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Waving Through a Window

We're Getting Mutants in the MCU - The Loop

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"Waving Through a Window" is the second song in the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack and the second song in Act One of the musical.  

After being shoved by Connor, Evan ponders if this is just his destiny; to never be noticed, and to not matter for the rest of his life.

Lyrics

I've learned to slam on the brake

Before I even turn the key
Before I make the mistake
Before I lead with the worst of me

Give them no reason to stare
No slipping up if you slip away
So I got nothing to share
No, I got nothing to say

Step out, step out of the sun
If you keep getting burned
Step out, step out of the sun
Because you've learned, because you've learned

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I've always been?
'Cause I'm tap, tap, tapping on the glass
I'm waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear
So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I'm watch, watch, watching people pass
I'm waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me?

"Waving Through a Window" from the DEAR EVAN HANSEN Original Broadway Cast Recording
"Waving Through a Window" from the DEAR EVAN HANSEN Original Broadway Cast Recording

We start with stars in our eyes
We start believing that we belong
But every sun doesn't rise
And no one tells you where you went wrong

Step out, step out of the sun
If you keep getting burned
Step out, step out of the sun
Because you've learned, because you've learned

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I've always been?
'Cause I'm tap, tap, tapping on the glass
Waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear
So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I'm watch, watch, watching people pass
Waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see, is anybody waving?

hero by enrique iglesias spanish lyrics

When you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
When you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
When you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
When you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?
Did I even make a sound?
Did I even make a sound?
It's like I never made a sound
Will I ever make a sound?

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I've always been?
'Cause I'm tap, tap, tapping on the glass
Waving through a window
I try to speak, but nobody can hear
So I wait around for an answer to appear
While I'm watch, watch, watching people pass
Waving through a window, oh
Can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me? (oh)

Is anybody waving?
Waving, waving, whoa-oh, whoa-oh

Song Description

The song has such a strong and sad meaning at the same time. “Waving Through a Window” is sung by Evan Hansen, a typical teenager struggling to belong. Evan uses mostly metaphors to explain his feelings.  

”Step out, step out of the sun if you keep getting burned. Step out, step out of the sun because you’ve learned, because you’ve learned”  

Every time Evan interacts with someone (steps into the sun) he gets “burned”. Evan then “steps out of the sun” to avoid getting “burned”. As most people already know, the sun is a metaphor for happiness and light. Evan wanting to “step out of the sun” displays him avoiding social interactions.  

“On the outside always looking in will I ever be more than I’ve always been? Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass. I’m waving through a window” 

At this point, Evan is explaining he doesn’t fit in. He is “waving through a window” but nobody can see him, therefore, ignoring him. Unfortunately, glass is reflective causing Evan to look at his own reflection making him feeling more lonely. Evan feels as if he is the only person that acknowledges himself. 

“When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around do you ever really crash, or even make a sound? Did I even make a sound? Did I even make a sound? It’s like I never made a sound. Will I ever make a sound?” 

Later in the musical, the audience discovers the real reason Evan broke his arm. Evan explained that him falling out of a tree was no accident but in fact an attempted suicide. Although Evan never bluntly says “I tried to commit suicide” he implies it to his mother by telling her “You would never forgive me if I told you the real reason I broke my arm”. In this verse, Evan is explaining that when he tried to commit suicide no one even knew or heard him. This makes Evan even more depressed causing him to believe he is worth nothing. Therefore, “It’s like he never made a sound” 

Overall, “Waving Through a Window” is a very emotional and metaphorical song. Evan Hansen eventually realizes he is worth something and uses his experience to draw other teenagers out of their own struggles.    

Libretto

“We still hadn’t figured out how we were going to take elements of pop music and radio sounds but really make it theatrical and make it feel like it comes from a character and how to find that balance,” says Paul of first trying to write music for the show. When we wrote ‘Waving Through a Window’ we were like, ‘Oh, okay, if that’s what this character, Evan, sounds like’ that helped us unlock something.”

“Maybe that’s the kind of music Evan likes to listen to, so maybe that’s our access point,” Paul explains. For the songwriting team, the song unfurled the way to approach the full sound of the show and songs for the other characters. 

As for the lyrics, the adage “If a tree crashes in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?” was a building block—not an official line in the show.

"Originally, those lyrics were written as just a metaphor,” says Pasek, “and then the more that we began to develop this show with book writer, Steven Levenson. Steven took those lyrics and then came up with the entire idea of Evan literally falling in a forest.”


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