Chords of Strength: Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Once upon a time in a land not-so-far far away ... (Photos: Snarky Archies)

David Archuleta has said in a couple of interviews that one of the target audiences for his book is “kids his own age.” Well, here I am. And although, I don’t consider myself a “kid” anymore, I am about his age (actually, as my friends like to remind me, I am a year older. But close enough) so here is my take on it (*spoiler alert* If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to stop here):

I love love loved the whole thing. Especially the parts about when he was younger, and how he grew up. One part that really hit me was when he was talking about when his mom had a stillborn baby and he wrote, “I wonder if he likes to sing.” That sentence made me stop. I reread that like 10 times. That one sentence says a lot to me about how David thinks and what he believes. Not “would have liked to sing” but “LIKES.” I have been thinking about that one sentence nonstop since I read it…

Before reading Chords of Strength, I imagined it would be insightful and inspiring (and it was) but I never really thought it would be funny!

I was surprised how many times I laughed while reading it! His dry wit totally came through and I thank the editors for leaving it in. There were so many little things that I can’t remember right now (I NEED to read it again) but one of the funny things that stuck out to me was when he talked about trying to save his cats from becoming pregnant. As if that was important enough to make it into a book! Another instance I remember is when he wrote “I had no idea what it was about, I promise” while referring to the “racy” song in Les Miz. (I also love how he used the word racy. I don’t even know why.) And I loved that he mentioned the leather jacket he wore in “You’re All I Need To Get By.” That kinda made my life! Haha (Also, did anyone else notice that the “haha”s that actually made it past the editor were formatted as “Ha ha!”. There was like a space between the “ha”s. It was weird.)

Even though COS was funny in parts, David never lost focus of what he wanted to tell us. And I positively loved when he was explaining the emotional connection between performer and audience, and how he can bring people into the song. That’s exactly what I felt during his performance of “Angels” in Lancaster (the one concert I’ve been to). It was amazing. If he feels what I felt in that one song every time he gets into a meaningful song like that (and I suspect he does), then I completely understand his love for music. I wish I could go back to that place, but I guess I’ll have to wait for another David Archuleta concert. It’s really amazing how deep into the songs he can get, and how he can bring other people with him. I almost think this is a bigger talent (or “gift” as David likes to call it) than his flawless vocals (which, as we all know, is saying something).

David + bookstore = ❤✿❅✰❅✿❤

Although, I loved the whole thing, the part of the book that struck deepest with me personally is when he described how he made his decision to audition for American Idol. Both when he talked about it at the Women’s Conference and when I was reading it in Chords of Strength, it made me cry. I think this is because I went through a very similar experience three years ago, and listening to him tell his story brought back the emotions I felt at the time, when it happened to me.

For me, I was in Grade 12 and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after high school. There was this program I was considering where you get your teaching degree at the same time as your undergraduate degree (Concurrent Education), but I wasn’t sure. Like I thought I wanted to be a teacher but everyone else I knew who also wanted to be a teacher seemed more peppy and teacher-ish than I was. I didn’t know if I could do it, and I didn’t even know if I wanted to commit to it with my uncertainty. And I was getting stressed not knowing.

So I did what David did; I said a prayer and just told God what I was feeling and asked Him for help. I didn’t really expect an answer but a couple weeks later I was volunteering at a children’s after-school program, cleaning up after the kids had gone on to the next station. One of the adults who also worked there came up to me and said “Anna, have you ever considered being a teacher?” It was out of the blue and I didn’t expect it and so I had the amazing response of “kinda…” and then he said “Well, I think you would be really good.” That was it. I’m sure he had no idea what he had done for me but to me it was an answered prayer.

And the emotions that ran through my body in that moment, I relive when David talks about his own story of deciding to audition for American Idol. I could reread that part a million times. I have watched that Women’s Conference video dozens of times. The big difference between my experience and David’s is that I have never told anyone my story before (until now, I guess) and David wrote about his in a book! And I admire him a lot for that.

abanana77

p.s. Oh and I have one last thing I would like to plead to the Universe. If there’s anyone out there with a video of David singing Dream Sky High with the full orchestra shoved in a box in their basement somewhere, could you PLEASE upload it onto youtube? You would be my favourite person of all time.

**************************

I interrupt Ms. abanana77’s post to wish you all a

HAPPY HUSH CATS ANNIVERSARY!


