What do Justin Beiber and Mumford & Sons have in common? They both want to be some girl’s gold. I must say that given my own lack of experience with young ladies, I certainly do not qualify as some sort of expert in either knowing or being particularly skilled at giving lovely young ladies what they want, but I would say that most young women probably do not want a guy to be their gold. Instead, I would think that most girls would want (and probably almost all girls would appreciate) a guy who could buy them gold, at the very least for a wedding band or some jewelry. Of course, the ladies who read this blog can correct me if I am wrong.
I don’t know if Justin Beiber or Mumford & Sons (or their fans, which I would think to be largely different sorts of people) are aware of the similarity between the two lyrical statements in songs that proclaim a desire to be the precious metals for their ladies. It seems likely that those who are fans of Mumford & Sons probably would not like to think of their band as being similar to Justin Beiber, but in this particular case the similarity is pretty glaringly obvious (at least to me; I’m aware that it may not be so obvious to others). Let us compare the two statements as they appear in songs and then comment a bit on what it means.
Justin Beiber’s statement about being the precious metals of some lucky young lady occurs in his hit “As Long As You Love Me” (which isn’t a remake of the Backstreet Boys hit of the same title, it should be noted). The context of the lyrics is as follows:
“As long as you love me,
We could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke.
As long as you love me
I’ll be your platinum, I’ll be your silver, I’ll be your gold .”
Here we see that Justin Beiber’s songs are making a fairly straightforward appeal to true love overcoming problems of material poverty. Of course, this appeal is highly ironic, given the main appeal of a singer like Justin Beiber to young women is his fame as well as his wealth. There are plenty of guys around who are decent and considerate and loving people, even cute, who aren’t wealthy at all. Millions of ladies aren’t screaming to be with them. If Justin Beiber was homeless, broke, and starving, he wouldn’t be particularly desirable to many women. If he is fortunate, someone would have gotten to know him well enough when times were good and continued to love him even through difficult times such as many of us have had to deal with at some point or another. However, to expect as much interest in the absence of material wealth would appear to be a vain hope for Mr. Beiber and for those like him, as much as we would like to believe that others are idealistic in such matters.
Now, let us examine the context of Mumford & Sons’ reference to being the gold of a lover, in their hit single “Lover Of The Light.” (Let us note that at least one obvious similarity is the fact that both references to the singer being the gold of the lady they are writing about occur in songs that are deliberately and openly love songs. This is significant.):
“But love the one you hold,
And I’ll be your gold
To have and to hold,
A lover of the light .”
Here too Mumford & Sons makes the explicit connection between affection and love as well as material blessings. Again, it would appear that in the eyes of Mumford & Sons, being a lover of the light means valuing love and affection more than material blessings. This is an attractive sentiment, but as is the case with Justin Beiber, the love and adoration that Mumford & Sons receive from their fans (as well as their loved ones in their own personal life, about which I know nothing and do not care particularly much) is largely due to their popularity (even if that popularity is not quite to the level of Justin Beiber). Again, if Mumford & Sons were an entirely obscure band struggling in poverty, they would probably not be the gold of anyone except someone who genuinely loved them, and it is sad to say but such genuine love in the context of relationships seems pretty rare at least to me. I suppose I might be just a bit cynical based on my own experience, but I would think that some level of material propserity would be required for most people to have legitimate chances of relationships, and this need not imply any mercenarial intent on the part of young women who would quite simply want the men in their lives to be responsible and somewhat ambitious and not total bums.
So, while it is flattering for people to want to be sufficient in themselves without the need for material prosperity, money has at least something to do with love. The absence of financial stability is a major impediment to successful relationships, and even if musicians would like to feel that they did not need to be successful or popular to have lasting love, they ought to realize the fact that the vast majority of the affection they receive is because of their popularity, and that without their gold, they would attract far fewer young ladies, namely those who took the time to get to know them as people apart from their fame and success, to develop a relationship with them rather than the bandwagon tendencies that seem to dominate such realms of human activity. It might be a flattering thought that a musician could be all that someone needed without any kind of wealth or material prosperity, but without the building of a deep relationship, this thought is probably a vain and futile one, no matter how attractive it is.