Knockout

You cannot escape “Let It Go” from Frozen. And you should not want to because it is a great song. It inspires, motivates and makes people feel emotions, whether they want to or not.

“Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky did the exact same thing way back in 1976.

“Gonna Fly Now” (or “Rocky’s Theme” as it is commonly called but I will not call it that because I believe in proper labeling – just check my office files as well as my fridge) was the “Let It Go” of its time. (Author’s note: Some DJ needs to do a mash-up of the two and pronto. And if that does happen I expect to fully receive a co-producer credit.) It was everywhere, everyone knew it and everyone hummed along to it, again, whether they wanted to or not. But, since everything in life is a competition – YES, IT IS – which song is better? Which song wins in a head-to-head battle for the world title of “Song That Will Make You Want To Live Your Life Better Even If You Don’t Want To Put Any Effort Into It?”

TITLE

“Let It Go” wins. It is a phrase you can use in everyday life that actually makes sense. “Gonna Fly Now” doesn’t have as many practical uses in the real world. Other than a substitute for “bye,” it really can’t be used in any other way. And even using it as an alternative “bye” is sketchy at best for the simple fact that you sound like an idiot saying it.

Round one to “Let It Go.”

LYRICS

Shockingly, “Gonna Fly Now” does actually have lyrics. Enjoy…these:
Trying hard now
It’s so hard now
Trying hard now
Getting strong now
Won’t be long now
Getting strong now
Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly

And that about covers it.

“Let It Go” has lyrics that are slightly more, dare I say, substantial?

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry

Sorry, Rock. You kinda got pummeled on the lyrical front. Round Two goes to “Let It Go.”

EXERCISE

It’s not even close. “Gonna Fly Now” was made for working out. The song plays for the entire training montage of the movie, for Christ’s Sake! Yeah, you could work out to “Let It Go” but is Idina Menzel really gonna push you to do a few extra squats or help you max out on the bench press?

Round Three to “Gonna Fly Now.”

LOW POINT

At one minute and seven seconds, “Gonna Fly Now” has a twenty-second guitar solo that is completely unnecessary. It takes away from the awesome momentum that had been previously building. It’s like someone said while they were recording the song, “Hey, man, this is 1976! We need a guitar solo. Every song has a guitar solo and this one will be no exception!”

The intro to “Let It Go” is looong. It takes awhile for it to kick in. You could start the song, make a sandwich, shower, finish your taxes, and check your email before that thing really starts to jam. I understand the need to build dramatic tension, but damn! Let’s get to it!

Round Four goes to “Gonna Fly Now.”

HIGH POINT

The ending of “Gonna Fly Now” where the string section really kicks in is BAD ASS. That is the moment that really pumps you up. If you hear that part of the song and can’t motivate yourself to do something with your life, then give your life to someone else who will live it better.

The part of “Let It Go” when the music drops out and Idina Menzel sings/talks, “The cold never bothered me anyway,” is full metal ballsy. It’s the Disney version of giving the world the finger and it totally works.

Round five is a draw.

OSCAR WINS

Both songs were nominated. “Let It Go” obviously won this year, and rightfully so (though Pharrell’s “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 is a stone cold JAM). At the 1977 Academy Awards, “Gonna Fly Now” should have won but they mistakenly gave it to “Evergreen” from A Star Is Born. WTF?! That is highway robbery, a crime against music and a crime against humanity. So, thought in my heart of hearts I would really love to give round six to “Gonna Fly Now,” I have to give it to “Let It Go.”

FINAL DECISION : “Let It Go” is the winner because Hollywood says so. And we all know Hollywood is never wrong.