Today marks the one-year anniversary of the EPIC tweet of all tweets, the CLASSIC David rant that was heard around ArchWorld at 3:30 a.m. in the wee hours of June 15, 2009. Now, if you’ll all bow your heads in a moment of silence … KIDDING!!!!

1st Prize!!!!

Seriously though, in honour of this auspicious occasion, please enter our Hush Cats Contest! It’s simple, every commenter on this post will be entered in a random draw (with David involved, could it possibly be any other kind? 🙂 ) for a Hush Cats mug (designed by the uber-lovely Ms. Beebee, check out the rest of her Hush Cats line, HERE.) Now, Hush! People (somewhere) are trying to sleep! 🙂


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42 Responses to Chords of Strength: Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

  1. SandyBeaches says:

    abanana77…It is absolutely refreshing to read reviews from fans who are close in age to David, or even not so close! It is interesting to hear the story about your own career decision making and how the decision came to you. It gives you great confidence when someone notices your abilities.

    Refnaf…next please!!

    SB

  2. refnaf says:

    (((abanana))) Kudos to you for sharing your story, David would be so thrilled to know that his “target audience” has experienced similar feelings. I’m so glad that reading COS brings back and reaffirms a moment in your life that will define who you become. Dreams do come true so “dream sky High” ,lol (yes I’d like to hear that one too)
    This>”I positively loved when he was explaining the emotional connection between performer and audience, and how he can bring people into the song. That’s exactly what I felt during his performance of “Angels” in Lancaster (the one concert I’ve been to). It was amazing. If he feels what I felt in that one song every time he gets into a meaningful song like that (and I suspect he does), then I completely understand his love for music. I wish I could go back to that place, but I guess I’ll have to wait for another David Archuleta concert.” I had the pleasure of being at that concert too (too bad we did not meet!!!) and I know that experiencing those concert moments are what keeep us wantiong more.
    Next tour we will meet I hope, when he comes to Cananda! eeep
    The stillborn baby part was so touching and it hit me too, how he felt that the lost brother would be a bit of a bridge between him and Daniel…. and the “likes” rather than “would have liked”, very touching…

    SB…hahha…. I am on the mend….. and will be getting my stuff together… patience girl!! lol

  3. abanana77 says:

    Aw thanks guys! 😀 I was a little nervous writing down my story and it’s nice to hear good feedback ❤

    Refnaf – you were at the Lancaster concert! Crazy. Weird to think we were in the same room. Haha. Back then, I didn't really know any other David fans, so I dragged my friend and mom and forced them to go roadtripping with me! Haha. And I agree – David neeeeeds to come to Canada!

  4. TOfan says:

    {{{abanana}}}
    You are truly a breath of fresh air! ♥ LOVE your take on COS, especially how it related to your personal story. Thanks so much for sharing that.

    I think the media (and even other fans) often assume that fans close to David’s age only follow him because of his looks or charisma … not really appreciating his music and his depth of character. Sure, David has those fans too, and that’s cool. But I’ve always felt there were just as many “serious” fans David’s age (and younger) as there are more, ahem, mature fans.

    Oh, and I was in Lancaster too (with Refnaf & Sunshine) and I’ll never forget that powerful Angels … that vid (from suttygal) captures David’s tears at the end & when he says a quiet “I love you” to the crowd. *sniff*

  5. abanana77 says:

    Weird! (about us all being in Lancaster) That is so weird to think about now. I don’t even know. Sorry it just strikes me as weird. OK I am for some reason seriously amped for a nonexistent concert that I hope will soon after his CD comes out. I neeeeeed to see him live again! Haha

    And I totally know what you mean TOfan, a lot of my friends even think I only am a fan of David because I think he’s goodlooking. I find that annoying because I’m like “Do you really think I’m that superficial to be THIS obsessed over the way someone looks???”. But alas, most of them still don’t understand.

  6. djafan says:

    abanana77…I’m really enjoying reading the reviews, I hunt for them all over the net. Yours is much appreciated.

    “One part that really hit me was when he was talking about when his mom had a stillborn baby and he wrote, “I wonder if he likes to sing.” That sentence made me stop. I reread that like 10 times. That one sentence says a lot to me about how David thinks and what he believes. Not “would have liked to sing” but “LIKES.” I have been thinking about that one sentence nonstop since I read it…”

    This part has stayed with me, when I first read this it brought me to tears. You have made a great observation, David has a way of saying things that let you see the great unique person that he is.

