Divinely Inspired ‘Michelangelo’: A Song by Katy Mantyk

Katy Mantyk singer-songwriter by a river in the fall.

'Michelangelo is a metaphor for the Divine Creator; it is my humble prayer asking to 'carve me beautiful' like a sculptor with a heavy stone.' (Image: via James Smith)

Michelangelo is the fourth offering from Katy Mantyk’s upcoming debut EP From Dust to Gold, a song that pays homage to the great artist Michelangelo and draws parallels to the Divine Creator in how he transforms us.

detail of Michelangelos scultpure David close up of face and shoulder and chest and hand
Songwriter Katy Mantyk reflects on Michelangelo’s character, a man who could turn a slab of rock into something so incredibly beautiful. (Image: via Taylor Smith via Unsplash)  

Observations from the song

The song starts with some piano chords and notes that are gently played with moments of determination. The sound of Mantyk’s voice soon follows, flowing with ease as she radiates her wish in the lyrics: “Michelangelo, carve me beautiful.” The song follows with her engaging observations surrounding the process of creation and transformation.

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Later, we are joined by low-key backing vocals by Mantyk that uplift the message “diamonds in the rough — you know that we’re diamonds?” Then, it’s stripped back to the piano as the final message is delivered by Mantyk with such clarity: “Diamonds in the rough, fallen from Heaven above.” She then proceeds to hum a small melody like an echo of the song’s prayer.

Michelangelo speaks to me on a personal level that says: “Remember who you really are and don’t give up!” 

Listen to Michelangelo

Inspired by a film on the artist

Mantyk watched the Michelangelo film The Agony and the Ecstasy and although loosely biographical, it really struck a note in her and propelled her to write the song. This is what she said in an interview with Canvas Magazine as she likens it to her own process of self-cultivation:

“I see Michelangelo as one of the finest examples of a creator, and it mirrors to me how the Divine Creator can help refine us to become better and more beautiful, so my song, Michelangelo, is a metaphor for the Divine Creator, it is my humble prayer asking to ‘carve me beautiful’ like a sculptor with a heavy stone.”

“I think about Michelangelo chiseling a heavy, rough slab of marble,” she continued, “Just a big rock. He saw potential in it, that he could make it beautiful. It’s akin to my own self-cultivation, where I work on my inner self, and painfully chip away at ugliness, unrefined human desires, things that block me from higher wisdom and make me heavy and stuck. There are so many parallels.”

singer songwriter katy mantyk meditates Falun Dafa by a river she is sitting with legs folded and hands conjoined
Mantyk likens Michelangelo chipping away at rock to make something beautiful to her own self-cultivation through the practice of Falun Dafa where she works on improving heart and mind. (Image: via Binggan Zhang)

Mantyk also shared with Canvas Magazine her inspiration from ancient Chinese folk tales:

“I read an old Chinese fairy tale of a monk choosing a large rock to carve. As the story goes, the rock was too large, and he smashed it in half and began carving one half into a statue of the Buddha. But the rock complained loudly and groaned, and the monk felt bad and started using the other half of the rock instead. That rock quietly endured the pain of the chisel, happy knowing he would become a Buddha statue in a temple and inspire reverence in the divine. And it did. Meanwhile, the rock that couldn’t endure the hardship ended up being a stepping stone in the temple, and was walked on every day as people came to visit the stone Buddha statue.”

singer songwriter katy mantyk has released new song michelangelo and she holds guitar and sits by river
Katy Mantyk is a songbird from New Zealand, now nesting in the mountains of New York. (Image: via Binggan Zhang)

Lyrics to Michelangelo

Michelangelo 

Carve me beautiful 

Take this heavy stone 

Can you hear me 

Down below 

Buried 

Master of miracles 

Spin me from dust to gold 

Show this hopeful soul 

What you see beneath it all 

Free me 

As we are, we’re diamonds in the rough 

Souls fallen from heaven above 

As we are, we are, diamonds in the rough 

Fallen, fallen from heaven above 

From heaven above 

Maestro of symphonies 

Make me a melody 

If my voice had wings 

I would sing in harmony 

With you 

As we are, we’re diamonds in the rough 

Souls fallen from heaven above 

As we are, we are, diamonds in the rough 

Fallen, fallen from heaven 

From heaven above 

Diamonds in the rough 

You know that we’re diamonds 

Diamonds in the rough 

You know that we’re diamonds 

Diamonds in the rough 

You know that we’re diamonds 

As we are, we’re diamonds in the rough 

Souls fallen from heaven above 

As we are, we are, diamonds in the rough 

Fallen, fallen from heaven 

From heaven above

Where to find more music

Michelangelo is a new release, following other recently released singles Free As a Bird and Shooting Star building on the success of her debut single Search No More, which came out on May 13, 2020. 

Her debut EP From Dust to Gold is set for release later this year. 

Listen to or buy Michelangelo on her website: https://katymantyk.com/ 

Listen on Spotify or other streaming music sites.

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