HAVE YOU SEEN MY CHILDHOOD?
I’M SEARCHING FOR THE WORLD THAT I COME FROM
‘CAUSE I’VE BEEN LOOKING AROUND
IN THE LOST AND FOUND OF MY HEART
CHILDHOOD MICHAEL JACKSON HISTORY ALBUM 1995
“Our personal history begins in childhood and the song ‘CHILDHOOD’ is a reflection of my life…it’s about the pain, some of the joys, some of the dreaming, some of the mental adventures that I took because of the different life I had, in being a child performer. I was born on stage and ‘CHILDHOOD’, it’s my mirror—it’s my story. MJ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puQEcN_iI9ohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puQEcN_iI9o
“He was always considerably passionate about his music, even back then. It was what he loved to do and we supported him. Michael knew that he would not have accomplished the level of stardom he did if it weren’t for his commitment as a child. He remained grateful in his accomplishments, and though I’ve heard him complain about his sacrifices, I know he believed strongly in his purpose: to inspire the world with his art.” Katherine Jackson Never Can Say Goodbye
Take a moment and think about your life growing up…your childhood. Paint a picture of it with words. How does it look? What does it sound like? Now, imagine that childhood as a working child. Imagine having to attend school, do your homework, try to get along with your brothers and sisters and…take voice lessons, learn songs, rehearse with your siblings, voice train, dance train, be in the studio, on stage… traveling back and forth from one place to another. And, imagine this was a 24/7 schedule with no time for birthdays or holidays or vacations or PLAY. Does the rigor of that lifestyle sound familiar to you? I know it doesn’t for me. Of course, life has its challenges for us all, but, my childhood also included time for hide-and-seek, hopscotch, running, roller skating, swinging and more. My birthday was always a special kind of day because I got to choose exactly what I wanted for my birthday dinner. I always had my favorites including a layer chocolate cake for my birthday cake. Santa always arrived at our little apartment, even though I never, ever got to meet him. And, to think he got in when we didn’t even have a fireplace or chimney! The Easter bunny arrived on time, too. No one in my family depended upon me to work and earn wages. When it was discovered that ballet class was really not my forte, I simply stopped my lessons. Nothing happened to my family…we just laughed about it. I truly cannot imagine the responsibility placed on the shoulders of a very young child. Granted, Michael was a child prodigy. But, he was also a CHILD!
“So here’s what I remember. I remember singing at the top of my voice and dancing with real joy and working too hard for a child.” Moonwalk
“I remember my childhood as mostly work, even though I loved to sing. I wasn’t forced into this business by stage parents. I did it because I enjoyed it and because it was as natural to me as drawing a breath and exhaling it. I did it because I was compelled to do it, not by parents or family, but by my own inner life in the world of music.” Moonwalk
I do not find it difficult to understand Michael’s love for play when he had none of it as a child. His unparalleled talent, commitment and work ethic produced the most successful entertainment career in history. Along with material and professional success came time to carve out some fun. HURRAY!!!!!
For inspiration, Michael found wonder in the natural world, with animals and with children. His beautiful song, SPEECHLESS, was inspired after watching children at play. To him, play was necessary for his creativity.
“When I begin to feel a little tired or burdened, children revive me. I turn to them for new life, for new music. Two brown eyes look at me so deeply, so innocently, and inside I murmur, ‘This child is a song.’ It is so true and direct an experience that instantly I realize again, ‘I am a song also.’ I am back to myself once more.” MJ Dancing the Dream 1992
For me, I feel inspiration just being here with you. As I write these words, look through my reams of pages of research, pour over books and articles, the inspiration I felt when this journey began multiplies. Thank you for your time. Be inspired for the rest of your day.
“But while singing and dancing were, and undoubtedly remain, some of my greatest joys, at that time what I wanted more than anything else were the two things that make childhood the most wondrous years of life, namely, playtime and a feeling of freedom. The public at large has yet to really understand the pressures of childhood celebrity, which while exciting, always exacts a very heavy price.
“That is what the Sabbath has always been to me. A day of freedom. Now I find this freedom and magic every day in my role as a father. The amazing thing is, we all have the ability to make every day the precious day that is the Sabbath. And we do this by rededicating ourselves to the wonders of childhood. We do this by giving over our entire heart and mind to the little people we call son and daughter.” MJ My Childhood, My Sabbath, My Freedom December 2000
Thank you so much for this Jude this is the sort of thing which really needs to be published so that others who don’t understand Michael can at least begin to.
I have often compared my childhood to Michael’s and given thanks for being able to have one unlike him and like you I totally get why he chose to have play woven into his life when he got older and was able to. I think we could also take on some of that for ourselves, who as adults get caught up in work, family life and so on and forget to let our inner child out to play so she/he gets bogged down and neglected. Thank you Jude and thank you Michael for reminding us about letting that little girl or boy inside of us out to have some fun.
This song is bittersweet as far as the memories go, because my childhood had Christmas’s my chilhood had birthdays, hide and seek and all the normal kid things, what I didn’t have was a normal childhood. I had my innocence taken from me at the tender age of 5 through abuse. So this is why I can relate to this song and i can relate to the pain. But it makes me sad because this is about Michael and he did have it rougher.