  7. TOfan says:

    Here’s rusharr’s vid of the KHOP radio interview (featuring Kim/@wicklessscents) (love these DJs, and the fact that Kim didn’t have a meltdown like they seemed to expect, but was cool, calm, collected & prepared with questions):

    Here’s the full unedited interview:
    [audio src="http://www.khopftp.com/Popcasts/davidarchuletajune2010.mp3" /]

  8. Pastel says:

    abanana77 What a great post! I love how you picked up on some very special things about David and his beliefs and feelings, like “I wonder if he likes singing” in talking about his stillborn brother. I think we could have a book club and just talk about COS! I want you to be a part of that!

    You were in Lancaster? So was I! Yes, Angels was amazing. We have to get you to another concert tho! Let’s hope its in Canada (at least a book signing – are you listening Penguin Books?). Thanks again for your post!

  9. awestruck says:

    abanana – well written and yes he made me laugh too with his dry wit. The range of emotions he illicits in me is amazing when I am in the audience, though I get the same feelings from his first CD, perhaps to a lesser degree. His Christmas album had me in tears, and hearing him sing songs from it in concert – well just let me say that he transported me to another place.

    I want to tell you how honored I feel to hear your story, thank you so much for sharing it!

  10. refnaf says:

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/11/teen-celebrities-brand-building-entrepreneurs-miley-cyrus-justin-bieber_slide_2.html

    David U.S. Open

    David Archuleta, 18
    Musician, actor, author
    Defeated in the seventh season of American Idol by David Cook, Archuleta went on to release a self-titled album on Jive records that reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts, and a Christmas album in October 2009. He even customized a Christmas singing game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. He has played more than 100 live shows since Idol. This year he released an autobiography, Chords of Strength, and last year toured with fellow teen star Demi Lovato. He’s also guest-starred on Nickelodeon’s iCarly and Disney’s Hannah Montana.

  11. TOfan says:

    abanana & awestruck,
    I laughed out loud too a few times while reading COS. That part about keeping the Tom cat from his cat during her “time of the month” … I was rolling on the floor at that one. On the other hand, the idea of him being so protective of that cat and the comfort she brought him when he was “lonely” … that got me all verklempt.

    I found the whole book like that. One minute I’d be smiling or laughing, the next grabbing for my tissues. I guess that sums him up though, doesn’t it?

  12. beebee says:

    abanana!! {{{hugs}}} What a great review! You nailed so many things about COS that really GOT ME, too! (I’m halfway through my second reading.)

    Thank you for sharing your own story and how soundly David’s story resonates with you, personally. I hope he reads this review, because I think it would make him so happy. I just have to believe that there are and will be a great many readers close to his age who will find equally strong resonance in this memoir. I know that’s what he really hopes for and I feel certain he’s accomplished this mission. (We all know how it goes when the guy sets his heart and mind on something!)

    I can’t help musing about some who MAY buy the book and dive in thinking they’ll get some sort of tell-all mess…and emerge feeling completely LOVED and raring to generate some of that divine vibe in their own environments. 🙂

    And yes, the part about wondering if his stillborn baby brother liked to sing (vs. would’ve liked) really did say so much—reading that touched me so. But then a zillion things in his book did. And OH YEAH, I laughed right out loud a number of times. (Gotta love that dry wit. “What’s dry wit?” lol)

    I really view this memoir, much as I do “Christmas from the Heart,” as a mission fullfilled, in and of itself. Both efforts from David are, not gonna lie, PURE LOVE, and are complete packages (GIFTS) that will continue giving long into the future.

    Again, abanana, thank you for such a thoughtful (and fun to read!) review. Much appreciated. ❤

    (I hereby disqualify myself from the Hush Cats contest. *waves disqualification wand* lol)

  13. archiesfan4life says:

    abanana – I loved reading what touched you in COS. Ever since reading COS I have hoped that young people everywhere would read it – not that us “older folks” aren’t learning a lot from COS too:), but when young people read these words from someone close to their own age, it really speaks to them IMHO.

    Thanks for sharing!

    {{{HUGS}}}}

  14. YJfanofdavid says:

    Abanana, Thank you for your heart-felt and touching review.

