Due to their immense value, diamonds have long stood for high class and fashion in our society, but their representation in music has always been more on the softer side. While diamonds equal money in most places, especially the places where they are mined, in music, artists have found a more tender interpretation of diamonds and their symbolism in love and emotion.
What do you think of when you think of diamonds? Of course, you think of the price tag, that has to be the number one, but what else? When creating art, the artist must find archetypes that every person in the world can relate to, something that stands for the best and strongest version of a feeling or emotion. Sometimes music can give us these feelings by equating something that can’t be explained with something that we know very well, and of all the things in the world, diamonds have stood the test of time, and the test of culture to be universally beautiful and unequivocally known as the strongest substance in the world…
Let’s take a look at how music treats diamonds…
1. Diamonds Are Forever – by Shirley Bassey
If you have never heard the song in this entirety you have certainly heard the chorus which is unsurprisingly “diamonds are forever.” In this song, diamonds, an almost indestructible substance is compared to a love that is reliable and strong and can weather anything that comes its way. A love that lasts as long as diamonds is a love that lasts forever. We should all be so lucky to find our diamond love.
Giving someone a diamond ring has long stood for marriage and engagement. In this song, Chris Rea not only likens diamonds to the idea of committing to everlasting love but the magic that the glimmering and bright naturally occurring substance brings to the observable world. Like love, it takes something normal and commonplace like the light from the sun and makes it dance and glimmer as if by magic.
It would stand to make sense that the everlasting quality of diamonds is a match made in heaven when it comes to comparisons with beauty. A diamond’s beauty never fades, a diamond’s glimmer never dulls, and in this song, Marilyn Monroe likens the beauty of an everlasting diamond to that of a woman’s beauty. While men may mistakenly lose interest in a woman who’s youth and beauty may fade over the years, a woman knows that her youth and beauty is eternal, and that is why… diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
Much like Marilyn Monroe, Rhianna claims in this song that the most beautiful thing about us as humans is our shining love for each other. To shine like a diamond in her eyes is to shine with brilliance for all of the time. She likens it to the happiness that we radiate like the light of a diamond, while also reminding us that this radiance is everlasting. Happiness and love are an everlasting emotion while the physical things around us decay, so she begs us to focus on shining bright like a diamond because that is our power and something we can control.
A song list about diamonds would be incomplete without mentioning “Flawless” by Beyonce, a song that tells us that while women are expected to be completely perfect in every way like a diamond, men are not held to the same standard. She asks the listener of the song to understand that women are often trapped in the societal pressure of being perfect, but like a diamond, perfection is a natural thing that no woman or man needs to aspire to because it is inherently there.
Diamonds have found their way into the timelessness of art through film, painting, and music and as the industry evolves this art will too, evolve. Now that we live in an age where diamonds can be made in a lab and fashioned into beautiful jewelry, perhaps music will find a new way to represent the timeless and unbreakable nature of diamonds even in an age where they can be manmade. Until then, go turn on one of these songs and remind yourself how beautiful the world can be.