A Book Only a Reader Could Write

So I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but my computer and I weren’t on the best speaking terms. We have since resolved that issue.

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And the computer has since then come along to my way of thinking. So sorry if I’m a day behind, but better late than never!

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Some books you read and you just know that there was no way this book could ever exist unless the author grew up as a huge fan of reading.

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Such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Only someone who grew up reading could create a character that gave a voice to all us bibliophiles out there.

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Or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Only someone who truly loved to read could create the most dismal future, a time when books are outlawed and destroyed. The book is full of glimpses into what might actually happen, unless we take the time to read and value the thoughts and creations found between the pages.

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Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is definitely one of those books.

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The book was first published in 1979 and then translated into English in 1983. As this is it anniversary, thankfully pointed out by Google, I thought it deserved no less than a post by me.

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The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.

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So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:

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Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.

Aw, man.

Aw.

He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.

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With their help he is able to escape reality:

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And here is reason number one why this book is awesome and proof, author Ende must have been a reader; he just understands us so well. I mean even today I still like to escape my reality with a good book:

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Anyways, so Bastian is being chased by bullies when he runs into a bookstore owned by Carl Conrad Coreander. While hiding out, he spots the book The Neverending Story.

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Bastian just has to have the book, but the ornery shop owner doesn’t seem interested in the idea of selling, and such a book that would be far too expensive. So Bastian does something he has never done before, he steals it.

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He runs up to school, deciding to hide away in the attic, reading the story and being thrust into the world of Fantastica (Fantasia in the film).

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Fantastica is falling apart. The dark nothing is destroying it, piece by piece until it will fade away and there will be nothing left. Only one thing can save them; the childlike empress has chosen Atreyu, a native of the plains, to search throughout Fantastica to discover what can be done. As Bastian reads, he becomes more and more involved with the characters. So wrapped up in the book he stays throughout all his periods, in the cold, all the while starving.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.

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But yet, the characters do seem real. And it almost seems as if they know he exists and is part of the journey with them.

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When Atreyu is traveling he hears what the salvation of Fantastica is:

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since the worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of man would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.”

But where to find such a human child?

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Atreyu continues on his journeys, getting help from Falkor, the luck dragon.

One of the best parts of the book, at least I think so, is when Atreyu faces Gmork, the werewolf. Gmork has become an agent of the Nothing, trying to destroy Fantastica and along with it the human world. Without Fantastica, the world is filled with lies instead of truth, despair instead of hope, destruction instead of creation; pretty much containing nothing.

I love this part as it shows why stories and books are so important. They help us create, they give us hope, dreams, ideas, etc. We need stories, we need hope, we need it as much as we need life.

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And we need to start reading at a young age; so we can have the foundations to fight against all the darkness we will face as we grew older.

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So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.

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But the empress is not upset at all. In fact, she says that Atreyu has fulfilled his mission. He has brought a human child here through all his adventures. And she is talking about Bastian!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

The reader has been called into the story? And not just called, but the hero! How cool is that! And how awesome if that could happen. Can you just imagine if the characters started talking to you in the middle of your favorite story?

So cool, I want it to be true.

So cool, I want it to be true.

This is my favorite part of the book, the second half isn’t as strong (in my opinion) as the first half. But still one great book.

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The movie was just as amazing. Now they did make changes, but I thought it kept the soul and heart of the book. I used to watch it over and over.

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Even now I cannot think or say the words “Neverending Story” without singing them like in the film’s song.

I recently showed the film to my niece and realized I am not only like Bastian, but Coreander. Yes, I have the soul of an old curmudgeon who doesn’t like the youth’s fascination with technology rather than books.

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The rest of the story is just as beautiful, fascinating, adventurous, and powerful. And don’t forget the end of the film when the childlike Empress is talking right to you.  Shivers run up and down my spine, it is so good.

Creepy!

I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!

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The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.

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So there you have it. One amazing book that I am glad existed to become a part of my childhood, in both print and on the screen.

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And you can bet your boots I will most definitely be checking out the film Sunday when they rerelease it in theaters. Don’t worry childlike Empress, Fantastic/Fantasia will always exist as long as I am alive!

