I’ve been fascinated with this song lately, and just like the Sound of Silence, I’m going to try to find out why this particular song has stayed in my mind.
It starts with some relative things, “Some nights, I do this, or that”, These things are what everyone feels from time to time. The lips building/falling off, I feel is a reflection of how our words can build and inspire great things, like “a castle”, or get us into severe trouble with one wrong word causing us to be filled with the desire to turn back time.
Then the lyrics take a bit of a tangent saying that regardless of these regrets he still finds reason to wake up, and sees someone’s Ghost, yet is unsure of what he should uphold. The repetition is obviously to mirror the amount of stress/frustration this is causing him. And then he confesses that he gives up with, “Most nights, I don’t know anymore”.
Now there is an upbeat, almost angry speech. Speaking to boys/men, he starts questioning their hesitation to act, and then he says that though he doesn’t follow the crowd, his efforts often aren’t met with not complete success, but with imitators, which is often the highest form of flattery, ironic. But there’s content with this, because there is a woman/girl who is with him that brings peace of mind through her own sacrifice, hence the “Martyr in my bed tonight,”… “She stops my bones from wondering who I am…”
Back to the beat of the chorus, but the words are different, now they’re asking for an eluded peace and needed companionship, along with that, is a recurring fear of being forgotten, and then a recurring feeling of utter victory.
And the second part of the chorus, or rather the real chorus rings once more, emphasizing the feeling of purposelessness.
And now the pace slows as the Singer speaks plainly, reflecting on recent, yet vague choices, sacrifices that caused him to give up things he loved the most.
And this part I really like, He says, “No”. He says it with a voice of rising defiance against whatever it was that was oppressing him, it could’ve been his regrets or his sorrow. The several “Oh come on!” sounds like calls back to reality, the stereotypical “Snap out of it!” which in this case would be snapping out of the Singer’s depression/sorrow.
Now he’s back to addressing an audience, reverting back to his own youthful impulsiveness, and then a view on his own life and agenda, along with the strong desire not to die alone in some barren place.
Along with this, he speaks of his family, his sister and nephew. I thought this part was interesting, apparently his sister is using love to cheat someone and yet, when it comes to his nephew, it seems like the filthiest lie can end up as some honest truth.
Finally, he speaks to someone about a dream he had. In the dream, he calls someone yet there’s an agreement to not speak and to drift apart.
OK, now to think about why this has been on my mind lately… For one thing, I love the beat, a fierce, yet steady drum to a gentle soothing piano, then back to the drum yet with varying tempos. I also like the Chorus/Voices, soft yet bold, in unison, and the pitch is always following the Singer’s. Then there’s the Singer’s Voice, so full of passion, defiance, compassion, even regret. You can see a lot of this man in this song, in terms depth, like who you’re listening to isn’t some front, but the man himself.
The phrase, “What do I stand for?” have an echo with me, Often times, I find myself wondering if I’m on the right path. As well as “Some nights” though different each time he says it, The idea that sometimes he feels this or that, is relate-able because there are literally some nights, when I too feel this or that as well. One can almost call it a cheating move, because he always remains vague, especially with the slow, “I did this for that?” segment, but it makes it even more relate-able.
One thing about this song is the Passion, I think that there’s a rather intense passion throughout the song, even when he was speaking of his regrets, the rising defiance afterwards was full of intense passion. I’ve always been a sucker for a song that can fill someone with such passion. So now all that’s left is wondering…
What do I stand for?