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

The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 7

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by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Somewhere in our past – and even our present for many of us – we can recall someone who has reached the limits of physical pain. They have hit the wall of emotional strain. Perhaps felt the crushing blow of loss.  Could be the loss of a loved one. Or loss of self worth. We empathize and want to help. We want to ease their suffering. We want to wave a magic wand or call in a favor from G_d, then *poof* the miracle changes everything. We don’t have that kind of power. So our relationship with this person changes. They want out. Or they decide to give up because they are tired of fighting the pain. They let go and leave… forever. They release their grip on this realm, but we refuse let go of their memory.

After seven years of touring and writing songs and studio efforts, the band Breaking Benjamin was able to address the kind of sorrow that humans face when badgered by hopelessness, age, cancer, and worst of all pain in their bodies and minds. The band formed in 1999 with Benjamin Burnley as lead vocalist and guitars, Aaron Fink as lead guitarist, Mark Klepaski as bassist, and Chad Szeliga (originally Jeremy Hummel ) as drummer.

Benjamin (Benjamin Jackson Burnley IV) has admitted in public that he is a recovering alcoholic. He has admitted regret for this lifestyle choice even though it continues to bring negative consequences. His alcoholism brought on Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, a disorder where the lack of the important Vitamin B1 causes nerve damage and memory loss. Benjamin may have been drinking for sorrow. He lost his grandfather, Benjamin J. Burnley Jr., in 2008, who was a veteran of the US Army in World War II. This was the same year that Breaking Benjamin began writing and producing a fourth studio album. The passing away appears to have influenced all 11 tracks on this album. The singles released, “I Will Not Bow,” “Give Me a Sign” and “Lights Out” contain intense lyrics filled with longing, pleading, hurt and despair. Another track in particular seems to have changed perspectives and sounds like it is sung from the point of view of the person feeling the deepest misery of all and facing the inevitable.

What is it like to fight the good fight all your life, then face one last test of strength and resolve? Would any of us look to a higher power within ourselves, or a deity? Or would we give in to an alternative method of thwarting all suffering? Is there such a thing as an honorable end or is there honor in not struggling to keep on living?

Number 7
The studio title track “Dear Agony” from the album of the same name was not released as a single. (Acoustic version) Its dramatic lyrics were powerful enough to project the work to #4 on the Billboard 200 Album charts, with a #1 spot on the Rock Albums chart and #13 on the Canadian Rock chart.  The album is RIAA Certified Platinum with more than one million unit sales. So much for the critics who hated on the effort by calling it valueless. This while fans continue to understand that the messages of hurt and sorrow are important and should be expressed and shared.

We many never understand the reason behind death and dying. After all, it can be compartmentalized into “well, that’s the circle of life.” Many times this reasoning is just not enough. Some people say that funerals bring closure for the living. It is important to know that, whether we understand it or not, we do leave memories behind for our loved ones to cherish after we die. But, it is our job to make as many positive impressions on this life, and fight evil for as long as we can. This is our duty, so that those who attend funerals will understand how short our time to show love for each other really is. 

Lyrics: written by Benjamin Burnley

I have nothing left to give
I have found a perfect end
You were made to make it hurt
Disappear into the dirt

Carry me to heaven’s arms
Light the way and let me go
Take the time to take my breath
I will end where I began

And I will find the enemy within
Because I can feel it crawl beneath my skin

Dear agony, just let go of me
Suffer slowly, is this the way it’s got to be, dear agony?

Suddenly the lights go out
Let forever drag me down
I will fight for one last breath
I will fight until the end

And I will find the enemy within
Because I can feel it crawl beneath my skin

Dear agony, just let go of me
Suffer slowly, is this the way it’s got to be?
Don’t bury me, faceless enemy
I’m so sorry. Is this the way it’s got to be, dear agony?

Leave me alone, God, let me go
All blue and cold, black sky will burn
Love, pull me down,
hate lift me up
Just turn around, there’s nothing left

Somewhere far beyond this world
I feel nothing anymore

Dear agony,
just let go of me
Suffer slowly
Is this the way it’s got to be?
Don’t bury me faceless enemy
I’m so sorry, is this the way it’s got to be?
Dear agony?

I feel nothing anymore

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.

Author: SpindoctorUSA

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