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For more on The Neverending Story, go to The Neverending Story

For more anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more book-filled posts, go to A World of Teas

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For more Roald Dahl, go to We Shall Rule the World!

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ernest Hemingway, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction

For more Markus Zusak, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more Richard Marek, go to Crazy Book Lady

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All That Glitters is Not Gold

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Sometimes you find something that you think is all that but in reality it is nothing.

Loyalty

Amen to that!

Relationship

It’s the sad truth. But I’m not worried:

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Eventually I’ll meet the right guy who will appreciate me.

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For more quotes, go to Sleep is Not Important

Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

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So this year is the year of the Sheep, and since it is hard to find favorite sheep like horses, as I did in last years A Horse’s Tale, this year I’m going to have to revert back to my 2012 post Snakes on a Postin which I counted down my favorite snake moments from films. This year I’m going to pick my fav sheep, ram, lamb, goat, and ewe moments/characters.

But before I go there, let’s talk about those born in the year of the sheep. Now this symbol of the Chinese Zodiac is not just sheep, it can also be symbolized by a ram or goat, hence my using all types in my countdown. Sheep tend to be shy and well-mannered, but can also be awkward and not socially adept at things. They have charm, innocence, and attract loyal friends. Sheep people are often dreamy and starry-eyed, and can be extremely insecure finding themselves relying heavily on something for a sense of security in life. They work best with rabbits, pigs, and horses.

Famous sheep include Jamie Foxx, Mel Gibson, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Bruce Willis, Orville Wright, and the amazing Jane Austen.

So now onto the countdown.

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Toy Story

7) Toy Story (1995)

I’m sure all of you know the plot to this, but just in case…When you were a kid did you ever think that your toys came to life when you were gone and moved around on their own? Well in Toy Story they address the question that every kid was wondering and say, “yes, they do”.

Whenever Andy leaves his room his toys come to life. These toys are lead by a cowboy named Woody (Tom Hanks). As the family is moving, Andy’s birthday party is moved up and he gets lots of space type things, including a new space toy, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). Woody becomes jealous as he is demoted from Andy’s favorite toy, and everyone in the toy chest is going ga-ga over Buzz. One day Woody accidentally knocks Buzz outside Andy’s window. He and the other toys believe that Woody killed him, the other toys believing he did it on purpose. Woody is saved when Andy takes him along on his family’s trip to dinner. While his mom is filling up the tank who should show up? A very angry Buzz seeking revenge. Buzz survived the fall and snuck into the car. As the two fight, Andy and his mom leave for the resturant. Woody hatches a plan to get them there as well,  but they are unfortunately picked up by Andy’s next door neighbor Sid, a sadistic toy torturer. During this time period Buzz has a breakdown as he realizes that he is not a real spaceman, but just a toy. Now it is up to Woody to pull Buzz together and for the two of them to figure out a way to get back to Andy before he moves and is gone forever.

Favorite Sheep Moment: Mistletoe

This scene occurs at the end of the film. It takes place the Christmas after Woody and Buzz have defeated Sid, found their way back to Andy, and settled in the new house. The toys are worried about what new things Andy will be getting and whether or not they will be replaced. They are setting up a communications center to hear everything going on downstairs when the china Bo Peep figurine hooks Woody and pulls him under the mistletoe her sheep have so conveniently set up. It’s a cute scene with Woody and Bo; and finally shows that Bo Peep’s sheep can do more than run away.

This is the only clip I could find and it is poor quality (sorry!). Start it at about 8 mins and you’ll be good to go.

For more on Toy Story, go to They’re Alive!

For more Woody and Buzz Lightyear, go to The Boys Are Back in Town

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Aladdin

6) Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin is a retelling of a chinese tale in Arabian Nights or A Thousand and One Nights, tales that Scheherazade told her husband to keep herself alive each night, (for more on that go here). Disney disneyfied it into being much happier and brighter, like they do with everything.

