Living Loud: Childhood Social Standards in “Wait For the Moment” by Vulfpeck

“Wait For the Moment” is a short funk/soul song from Vulfpeck album, My First Car. The poem follows the thoughts of the speaker, a young boy from a suburban neighborhood, as he is called in for bed while other children continue playing outside. Overall, the poem illustrates the superficiality of social circles, how the speaker’s understanding of that superficiality conflicts with his human desire for connection and attention, and an overall message about living life more meaningfully by honing in on what matters most.

Mom said, 'Wait for the moment!'
Gone home, went to bed
While the other kids, they're still outside
I don't feel time when I sleep
So I snuggle up with my sheet
And wait, for a brighter day

These first verses of the song communicate the speaker’s situation in it’s most basic form: he is called in for bed while other kids are playing outside at dusk. The title phrase of the song,”Wait for the moment!”, is a piece of maternal wisdom: that the speaker should wait until a better opportunity to play comes along with people he truly enjoys and to not engage in superficial relationships. The hopeful tone of the speaker, conveyed by “snuggle” and “brighter day”, suggests that the speaker is perfectly okay with going inside to bed.

I'll play football tomorrow
With only my best friends
People I like, but I don't love, are not allowed

The speaker details his hope for the mentioned, “brighter day”, that he will play sports tomorrow with his closest friends. His specification that he will only play with people he loves and not just whom he likes further illustrates the speaker’s rejection of superficial friendships, and how he would rather spend time building deeper relationships instead. He must, “Wait for the moment!”, so he can prioritize those relationships.

I wonder if Sharon will see me
But I'll play cool
'Cause cool is what you have to do

In this verse, the speaker introduces us to the first paradox of his rejection of superficiality and his human desire for attention. The speaker has a crush on a girl named Sharon, likely a friend from the same neighborhood. He hopes Sharon will see him playing football, but he knows that he has to play cool around her to fit societal standards. Thus, the poem illustrates the ironic contradiction of rejecting superficial relationships but hoping to capture a romantic interest through superficial attitudes. In particular, the improper use of an adjective in the line, ” ‘Cause cool is what you have to do”, emphasizes the young age of the speaker, thereby conveying how an understanding of societal expectations and superficiality is internalized in early childhood.

It's hard to make a point
When you're living so loud
Turn it down

The speaker fully articulates his frustration with the superficiality of his interaction with Sharon. The phrase, “make a point”, evokes the idea of presenting something meaningful, or giving meaning to ones life. The phrase, “living so loud”, conveys the creating too much superfluous noise that can hide what’s really important. Therefore, the verse is implying through metaphor that it is difficult to create meaning in one’s life when you are caught up with the superficial, which reflects the speaker’s disdain for the cool facade he is expected to put on for Sharon. The last line gives a metaphorical instruction: to “turn down” the noise and make your life and relationships more meaningful by getting rid of the superficial and superfluous.

All in all, these ideas tie into the poem’s message: to try to live a more meaningful by not wasting energy on the superficial expectations and friendships and instead waiting for the moment where you can focus on and appreciate the things and the people that matter most.

One thought on “Living Loud: Childhood Social Standards in “Wait For the Moment” by Vulfpeck

  1. LUKE L

    After reading your argument I had to listen to the song. You convinced me that “wait for the moment” definitely is poetry. Thanks for making me aware of a new poet.

    Like

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