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Six Great Songs from Steven Universe

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published June 20th 2020
There’s Peace and Love on the Planet Earth
Five Great Songs from Steven Universe
Believe in the power of Steven Universe

Memorable Quote: "Isn't it remarkable, Steven? This world is full of so many possibilities. Each living thing has an entirely unique experience. The sights they see, the sounds they hear. The lives they live are so complicated... a-and so simple. I can't wait for you to join them. Steven, we can't both exist. I'm going to become half of you. And I need you to know that every moment you love being yourself, that's me, loving you and loving being you. Because you're going to be something extraordinary. You're going to be a human being."

Rose Quartz leaves a message for her son, "Lion 3: Straight to Video" Steven Universe

Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network about a young boy named Steven, who is half-human, and half-alien. Steven's mother was Rose Quartz, an alien from a race of ageless beings who project female humanoid bodies around magical gemstones that form the core of their being. Rose Quartz gave up her humanoid body to give birth to her son, Steven, who inherited her gemstone and her magic powers. Steven lives in the fictional town of Beach City with his father Greg, his best friend Connie and the Crystal Gems, a group of gems who were loyal to Rose Quartz and have vowed to protect the Earth and care for Steven. Steven Universe explores the themes of science fiction, fantasy, love, family, and LGBTQ relationships. Music plays an important part in Steven Universe. The characters on the show regularly burst into music, ranging from grand musical showstopper numbers to peppy, uplifting songs that explore and develop the characters, their relationships, and the plot. This article lists six great songs from Steven Universe. There are SPOILERS AHEAD.

1. Working Dead Song
Episode Featured: "Sadie Killer" Episode 9, Season 5
Vocalist / Character: Kate Micucci as Sadie Miller / Sadie Killer

In the episode "Sadie Killer" Steven Universe starts a band with his friends, the Cool Kids. He visits the Big Donut to get some donuts for band practice and greets his friend Sadie working alone in the shop. Sadie has been working all the shifts at the Big Donut ever since Lars, her former love interest, got stuck in space on one of Steven's previous adventures. She and Lars used to share the shifts at the Big Donut, but with him gone, Sadie has been forced to cover all of his shifts and has been exhausted ever since. Steven invites Sadie to come along and watch their band practice and she reluctantly agrees. Sadie joins them after their shift and the kids watch some horror movies. The friends start talking about their band, which does not have a name yet, and they have an argument over what their sound should be and what songs they should sing. The soundtrack from the horror film inspires them to start playing their instruments and Sadie begins to make up lyrics to a song about being exhausted while working a minimum wage job. I adore this episode and love this song. The music and the lyrics are so catchy. Who hasn't ever felt trapped in a minimum wage job? After singing with the band, the kids make Sadie their frontman, and give her the stage name Sadie Killer, lead singer of the Suspects.

2. Do It For Her
Episode Featured: "Sworn to the Sword" Episode 6, Season 2
Vocalist / Character: Grace Rolek as Connie and Deedee Magno Hall as Pearl

Pearl is a member of the Crystal Gems and was Pink Diamond's second Pearl and Rose Quartz's closest follower and sole confidant. Pearl was in love with Rose and fiercely loyal to her. When she gave up her physical form to give birth to Steven, Pearl was devastated. It took Pearl a long time to understand Rose's decision and to accept that Steven was Rose's son and not her in another form. After her death, Pearl took on the role of an adoptive mother to Steven, but she never stopped grieving for Rose Quartz. In the episode "Sworn to the Sword" Pearl agrees to teach Steven's human best friend Connie how to sword fight so she can protect Steven. This is such a sweet song that says a lot about Pearl's character at this point in the series. Pearl tells Connie to "do it for him" but messes up a few times and refers to Steven as "her" a few times in the song. It is clear at this point in the show she still sees Steven as Rose and is having trouble separating the two of them. Pearl is devoted to Steven as a mother and as a guardian, but still grieves for Rose and hopes that one day she will reemerge, and is not really gone forever.