In the disney story, Aladdin is an orphaned boy living with his monkey friend, Abu. The two are street rats, scrounging about for food and hiding from the castle guards. Every night Aladdin goes home and dreams of being rich and living in the palace, never worrying about any thing. Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is in the palace and has to marry by her sixteenth birthday. She hates every prince that has called on her as she feels they all are after her fortune. Also in the palace lurks Jafar, the evil vizier, who wants to take the throne for himself. He is trying to get inside the fabled Cave of Wonders to get a lamp, but only a pure-hearted, diamond in the rough can enter. These three stories intersect when Jasmine sneaks out of the palace, only to be helped by Aladdin when she gets into trouble. The two run from guards and are caught, Jasmine revealing herself and going home, while Aladdin is sent to the dungeon. Jafar disguises himself and frees Aladdin, convinced he is the perfect person to enter the cave. Aladdin is and does, but Abu brings the whole place toppling down when he tries to take something he is not supposed to touch. Aladdin gets stuck inside the Cave, but there he finds the Genie of the lamp and the adventure to capture the heart of the princess is on.

Fav Sheep Moment: Well, I Feel Sheepish

It’s just a one bit line and an itty-bitty scene but this always used to make me laugh. In this scene Aladdin has tricked the Genie into getting him out of the cave without actually wishing for it. He instead insulted the genie and told him he could never get all three of ’em out, which of course causes the Genie to do exactly that as he has to prove he can. When he realizes what he has done he turns into a sheep and says “Well, I feel sheepish.” Cute and funny. You can clearly see how much I enjoyed it as I used it for the title of the post.

For more on Aladdin, go to Diamond in the Rough

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5) The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989)

Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader are two of my absolute favorite books in The Chronicles of Narnia series. I enjoyed the character of Prince Caspian, along with the battles and adventures in these books.

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So out of the 1980s miniseries, Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorites. I wouldn’t even watch the films that came out in the 2000s as the first and second one were absolutely horrible (I never saw the third as I just couldn’t stomach any more). Anyways, in this book and film Prince Caspian has grown to be a young man and is setting sail to the lone islands that not only have failed to pay tribute to Narnia since his father died, but hold ten lords who were loyal to his father, but banished by his evil uncle. As he is setting sail; Lucy and Edmond are visiting their horrid relative, cousin Eustace, in England. When they are looking at a painting of a boat all three are called into Narnia, in the exact spot that Prince Caspian is sailing. They go on grand adventures as the islands hold much more than they bargained for. They encounter slavery, nightmares coming true, a midas touch that backfired, dragons, invisible thumping creatures, a spell that has cursed an island, Aslan’s country and much more.

Favorite sheep moment: Lamb or Lion

This moment occurs both in the book and miniseries. The Dawn Treader has sailed to the farthest edge of the world, sending Reepicheep into Aslan’s country (heaven) and dropping off Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace. The three end up on land and find a lamb. As they speak to the lamb, questioning it whether they will be able to find the way to Aslan’s country, he tells them they must enter from their own world and transforms into a Lion. I always thought that scene was so cool as a child.

This was the only clip I could find. Start at the 5:30 mark.

For more on The Chronicles of Narnia, go to Simply Fantastic

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4) Legend (1985)

Legend is a fantasy film directed by Ridley Scott and starring a very young, handsome, Tom Cruise. The Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) is imprisoned in the shadows, but wishes to break free. He sends his minions to destroy the unicorns, as their horns are the safeguards of light and keep him locked away. Meanwhile, Princess Lili has grown bored with royal life and has sneaked out once again into the forest. There she meets up with her friend Jack (Tom Cruise), a young man who has been raised by the forest and speaks the languages of the animals. Jack has a surprise that day for Princess Lili, as he calls the unicorns for her to see. Princess Lili, used to getting her own way all the time, refuses to listen to Jack’s warnings of only looking at them and approaches the unicorns, distracting them, and causing the stallion to be attacked and poisoned by Darkness’ minions. Princess Lili makes light of the situation, and tells Jack that the man who finds her ring will win her hand in marriage. She then tosses it into a stream, with Jack quickly diving after it. With one of the unicorns killed and horn cut off, things begin changing in the forest. All becomes cold and winter, with the stream Jack jumped into freezing over. Princess Lili becomes distraught, and runs off hiding in a cabin. She is so ashamed of what she has done that she sets out to protect the mare, getting captured by Darkness. In his castle Darkness tries to seduce Princess Lili into becoming his queen. Meanwhile, Jack has survived the water and teams up with elves and dwarves on a quest to save the unicorns, the forest, and Princess Lili.