    His use of present tense when talking about his still-born brother also startled me. Perhaps because it reveals a bit of how he looks at life and death? I was in tears throughout the book in unexpected places, and this is one of them.

  15. abanana77 says:

    Today is the Hush Cats anniversary?!? WOW, that did not seem like a year ago! Hahaha.

    Pastel – yes I am going to the next David concert I have the opportunity to go to. It has been wayyyyy to long.

    beebee – THIS “I can’t help musing about some who MAY buy the book and dive in thinking they’ll get some sort of tell-all mess…and emerge feeling completely LOVED and raring to generate some of that divine vibe in their own environments. :)” is perfect. People expecting a tell-all will be quite disappointed. But I’m with you I hope they come out of it happier and inspired to do good.

    Thanks to everyone who wrote nice things! <33333333 You guys make me so happy reading your comments I am about ready to explode!

  16. YJfanofdavid says:

    Beebee, Love what you said:

    “I can’t help musing about some who MAY buy the book and dive in thinking they’ll get some sort of tell-all mess…and emerge feeling completely LOVED and raring to generate some of that divine vibe in their own environments”

    So true. The world would be a much better place if we all take a little of David and his kind and generous spirits with us as we go about our life.

  17. jackryan4DA says:

    Abanana – by your account, David has succeeded once again in reaching out to his intended audience. If I remember my own youth correctly, people in your age bracket, with so much promise yet so much uncertainty, are in the period where they are most sensitive and vulnerable. And life during my time was much simple!

    So am glad that we have a David who takes the time and serious effort to engage people his own age and still connect with the rest of us.

    That is no mean feat. But, it is David we’re talking about, so it should not be a surprise 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. jackryan4DA says:

    See how Manila loves our guy!

    21 David Archuleta @ COS Blitzkrieg w/ GMA7’s Unang Balita (Phil news, 14 June 2010)

    BEEBEE – I didn’t know you were the designer of the hush cat mug! That is soooo cute!

  19. embe says:

    I’m 24 (does that make me old compared to David?) and I’ve learned way more from David than I have ever learned at school.

    STILL haven’t received my COS, so I can’t really say I’ve learned anything from it, though I know I will.

  20. janey says:

    I would like to enter @gabydunn!

  21. pastel says:

    I just HAVE to have one of BeeBee’s mugs…. That hushcats pic is classic!!! I’ll pay! I’ll just take it out of the COS extra books/VIP/concert/ anything else David fund.

  22. janey says:

    pastel, “anything else David fund” lol.

  23. awestruck says:

    Pastel – “I’ll just take it out of the COS extra books/VIP/concert/ anything else David fund.” PLEASE not so loud, by hubby might hear!

  24. TOfan says:

    “anything else David fund” lolol … mine’s actually pretty full … until, gulp, CD/tour time!

    Gaby’s in, Janey! 🙂

    Embe, hope you get your book soon! I was so thrilled to finally see it in my local bookstore, although I did a little, ahem, rearranging … moved some to the main entrance “Hot Biographies” table … propped up another on the premium display ledge … and made sure the others were facing forward to show off that … cover! 😆

  25. refnaf says:

    (((JR))) Manilla does love him!

    Hmmm, I need to start my “anything else David fund” all over again!

  26. refnaf says:

    TOfan, I have not looked at my local bookstore for CoS yet….need to do that, soon!

  27. beebee says:

    Pastel, re: HushCats goodies, if it helps any, any and all proceeds from sales (now and forevah more) will go to a David charity. fyi. 🙂

  28. TOfan says:

    {{{beebs}}}

    On the topic of COS, bringing over this comment from the COS Book Club Page,
    From Peppertara:

    Really enjoyed reading the comments here, there is just so much you can say about the book!

    Reading David’s book , like the rest of you, was pure delight and joy for me. There are so many quotes by David in the book that just made me stop and think..this is coming from a 19 yr old young man. I could only think that David has learned and realized in his 19 yrs of life, so many important principles in life and he applies them well. I can honestly say that he knows and understands more at his age than many people come to know in their lifetimes. He is a pretty wise and wonderful young man.
    Inspiring….definitely. Humorous, joyful, sad, honest, sincere and captivating. I just loved it. I know I will re-read it again and again I am sure. These parts really stood out for me (there are many of course):

    “I strongly believe that fame brings with it the opportunity to help other people. You can use your name for the purpose of doing good, as opposed to just being Tabloid material all the time. You can actually make a difference. I feel that all celebrities should take this responsibility seriously and take advantage of their position to spread positive messages. I hold this as a top priority as I move further along in my career; whatever status I have will be as much for others as it is for myself, because fame is nothing without generosity and kindness.”

