I might be showing my age, but does anyone else remember this Doris Day song?
When I was just a little girl I asked my mother, what will I be Will I be pretty Will I be rich Here’s what she said to me… Que será, será… Whatever will be, will be The future’s not ours to see… Que será, será What will be, will be
Of course, I didn’t hear this on the radio, I heard it in my mind. “What will be will be.” I am not sure why this song invaded my brain, all I know is that it became one of those things that would not leave me alone. It is annoying to have songs taking over my thoughts. I get touchy when this happens. But when it is a song that I don’t like, the feeling is exacerbated. I understand that I cannot ask for good theology from popular music, but even with that understanding, I have slight issues with this song; especially in the midst of today’s political and racial climate.
The simplicity of this song is alien to me. The tune is attractive, and comforting, and the idea behind the words, I sure was meant to be comforting also. But the whole song scares the dickens out of me. This was written in the late 1950s, a different time than now; maybe people were more innocent, better at accepting. But the pure, unadulterated acceptance described in this song, tolerating the idea that there was nothing to be done, what would come would in fact come, there was no changing what was going to happen; these are some of the issues I have with this song. Of course there is something to be done!
In every time of life that Ms. Day sang about, we can work toward the voiced goals. We may not be able to see the future, but we are living now, and our actions do affect our future. In the first verse, the little girl asked if she would be pretty and/or rich, these are things that she can work toward. Being rich takes work and saving, and being pretty is something that is borne from within. She would have to work on being loving and kind and being received as a person.
In the second verse, the young lady asked her beau if they would have rainbows and happiness in their lives. These two things also can be worked at, and are accomplished by hard work. Rainbows don’t come on command, but happiness is a feeling brought on by love, feeling acceptance, and peace. In the third verse, the little girl has grown to be a mother speaking to her young son. Yet again, I want to tell the mom to encourage her son to work for what he wants. I want to tell the child to pursue his dreams with fervor, and to pray unceasingly for God’s presence and guidance in his pursuit.I am not a song writer, and Doris Day was a little earlier than me. But were we as a people ever as naïve as this song would suggest?
Let’s talk about it.