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Impact of The Indigo Girls, and Music from your Childhood

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emmanuel chapter.

Before I even knew I was gay, I had been to an Indigo Girls concert. It was my first concert, too. Having grown up on the Indigo Girls, passed down from my parents, there was an ease of normality when I first learned of their sexuality from my dad. Before I even knew I was gay, I was singing lyrics in the car that I didn’t fully understand, “Adding up the total of a love that’s true, multiply life by the power of two.”(Power of Two, Indigo Girls), but were love songs written by women about other women. I was lucky enough to be raised with expressions of sapphic love every time I got in the car, even if I didn’t know it all at first, it was in the air, coming from the speakers. 

My dad is an honorary lesbian. He is unapologetically loud and excited. I think everyone can learn from him that if you love something, or if it makes you happy, life is too short for you to not enjoy it fully. So I’m sure you can imagine what he’s like at concerts. If his favorite song is playing, or his favorite artist is on the stage, even if the people next to him are quietly listening in their seats, he’s going to get on his feet and sing along. Once at an Indigo Girls concert, he was singing along passionately and excitedly, probably a lyric like “Maybe that’s all that we need it to be in the middle of impossibility. Standing at opposite poles, equal partners in a mystery,” (Mystery, Indigo Girls) and the butch lesbian couple next to him decided that my dad was an honorary lesbian for being so excited at an Indigo Girls concert. The Indigo Girls write lyrics about heartbreak and perform them such that you can shout your heart out. Lyrics that subtly normalize that any couple experiences the whole arc of love. Anyone can beg for a “Moment of Forgiveness”, as they share in their song by that title, about waiting two years for someone to come back to you. They know what it feels like to be lonely, “If you ask which one lives just alone for love, I do,” (Last Tears, Indigo Girls). They write gut wrenching lyrics that you can still scream at concerts and get dubbed an honorary lesbian for. My dad has told that story to my siblings and I many, many times. 

My dad doesn’t need to be an honorary lesbian to love the Indigo Girls,that’s the beautiful thing about music. While making girls and women like me feel seen, the Indigo Girls’ music is for everyone. Music is for everyone. A song can mean one thing to someone and an entirely different thing to the person next to them. My dad raves about the lyricism of Amy and Emily, the pair who make up the Indigo Girls. When they sing he can tell their voices apart because he appreciates their artistry so much. Even I can’t do that. Everytime their lyric “It’s a daily grind, waiting to unwind, ‘till I hear that click, that unlocks my fate,” (Soon to Be Nothing, Indigo Girls) plays in the car, he has to call attention to that lyric as his favorite. He has to pause the song and tell whoever in the car how beautiful it is. How it perfectly captures the moment of waiting for your loved one to come home after a long day, and finally hearing them arrive. The Indigo Girls give me lyrics that I can sing about my girlfriend. “I wanna say that underneath it all, you are my friend. And the way that I fell for you, I’ll never fall that way again…”. Songs about true love and connection, songs that give voice to celebration. “I still believe, despite our differences, that what we have is enough, And I believe in you, and I believe in love.” (I Believe in Love, Indigo Girls). Songs that help you believe in your love.

Amelia Knowles

Emmanuel '27

Amelia Knowles is attending Emmanuel College (Class of '27!) and pursuing a double major in Writing, Editing, Publishing and Theater Arts. She is from Houston, Tx. She has been avid writer since her 4th grade teacher kindly encouraged her. Since around the same time she has been an avid reader as well. Currently she is watching a lot of TV and overcoming her recent bout of readers/writers block. Find her in the Discovery Lab at Emmanuel College, or crocheting somewhere quiet!