What Frozen's "Let It Go" Actually Means

Yesterday I published an article examining the meaning of the song "Let It Go" from Disney's 2013 animated musical Frozen. The article was met with general acclaim, though I expected quite the opposite reaction. However, I have since come to realize that I completely misinterpreted the song.

The mistake, I believe, comes from the absence of a translational key. Some have speculated that the context provides such a key, indicating that the song is about a girl embracing her magical powers. Others have claimed that the song is actually embracing moral relativism. The truth is, I believe, that the song is a bathroom anthem of sorts.

The translational key, the Rosetta Stone for interpreting the song, in my opinion, is this: "letting it go" refers to going pee. Don't get me wrong. I am not claiming this for the perhaps comical potty humor that it implies. No, I am merely seeking the truth, attempting to unlock the true intent and meaning of the artists who created this song.

Let's see how the song reads when viewed through this lens:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the queen.

Here the artists are clearly laying the scene for the deed. Indeed, they choose an almost perfect setting. How many of us can claim to never have desired to do such a thing in such a setting?

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried

Here the artists conjure up that oh-so-relatable feeling which we have all experienced on long car trips and such. It is that feeling that we get when we have drank too much, have been holding it in for hours, and can see nary a rest stop in sight.

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know

We all know that there is a certain taboo surrounding certain bodily functions which this song appears to be about. It is the same taboo that leads us to say "number one" instead of "pee." Due to this taboo, the artists feel that they cannot be honest or open about these bodily functions, but now people know that she's really got to go, so she decides to:

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

The bathroom door, that is. With the proper translational key, it is apparent that this chorus is about going pee, not about using magical powers, as some have suggested.

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

In this icy wonderland, one is free to relieve oneself. People may judge, but who cares? Just let the storm rage on. Be free to go pee.

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

With the taboo that accompanies the subject, it is easy to become controlled by fear, to begin calling it "number one," to skirt around the subject as though it were a venomous snake. But through taking a leak in the fresh snow, we can rise above those fears. Out on a cold, freezing mountain, we can realize how absurd our fears are, and then we are free to pee.

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

Have you ever timed yourself peeing and tried to break your record? This is what this portion of the song refers to when it talks about testing the limits. We all ought to take a lesson from this. We should all test the limits of our ability to go pee. Most of us have just become mediocre at the task. Let's change that.

Also, this portion of the song directly addresses the taboos surrounding the subject. It is neither right not wrong to go pee. It's a natural body function. Let's stop pretending it's something else by saying, "no rules for me."

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

As I previously mentioned, we all know the pain of having to hold it in for so long. Sometimes the relief is so great once we have done the deed that we can't help but cry. Obviously, you shouldn't let people see this because they might think you're crazy. You know how people see religious nuts? Well, they might start seeing you as a pee nut if you cry while peeing.

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on

Don't give in to the pressure to hold it in. Empty your bladder. Let the storm rage on.

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back,
The past is in the past

Here we find one of the most artistic representations of the topic ever. The beauty of the substance freezing like an icy blast is simultaneously unprecedented and powerful. After such an experience, I doubt I would ever go back either.

Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone

Here we see the empowerment that results from rejecting cultural taboos surrounding peeing. Perfect girls don't pee in the snow, so the perfect girl must die for true urinary empowerment to be achieved. Don't try to be something you're not. Let it go.

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

Be bold about your empowerment. Be like this. Stand in the light of day and relieve yourself as is only natural. Don't let other people's expectations define you. Be free to pee.

As you can tell, this translational key makes the most sense of any proposed so far. The song is not about a girl embracing her magical powers, although it could be arguing that urinating is magical, and it is not about moral relativism, or gay rights, or anything else. This song is about finding the empowerment to transcend cultural expectations and pee as you see fit.

(Inspired by Emma McIlheran)