Fav Sheep Moment: Darkness Emerging from the Mirror

This is the first time we are introduced to the full form of Lord Darkness, as previously we had only heard his voice. This scene is amazing as you are so creeped out and fascinated by this giant red arm coming out of a mirror, with fire blazing all around. As I was watching it, I didn’t know what to expect or guess. Then you have this giant ram hoof come down and finally the giant form and face of darkness revealed.

For more on Tim Curry, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more on Tom Cruise, go to Rock You Like a Hurricane

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Kid in Aladdin's palace

3) Kid in Aladdin’s Palace (1997)

A Kid in Aladdin’s Palace  is the sequel to the Disney film, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, (modern retelling of A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain), in which a young boy named Calvin is transported back to the time of King Arthur by the wizard Merlin in order to save the day. In A Kid in Aladdin’s Palace, Calvin in older and concerned with more things these days. Such as how to get the hottest girl in school to go out with him, and how to deal with Elliot the bully. While cleaning some old pots his boss bought at an auction, he awakens a genie. The genie has been sitting in the lamp for thousands of years, awaiting the time he would be woken by the deliverer. You see Aladdin has married Jasmine and they rule the kingdom, alongside their daughter Sheherazade. Aladdin’s evil brother, Luxor, has been trying to steal the throne. In order to save the kingdom, yet still receive help, Aladdin put the lamp back in the cave of wonders, split the key, and hid them far away from each other. He left clues for a deliverer to save them all. Luxor has poisoned Aladdin leaving him nothing more than a vegetable and in dire need of the genie to cure him. Calvin doesn’t want to go back, but finds himself once again having to save a kingdom. He teams up with Ali Baba and the three thieves (his younger brothers), along with Princess Sheherazade. Calvin uses his items and know-how of the future to try to save the day, but he must act quickly as Luxor is growing more powerful every day, is trying to pressure Jasmine into marrying him, and is planning on killing Sheherazade, the only heir.

Favorite sheep moment: Just Part of the Flock

This scene takes place when Calvin and Ali Baba are running from the guards. In order to throw them off the trail, they through some wool on their backs and jump into a group of sheep, blending in with the animals. I know it’s an old joke, but I still find this moment absolutely hilarious.

Once again clip is of a poorer quality and covering more than I wish. Just start at 6:50 and you will be fine.

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Last Battle C.S.Lewis

2) The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

This is the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In this book hundreds of years have passed, and almost all have forgotten of the four children who defeated the White Witch, Prince Caspian, and Prince Rilian. Now the current king, King Tirian, is told that the time of peace is at an end. In the country, an ape finds a lion skin and decides to dress up a donkey named Puzzle in it. He starts telling people that it is Aslan, and as the current animals and people haven’t seen him, they believe it. The ape starts to use his newly gained power to turn the animals into slaves. He even goes as far as selling them to the evil Calormenes. King Tirian and his friend the unicorn Jewel, are captured and bound. There they hear awful lies that Aslan is the same as the Calormenian god Tash. He calls to Aslan for help, and is answered by Eustace and Jill Pole using the rings from The Magician’s Nephew. They team up to save Narnia, in it’s final battle.

Favorite sheep moment: You Can’t Pull the Wool Over My Eyes

While the Ape is telling everyone what life will be like, what “Aslan” wants (in reality Puzzle is stuck in a shed, being held against his will), and that Tash and Aslan are the same thing. All the animals are just agreeing with whatever is being said until one little lamb speaks up against him.

“What have we to do with the Calormenes? We belong to Aslan. They belong to Tash. They have a god called Tash. They say he has four arms and the head of a vulture. They kill Men on his altar. I don’t believe there’s any such person as Tash. But if there was, how could Aslan be friends with him?”

The Ape yells at the Lamb and he later disappears as he is “taken care of”, but he was brave to speak his mind and stand up for what he believed in.