3. Stronger than You
Episode Featured: "Jail Break" Episode 52, Season 1
Vocalist / Character: Estelle as Garnet

In the episode "Jail Break" Steven learns that the leader of the Crystal Gems, Garnet, is a fusion of a Ruby and a Sapphire. Fusion is when two or more gems fuse together to form a completely new gem. On the Gem home world, this is usually done for practical purposes, to make gems stronger, larger and more powerful. Garnet is an unusual fusion because Rubies, who are common soldiers, don't typically fuse with dignified, high-ranking Sapphires. Ruby and Sapphire broke a lot of rules when they fell in love and fused together to form Garnet. It was Rose Quartz who made them realize their feelings for each other was nothing to be ashamed of and it was natural for them to want to form Garnet. In the episode "Jail Break" Ruby and Sapphire are temporarily split apart and imprisoned on a Gem warship. Steven Universe helps Ruby reunite with Sapphire and fuse back into Garnet. Garnet then battles Jasper, a home world gem, while singing the song "Stronger Than You." Jasper mocks Garnet for being a fusion and calls fusion a "cheap trick to make weak gems stronger". But Garnet is unfazed and confidently overpowers Jasper in the fight because she knows she is stronger than her because she is made from love.

4. "Just a Comet"
Episode Featured: "Story for Steven" Episode 48, Season 1
Vocalist / Character: Tom Scharpling as Greg Universe

In the episode "Story for Steven" Steven asks his father, Greg Universe, to tell him the story of how he met his mother, Rose Quartz. Greg agrees and starts to play a song on his guitar. We see a flashback of him as a young, enthusiastic musician performing his song "Just a Comet" at a concert. The song is glam metal and speaks volumes about Greg's dreams, his aspirations, and his place in the world. It's a great, catchy song. The only person who sees Greg gives this performance is Rose Quartz, who applauds delightfully at the end.

5. It's Over Isn't It
Episode Featured: "Mr Greg" Episode 8, Season 3
Vocalist / Character: Deedee Magno Hall as Pearl

In the season three episode "Mr Greg" Pearl struggles to accept that Rose Quartz is really gone from her life and that she fell in love Steven's human father Greg instead of her. "It's Over Isn't It" is the first solo song performed by Pearl and does a good job at exploring her character. Pearl was a faithful servant of Rose Quartz for thousands of years. She states in the song that she was "fine" with all of the men who came into Rose's life, until Greg. Pearl was terribly jealous of Greg and fought with him for Rose's affections. Pearl never thought Rose would ever reject her romantic advances, but she did. She chose Greg over her and it devastated her, and now she's gone, and Pearl has to look after her son. Pearl is haunted by her memories of Rose and wonders when she will be able to move on.

6. Change Your Mind
Episode Featured: "Change Your Mind" Episode 29 – 32, Season 5
Vocalist / Character: Zach Callison as Steven Universe

I would argue that "Change Your Mind" is the saddest song in this list. It is sung by Steven Universe at the end of the 44-minute long episode "Change Your Mind" which aired as the final episode of the fifth season, it was the season finale of the original series, and wrapped up a special television event called "Diamond Days" which was marketed as "Battle of Heart and Mind." The episode begins with Steven Universe waking up a prisoner of the Diamonds on the Gem home world. Steven is brought before White Diamond, the largest and most powerful Gem, and the leader the Great Diamond Authority. White Diamond is not convinced that Steven's mother, who was Pink Diamond before she was Rose Quartz, is really gone. White thinks that Steven is another form of Pink, just like Rose Quartz was, and that Pink has gotten so good at lying she has convinced herself and everyone else that she is Steven Universe. Steven disagrees, he doesn't think he is his mother, he is just connected to her through his gem. White refuses to accept this and picks up Steven and pulls his gemstone out of his body in an attempt to "wake up" Pink. His gemstone shines brightly pink, shapes itself into Pink Diamond and Rose Quartz, and then becomes a mirror image of Steven. White Diamond is enraged and demands to know where Pink Diamond is. Gem-Steven furiously responds "SHE'S GOOONEE!" with such force the floor cracks. Gem-Steven walks towards Steven and the two tearfully embrace and fuse together to return Steven back into a half-human, half-gem hybrid. The episode later ends with Steven safe back on Earth with the Crystal Gems, sitting on the beach and strumming on a guitar. When Steven starts to sing, there is so much emotion packed into his words, and you can feel that he has suffered trauma at the hands of the Diamonds. He sings, "I don't need you to respect me, I respect me. I don't need you to love me, I love me. But I want you to know you could know me, if you change your mind…" Steven is talking about the Diamonds, in particular White Diamond, and how they treated him on home world. They mis-gendered him and caused him great distress and confusion, all because they could not accept that he was not his mother.
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Why? Steven Universe is a coming-of-age story about a young boy named Steven Universe who is half-human, half-alien and has magical powers.
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