circumstances are dire as children “watch the fools” in a world where so-called leaders – politicians, business tycoons, pundits and misled parents – are providing the worst possible examples. 

The lyrics go on to encourage the listener to be different than those who watch the fools: “Don’t let anyone tell you what you must do.” The simple question is then posed, “Do you like what you see, or does it make you cry?” which is a call to consider one’s true and unfiltered feelings. It can been seen as an indictment of the status quo, (“what you see”), and an affirmation to take a clear-eyed perspective on the state of affairs in the world. The next line offers an inspirational imperative letting us know that we have what it takes to effect positive change by tapping into our own creative devices. “Use your imagination to start a fire.”

The chorus furthers this imperative with the words, “Hear that sound, There’s a voice to be found, Make the changes go ‘round, Hear that sound,” calling us to listen to the voice within, and then speak out in order to effect change. The echoes of “that sound” include the voices of our forebears in the humanitarian movements of the past, spurring us on to make the world a better place.

The second verse starts out with the acknowledgement that in order to become an effective vehicle for change, one must banish egocentric thoughts that lead to selfish ends and goals. Only then can one realize that the path to creating a more positive world begins with a change within. Michael Hutchence was reportedly a big fan of the video for “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, possibly to the extent that it influenced his words on Hear That Sound. When one considers the lyrics to Jackson’s song “I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love, it’s time that I realize,” one can easily correlate this to “And my selfish ways disappeared one day, with the realization of a new way” in Hear That Sound. In keeping with the idea of subordinating one’s ego, the lyrics continue with a nod to visualization techniques which are known to activate one’s creative subconsciousness, thus building up the mindfulness and motivation needed to achieve goals. “Images of the free, coming into view, Our hearts full of promises of all we can do.”

The chorus “Hear that sound…” follows, and with the reference to mindfulness, reinforcing the suggestion that the sound we should be listening to is our own inspirational thoughts about changing the world for the better.

The third verse is a repeat of the first, however, it seems to be sung more emphatically this time around now, passionate in communicating the awareness that we all have the tools within us to effect positive change.

As the song comes to an end, it fades out and then back in with an atmospheric incantation of the chorus, as though it is crossing into the subconscious to become an affirmative soundtrack for making a difference in the world.