‘Sticks and Stones’ by Robbie Harte review
Robbie Harte performs the song beautifully. Sticks and Stones was released 22nd May 2023 and it hit #4 on International Indie Chart the same week it was released. Originally from Montreal, Robbie now resides in New York.
"This song was inspired by a negative and toxic relationship and speaks to me taking a positive stance against the negative effects of gaslighting, taking the experience and not only turning it into something positive, but empowering."
"Started out on the right track
Yeah, I thought you had my back
We were on the same page
But then you started to unravel
My boots hit the gravel
When the Jekyll and Hyde
You we trying to hide
Came out for the first time"
The first verse touches on how in a relationship things get off 'on the right track' and 'on the same page' however it soon changes dynamic. We start to see the 'Jekyll and Hyde' come out, and how two faced they can be. Could it be that their love was only a facade?
"I called you out, You tore me down, smeared my name all over town."
The pre-chorus, or bridge, details calling them out, why weren't they transparent from the start? Why are they defaming me and my good character? It can show both how destructive they can be, and how strong you are. The right people will know your personality and your character, and this will never be in question. If they have to question whether that version is you, clearly they're not good enough friends to have around.
"I’m looking better the harder you try
There was a line that was drawn and you crossed it
Say what you want but I’m not your bad guy
I found out who you are, and you lost it
You’re throwin ‘round words while you gaslight
Yeah, you just don’t know how to act right
You can’t break me, or these bones
You keep throwin’ sticks and stones"
The chorus depicts your resilience, and how the more they try to tarnish you, the better you're perceived. Of course there is a line that's been crossed; why we have to be negative towards anyone is a strange concept, surely we should be celebrating everyone for who they are and what they've achieved. We all know the challenges in life, the huddles we've all overcome to reach the present day; equally we are all to aware that there will be many more obstacles later down the line. Let this song be a reminder to spread joy and to be kind to others.
'I found out who you are, and you lost it' is perhaps also prevalent with many online anonymous accounts wanting to spread hate and fear. Many 'just don't know how to act' or what to say, so say what they like without thinking, or maybe they do. But much like the title suggests, and so too the proverb, it's all 'Sticks and Stones'.
"Fooled me once and you told me lies
Then you threw dust in my eyes
Tried to make me believe you
But as far as I can see
You’re not who claim to be
So save your breath-
You just don’t have the reach
Yeah it don’t really matter to me."
This verse captures how blindsided one can be by the lies perpetuated by the other. Gaslighting so much, you almost believe what they're saying yourself. However deep down you know who you are and what you stand for. You realise this, so you 'save your breath' whether it's because you 'don't have the reach' (level of engagement the other person does) is irrelevant because 'it doesn't really matter to me.'
"Walking away, I closed the door
You're throwing shade just like before."
This pre chorus reminds us to walk away, from the hatred, we don't need to tolerate it. All too readily to we think we need to stand firm and tolerate it, show that we're strong to handle it, but the stronger and bigger thing is to walk away and let their flame flicker out as you're no longer feeding them.
The song returns to the chorus before moving to the bridge
"I know you think that you had the last word
But my silence was the loudest thing heard
You lit a spark to set my world on fire
It only left me more inspired"
It's interesting how these people always think they have the last word, and even the upper hand. They don't! In fact, as the lyric vividly describes, our silence can speak loudest. Amongst all the bravado, and showmanship is someone who knows very little and is showing you up to cover for their deficiencies. Moments like this light 'a spark to set my world on fire, it only left me more inspired.' It shows that you're empassioned to focus on yourself. It's somewhat ironic that it takes someone to offend and degrade you to make a conscious decision to cut them off for the sake of your own sanity and health.
The song returns to and concludes with the chorus, reminding us that no matter what they do, you'll always come back stronger and 'harder'. It also serves as a reminder to spread kindness and not hatred.
Having been released since 22nd May 2023, 'Sticks and Stones' is available to download and stream now. Please show Robbie some love and check out her social channels too for more of her upcoming music and performances.