    And how about this, such sweetness:
    “And remember, even if you can’t sing, you can always plant a tree”….
    Thank you David, I was never very musical but yes I can plant a tree!

    Even the acknowledgments in the back of the book were very heartfelt. The last paragraph for the fans…..well, pretty wonderful.

  29. TOfan says:

    Interview with a Rexburg radio station … reading between the lines, it sounds as though David might be doing some music Sat. night. Oh. My. Gosh.

  30. abanana77 says:

    TOfan – do you mean NEW music>? Haha I don’t have time to listen to the interview right now. But I thought it was pretty established that he has doing “some music” 😉

    But yes please to new music 😀

  31. TOfan says:

    ahahahahaha, yes, NEW music … I was so excited I forgot to add that small detail!

    😆

  32. awestruck says:

    TOfan/abanana “it’s all in the details” LOL

    SPOILER abanana, I’m commenting on the interview.

    Was David munching something throughout this interview?

    More of a conversation than an interview… random David too. Oh he’s hedging about NEW music for the upcoming concert… cool how he answers slightly differently re why he wrote the book – ie. journal writing for the inspiration… seems more confortable talking about being LSD; really feeling comfortable with the interviewer… last minute plug for the book signing on the 17th…

    Really enjoyed this interview!

  33. TOfan says:

    awestruck, it did seem like more of a conversation … I think the interviewer def. set the relaxed tone, like they were just chatting. Cool.

    Interesting that he knows what the single is already. Maybe that means they’ll intentionally leak a snippet or two. 🙂

    Here’s a more formal interview with a Billings, Montana, station:

    “How old were you when you won American Idol?” LOVE it!!!!

  34. peppertara says:

    abanana77: Really enjoyed reading your review and coming from a younger perspective (as opposed to my older perspective) you really captured some touching points. Loved how you related to it and were inspired by it personally. I think David will accomplish what he intended with the book (think he already has).
    Loving the recent interviews and I thought in one of them David sounded like he was eating something too….had visions of him sucking on a piece of fruit!
    Tofan I love that slip up by the DJ too…”How old were you when you won A.I.”, ha.
    The Rexburg concert should be a pretty special one. I just may have to try and listen to a sincere but somewhat “crappy” cellcast! Appreciate it all though and I really hope that some wonderful fans will feed us all with a few awesome videos!
    Awestruck: Couldn’t help noticing your lovely post and this:
    “seems more comfortable talking about being LSD; really feeling comfortable with the interviewer”.
    Ha, I know of course that you meant LDS but made me laugh, thanks.

  35. TOfan says:

    LOLOLOLOL … totally thought you meant LSD 😉

    Am I the only one who didn’t realize this BYU interview had THREE parts??? (I only heard Part 1… Part 3 *sniff*):

    http://www.byuicomm.net/video.php?c=1564
    http://www.byuicomm.net/video.php?c=1581
    http://www.byuicomm.net/video.php?c=1588

    UPDATE: Here they are on YouTube (thanks, NannyTaq!):

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

  36. TOfan says:

    These TwitPics from @pecanpie are from Ford Day … I remember standing behind this lovely girl when she shyly told David she had a gift for him, a necklace with “Imagine” engraved on it. Without missing a beat he crouched down on the stage and bent forward so she could slip it over his head. 🙂

    Ford Day 1

    Ford Day 2

  37. jackryan4DA says:

    As an alternative, here is a merged set of Part 1-3 of the BYU-ID intefrviews:

    Lucky Rexburg peeps – they get to hear new music (my guess: IICOB) and they get personalized signed COS – gaaaaaaaahhhhh!

    Anw, am really liking the pace and depth of David’s book promo. Feels like there is a team behind on this one.

  38. jackryan4DA says:

    TOFan, this will surprise you — there is a part 4 of the BYU-ID interview 🙂

  39. jackryan4DA says:

    In case anyone is interested, I updated my COS Blitzkrieg playlist:

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=3FC88351B34554D7

    It has 33 videos, so far – just for his media function alone!

    TheArchulator has been pretty busy!

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