We Owned The Night (Single Review) – Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum’s second single off their upcoming third album, Own The Night, is called We Owned The Night and it was released while I was backpacking across Spain. As I was the middle of a million people in the streets of Madrid, I felt like listening to the song. So I streamed it on YouTube. Five minutes later, I purchased it via iTunes.

Opening with an infectious mandolin rhythm, the song is fun and upbeat from the beginning. “Tell me have you ever wanted someone so much it hurts? Your lips keep trying to speak but you just can’t find the words. Well I had this dream once; I held it in my hands” Charles Kelley warmly and affectionately sings as the song begins.

“She was the purest beauty,” he continues, “But not the common kind. She had a way about her that made you feel alive. And for a moment, you made the world stand still…” as Hillary Scott provides harmonies in the background. And then the song’s chorus kicks in. “Yeah, we owned the night.”

And that’s it. Yes, that’s the whole chorus. And it works marvelously. Why go into more details when it can all be summed up in one line and have that line hit its target perfectly? Yeah, they owned the line – and they make the song’s hook out of it.

We Owned The Night is a song about a one night stand, and not the kind you forget the following night, similarly to Need You Now‘s ultimate meaning. But the two songs are drastically different. Where Need You Now is a song about hurt and longing, this is a song about one last night with a summer flame that the song’s narrator will forever keep in mind. And where Need You Now is a song that is quite mellow in its musical composition and rhythm, We Owned The Night is the total opposite. But they are telling a similarly ending story.

We Owned The Night ends with Charles Kelley, in synchrony with Hillary Scott’s harmonies, asks the girl if she remembers “we woke under a blanket all tangled up in skin not knowing in that moment we’d never speak again. But it was perfect;  I never will forget when we owned the night,” wondering where she is and if she’s “looking at those same stars again” but the most important thing is that they owned the night.

This song’s biggest strength is it’s relatability. Lady Antebellum are telling their listens a story that happened towards the end of one summer, a story that could have taken place with any of those listeners. It’s drastically different in style than their latest offering, Just A Kiss, but there’s no doubt in my mind it will be another big hit for them.

We Owned The Night is very different from most songs you hear on the radio – even country songs. You can’t help but smile when you listen to it. The song is captivating. Why? because it’s very easy to remember when you were a love-stricken teenager, saying goodbye to your summer days when you listen to it. And your heart fills up with joy and you just feel like holding a girl in the streets of Madrid and dancing with her. At least that’s what I did.

Listen to We Owned The Night:



The Spanish Experience – Madrid

We left Toledo on the morning of Tuesday August 16th to go to the Spanish capital, Madrid. The drive was about an hour and the bus dropped us off in the Southern part of the city: Calle de Anoeta at Instituto Theodoros Angeles.

We were greeted by enthusiastic Lebanese who, at first, made it seem as if the location actually had beds and separate showers. Needless to say, I was very disappointed when they took us to a gym, already filled up with a huge group of Lebanese from Jounieh, but with enough space for us to put our stuff. The ultimate shock? The place only had one electrical outlet to recharge our cameras and phones. And no extensions were allowed.

We left our bags in the gym and went to take the subway to the city center. For many, including me, it was our first subway ride – ever.

The subway station had a glass cube entrance. Pretty cool. We went down electric stairs and we were lucky enough to find the subway train we were supposed to take immediately on the first level. Villaverde Bajo-Cruce. Remember the name. Subway line 3 to Plaza del Sol, Madrid’s center. The subway was exactly as I had expected it to be, based on the many movies and TV shows I had watched. Not too big and, lucky for us, it wasn’t too crowded as well.

There, we were given about thirty minutes after lunch to go and shop. I personally had no intention to buy anything so I just ventured into shops that looked familiar, the first of which was Springfield. There, I was hit with such low prices that my non-shopping-loving-self fell in love. Four shirts and some cool shoes for 39 euros, I say that’s a bargain. If I were to buy the same stuff in Lebanon, my total would have been multiplied easily by five.

From Sol, we kept walking in Madrid’s center to where the World Youth Day opening Mass was supposed to be held. It was too crowded and also too hot. So before attending Mass, outside, and get sunburnt, we decided to visit a interesting-looking Cathedral nearby. Needless to say, the moment we got out and sat in the shadow cast by the Cathedral, no one of us wanted to move. I literally made the Springfield bag, with my newly purchased clothes in it, a pillow and slept throughout Mass and was woken up by some clumsy German girl who mistook my feet for the ground some two hours later.

Soon after the Mass we were supposed to attend but slept through, we went to have dinner. Our mistake? Not going too far away from Madrid’s center when over one million people visited the same restaurants we wanted to eat at. What did we end up eating? Some horrible kebab, which even hunger barely got down my throat. When? Three hours after Mass was over, at 12:30 AM.

