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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Kassel

Bob Sinclar and Steve Edwards say, "World, Hold On"... but how do we do that?

And to what exactly are we supposed to hold on? Well, the answer is... a lot of things.


Today I woke up way more stressed than I expected, and for no good reason.


It isn't even like I have much going on. Sure, there's a football game tomorrow, but that's... tomorrow. Sure, classes are still intense, but I don't have anything due Monday, or any big exams coming up. For some likely subconscious reason, I just felt on edge throughout the early morning.


As I reviewed my work due today and got breakfast, I wanted to calm myself, but I also wanted to get out a bit of energy and move a little (despite my... let's just say lacking dance skills). In going through my behemoth dance music playlist, I found the perfect song in French DJ Bob Sinclar's "World, Hold On," featuring British singer Steve Edwards. A house classic from the mid-2000s, Sinclar's beat is refreshingly calm, and it comes with a reminder for us to collectively "hold on" in a couple different ways.. Before I begin talking about the theme more deeply, though, I've loved the song's video for a long time, and I want to share it with all of you:

Did someone say apocalyptic naïveté?


Honestly, the visuals seem to correspond pretty well to a surface-level reading of "World, Hold On" (a title sometimes appended in parentheses with 'Children of the Sky'). In the boy's dream sequence, the world holds on thanks to his heroics in space — during which one can argue he's a "child of the sky" himself. But enough of the superficial stuff; instead of venturing outward into space, let's go inward and take a closer look at the track.


Before Steve Edwards begins singing, Bob Sinclar (re name Christophe Le Friant) introduces a beat I find surprisingly placid for house music. It keeps the time very strongly, of course, with a quick and forward kick drum and snare / clap combo, but the elements behind it are quite calm. The string synth pad and gentle bass feel more contemplative than energetic, restrained in a way that makes sense given the lyrics to soon be sung on top of them.


Edwards' lyrics open with a call for introspection: "Open up your heart, what do you feel?" There's little use in beginning understanding the world around us if we can't understand some of our basic emotions and inner truths. Of course, what we feel can get awfully complicated, and while it can be difficult to get the drive to really examine oneself, doing so will lead to a much greater understanding of your tendencies. Upon situating ourselves in our own world, we can situated ourselves in gradually larger worlds, and those worlds within others as well.


What does all this examination and situating allow us to do? On the smaller scale, it'll help us stay calmer, as we'll better understand how we act. On the larger scale, it allows us to more confidently shoulder the load we all bear as humans to protect our world. While nothing is permanent on geologic and universal scales, we too often take the world for granted because we don't understand just how quickly the consequences of our inaction toward climate change and increasing spread of misinformation (among others) are going to affect us, and how permanent they will likely be. In order for the end of the second verse — "If you ever meet your inner child, don't cry / Tell them everything is gonna be alright" — to hold true, we need to collectively take swifter action to preserve what we still can. Edwards is right when he sings that he "can't think of a better time to say" the chorus as a message to all of humanity:

World, hold on
Instead of messing with our future, open up inside
World, hold on
One day you will have to answer to the children of the sky...

The title line has a twofold meaning when it comes to what we're holding onto. Firstly, it implores us to hold onto our humanity through our emotions. By "open[ing] up inside" and expressing our feelings, we're gaining greater understanding of each other as well as ourselves and how we respond to various stressors. Secondly, it demands we hold onto... well, the world. As I said earlier, not acting against our global ills soon enough doesn't just doom us; it dooms our society along with it. The replacement of "open up inside" with "tell me no more lies" in the second half of the chorus strikes a chord in our current world with the increasing ambush of disinformation about politics, COVID-19 vaccines, etc., on top of the longstanding lies that hindered our ability to act against climate change any sooner. Future generations depend on present action, and "one day you will have to answer to the children of the sky," whether those 'children' be our literal kin or a metaphorical representation of some sort of higher power. I personally hear it both ways, and each of them serve as a reminder of our responsibility to the current and coming world.


...That's some heavy stuff, but all the same, I felt calmer during and following my listen to Bob Sinclar's production than I did before. On a basic level, maybe it's because that's the effect the music had on me. On a deeper level, though, maybe it's because I get what Steve Edwards is singing, and I accept the demands with which we are charged as humans. Either way, the song got me in a better mood, and I've gone through the rest of the day with greater confidence — a trait humanity desperately needs in order to put ourselves on the right path as we attempt to hold on.

 

The shortest of postscripts: I just want to share a remix of this track I absolutely love, as much as I do the original. Here's Axwell's take on "World, Hold On," a much more driving, uplifting, anthemic approach that features some of the best use of guitar I've ever heard in the house genre.


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