MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #10

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by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Can we ‘have our cake and eat it, too?’ This is an example of a kind of paradox. If we eat it, it is gone then we do not have it. If we have it, we cannot eat it, too, because it would be gone. It is akin to saying, ‘this statement is false.’ Which may be true. But, it cannot be both ‘false’ and ‘true’ at the same time. In some instances we look at our own lives and say to ourselves, “I refuse to live like this.” Then again, paradoxically we are here, living those lives we are refusing to endure.

Consider the American rock band Shinedown. They hail from Jacksonville, Florida, and were formed by singer-songwriter Brent Smith. He started the band after his self titled “Smith” band broke up while still under contract with Atlantic Records. He reorganized in 2002 and recruited original band members: guitarist Jasin Todd, bassist Brad Stewart, and percussionist Barry Kerch. But these members did not stay together for long. The group members outgrew each other after the first two albums. And it was these works which sparked the Shinedown trek into music history. To date the band has accounted for over 10 million records sold.  They have 11 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Mainstream Rock charts, which is third behind Van Halen and Three Days Grace.

Being happy or sad or upset with the way our current situation is, may be a matter of choice. Each day we face situations that are thrust upon us. We somehow keep trying over and over to get it right. This is how Shinedown eventually began writing songs that dealt with pain and angst for their debut album “Leave a Whisper.” They crafted lyrics which discussed coping with life’s hurts and disappointments. After  a handful of demos and seven auditions for a drummer, which Barry eventually made the grade, they were able to fulfill their recording contract. The first track, “Fly from the Inside” was released as a single just two months before the album debuted.  The song which featured cries of pain and frustration peaked at #5. Then there was another song which sparked some serious controversy.

This new new song was reportedly not about suicide but about being comfortable in your own skin. Apparently, the world hands us the power to enjoy the gift of life or the power to destroy our own world. The group’s fans reacted favorably to the desolate guitar riffs and gloomy tone of the melody.  Do we have the will to get through the ashes of a bad day despite our fears?

Number 10
The song “45” reached the #3 position on the Mainstream Rock Songs charts. Many people still claim that this track is about suicide by a potential gunshot because the lyrics imply the sorrow of someone under pressure. Brent said that the 45 was a metaphor for what life hands us. We must understand that life is not always going to be good. However, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we don’t move forward. He said that was where the lyric “nobody knows what I believe” comes from.

Admittedly we have to deal with strange people and taxing situations in our daily encounters. We can choose to act either to the best of our abilities or we can just not show up. What causes us to feel as if we will be punished if we can’t stand the pressure of daily living? Choosing to do our best every chance we get can make each day worthwhile. If we need help, then we can seek out counseling and meds to help us along. Living for each moment is a doable plan. We just have to have the determination to take those “ordered steps” through the valley of the shadow of death.

Lyrics: written by Brent Smith and Tony Battaglia

Send away for a priceless gift
One not subtle, one not on the list
Send away for a perfect world
One not simply, so absurd
In these times of doing what you’re told
Keep these feelings, no one knows

What ever happened to the young man’s heart
Swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart

And I’m staring down the barrel of a 45 (45),
Swimming through the ashes of another life
No real reason to accept the way things have changed
Staring down the barrel of a 45

Send a message to the unborn child
Keep your eyes open for a while
In a box high up on the shelf, left for you, no one else
There’s a piece of a puzzle known as life
Wrapped in guilt, sealed up tight

What ever happened to the young man’s heart
Swallowed by pain, as he slowly fell apart

And I’m staring down the barrel of a 45 (45),
Swimming through the ashes of another life
No real reason to accept the way things have changed
Staring down the barrel of a 45

Everyone’s pointing their fingers
Always condemning me
And nobody knows what I believe
I believe

And I’m staring down the barrel of a 45 (45),
Swimming through the ashes of another life
No real reason to accept the way things have changed
Staring down the barrel of a 45

And I’m staring down the barrel of a 45,
And I’m swimming through the ashes of another life
There’s no real reason to accept the way things have changed
Staring down the barrel of a 45

45
Staring down the barrel of a 45

Depressed? Do something about it. Please find help before making any rash decisions.  Click here: the National Institute of Mental Health.

Eating disorder (ED)? CLICK HERE to get more information from the NIMH.

Read up on PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder Click Here.

Don’t try suicide. Talk to somebody. Click here for the phone number and information.

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

 

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