Then, running like maniacs, we caught the last subway back to the region we were supposed to sleep in. We got out of the subway station and started walking. The area wasn’t familiar to me. After all, I have a pretty good photographic memory and, despite barely walking through the region a few hours ago, I had a pretty decent mental image of the region. And this was not it. I tried communicating this to the group but they refused to listen. It wasn’t until we reached a Mosque that the group decided to split into smaller groups in order to find Calle de Anoeta. What did I do? I sought my iPhone’s help. And what a blessing it was. Soon enough, the other groups figured I was on the right track and joined me. This was my iPhone’s way of telling everyone who kept telling me I was too obsessed with it to suck it.

Day two in Madrid was much more fun. Our group split in two: one that went to an amusement park and my group which went to sightsee. I figured I’d rather go to an amusement park in a country known for them and sightsee in Madrid, since I might not get the chance to do so. We went and saw Cathedrals, Museums, had lunch in Madrid’s center, visited Parks, saw the Royal Palace…

Day three, however, was so similar to day 2 that I figured I made the wrong decision the day prior. We became one group again and those who went to the amusement park were taken to see the same landmarks we had seen the day before, with the addition of a few extra places. At one of those extra places, there was a queue line to see a golden edifice in some Church. And naturally, some of the Lebanese started to cut through the line. I was furious but couldn’t say anything. A few minutes later, a Brazilian tells me that: “You, Lebanese, are an impolite people” because my “friends” had apparently cut him in. And he was right. The sad thing is? the same people that cut the line were telling me yesterday how great life was in Spain because of all the rules. If you like rules, why don’t you apply them if they exist, right?

Also, day three was when we had direct contact with the anti-World Youth Day protests taking place in Madrid. While walking to Domino’s Pizza to have dinner, we were met with three people dressed in black, wrapped up in chains, with a black and white picture of the Pope and reciting some weird sentences. On our way back, some people started to throw bricks on World Youth Day participants and on cars.

The day wasn’t all too bad, though. I was hugged by an Italian girl in the streets of Madrid and she gave me her country’s flag and signed it. Luisa, where are you?

The following day, we went to visit our French friends in the northern part of the city. And once again, the northern part of a city is much tidier than the southern part we were staying in. I’m beginning to think it’s a common characteristic that applies everywhere. Our friend’s school was located on a street that made my nerdy self really happy: Calle de Ramon Y Cajal 1. For those who don’t know, Ramon Y Cajal is a very important Nobel-prize winning Neuroscientist. And once again, my iPhone came to the rescue and got us there. That’s a second “suck it” to those who thought I was wasting my time being connected. Soon after meeting our French friends, we took the train for the first time. And it was very similar to the subway, except bigger and more comfortable. Also, you kind of appreciate being able to see the scenery as you travel.

As day four drew to a close, we began preparing to the two most tiring days of our whole trip: the last two days of World Youth Day. Location: the airport of Cuatro Vientos. And if you’re interested enough, tomorrow’s post will be about those two days.

In the meantime, here are some pictures I have left from Madrid. Lost almost all of the pictures that were on my phone:

The awkward moment when this makes perfect sense 😀

Off to France and Spain

I’ve never traveled before. Ever. Unless you count that brief two day trip I took to Damascus last December and the one before to Northern Syria in July.

Well, if you do, let me tell you this: if you don’t go to your destination in an plane, then you haven’t really “traveled.” At least that’s how I understand it to be.

But I digress.

In a few hours, I will be taking my very first airplane ride to Southern France where I will spend four days before heading out to Spain for a thirteen day excursion.

I’m definitely excited. But also quite anxious. It could be that I haven’t packed yet. I just look at the suitcase and decide there’s still time.

My stay in Spain will involve three cities: Toledo, Madrid and Sevilla. No Barcelona for me, sadly. But I guess there’s a time for everything. And with a Schengen on my passport, it’ll be easier to go there some other time.

While in Spain, I will be participating in the international Catholic Youth Day, formally known as JMJ: Journee Mondiale de la Jeunesse, which will be an opportunity for me to meet the pope – although I have low hopes about actually “meeting” him unless you consider spotting someone in a sea of a million people “meeting.”

While I’m definitely not the most religious of people, I think this will serve as an opportunity for me to meet lots of new people. Let me tell you a secret though, my group is going to miss out on most of the religion sessions and we’ll be going touring the cities we’re in. Awesome, right?

France should be great as well. I’m not doing the cliche France trip of going to Paris and staying there for the whole vacation, which I honestly would have loved to do – there’s just something about Paris, right? My French stay will give me an opportunity to practice my dying French skills. Yes, AUB, I blame you.

A woman in my travel group is of Argentinian origins and she was giving us Spanish lessons the other day in order to get around in Spain. Apparently the people who speak something other than Spanish are rare over there. Who would’ve thought? Needless to say, only one sentence got stuck in my head. And no, it’s not good morning or good evening.

“No habla espagnol, habla inglese?” will be my motto for the upcoming two weeks. I’m sure you can deduce what it means quite easily.

As for now, I’ll leave you and hope you come to read the posts that I’ve written and scheduled to be posted. There will be a book reviews, a short story split in seven parts, among other things… And if I get the chance to tell you how my French and Spanish adventures are going, well, why not, I guess.