Amy poelherRealHeroRightThing boy meets world

For more by C.S. Lewis, go to The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

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Hoodwinked

1) Hoodwinked (2005)

Hoodwinked  is a twist on the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” fairy tale. The story begins with the conclusion of the tale: wolf in the bed dressed as a woman; Red screaming her head off; Granny tied up in the closet; the huntsman running in swinging an axe; etc. The police come in being lead by Chief Fuzzy Wuzzy Bear who believes one of them is the Goody Bandit who is stealing recipes and closing down shops in the forests. He later calls in a Detective Nicky Flippers (a parody of Nick Charles) to help him solve the case. We see that no one is as they seems as Red wants to leave the forest and travel the world, Granny an extreme sports enthusists, the wold an undercover reporter, and the Hunstman an actor. As each tells their story, they all intersect and reveal the truth of what actually happened.

Favorite sheep moment: Have to Check My Source

Wolf W. Wolf is an undercover reporter and wants to crack this “Goody Bandit” case wide open. He goes to check his source, which happens to be a sheep. In order to get the goods, he dresses up as a sheep. This scene is hilarious as the interaction between the straight circuit wolf and Jersey shore sheep are just perfect.

Unfortunately I can’t find the clip, so I’ll just post a pic. But trust me watch the film and enjoy.

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For more Hoodwinked!, go to I Wanna Get Off This Ride

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2015

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For more on Disney, go to Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

For more fairy tales, go to Are You the Dread Pirate Roberts?

Since U Been Gone

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So here we are another step in the “Getting Over a Heartbreak” series. As you recall from Gone Forever, Put Me Outand But It’s Alright; we still are in that angry at my ex phase. So here we are with:

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16) Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson.

Now I have always liked Kelly Clarkson, although I have never really thought of myself as being a major fan. I remember when Kelly Clarkson won American Idol (yep back when the show was good and the winners actually went on to do something). I even watched her silly film From Justin to Kelly, starring her and the runner up. However, I am a huge fan of this song! I absolutely loved it!

So the song was written by Max Martin and Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald who actually wrote it for  Pink. She turned it down and it was then offered to Clarkson, in which she added more guitar and drums to counteract the light pop sound. It was number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The music video is great, as after her boyfriend cheated on her and dumped her she ripped his place apart. Now I’m not one for vandalism, but finding out someone cheated on you will make anyone go crazy and pull this or a Daisy from Mystic Pizza.

Stay

It’s just a great song that truly captures how one feels after being betrayed by someone they loved and how angry they feel.

Adele

 

But just like The End by Silverstein just be careful how you react, its fine to sing about it, but if you actually participate in that kind of destruction just be prepared for the consequences.

So on to the lyrics and video!!!

Here’s the thing we started out friends
It was cool but it was all pretend
Yeah yeah
Since U Been Gone

You dedicated you took the time
Wasn’t long till I called you mine
Yeah Yeah
Since U Been Gone

And all you’d ever hear me say
Is how I pictured me with you
That’s all you’d ever hear me say

But Since U Been Gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get
What I want
Since U Been Gone

Miss you less sweeney-todd-sweeney-todd-23636342-500-270

How can I put it? You put me on
I even fell for that stupid love song
Yeah, yeah
Since U Been Gone

How come I’d never hear you say
I just wanna be with you
I guess you never felt that way

But Since U Been Gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get (I get) what I want
Since U Been Gone

You had your chance you blew it
Out of sight, out of mind
Shut your mouth I just can’t take it
Again and again and again and again

Since U Been Gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get, I get what I want
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get (I get)
You should know (you should know)
That I get, I get what I want
Since U Been Gone
Since U Been Gone
Since U Been Gone

So the music video is super amazing!!!

So this song became super popular that A Day to Remember did a cover and copied the music video scene by scene. It’s pretty cool.

I have to say that I really enjoy the Kelly Clarkson version, that’s why I included it, but I like the A Day to Remember  a little bit better. I like how it has more of a rock than pop sound and I like the screamo as I think it really expresses the anger in the song. But however it is sung the song is still great.

And it teaches you an important thing:

valuable

Because never forget:

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And:

onceinalifetime

But at the same time don’t get too caught up in anger and bitterness. After all:

Best Revenge

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To start the “Getting Over a Heartbreak Series” from the beginning, go to If It Means A Lot to You

To go to the previous post, go to But It’s Alright

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For more of my fav songs. go to Put Me Out

For more of my fav quotes, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault