Thursday, 22 March 2012

Last Kiss

“We were out on a date in my daddy's car
We hadn't driven very far
There in the road, straight ahead
A car was stalled, the engine was dead
I couldn't stop, so I swerved to the right
I'll never forget the sound that night
The screamin' tires, the bustin' glass
The painful scream that I heard last.

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

There is one aspect of music I haven’t mused about in my blogs until now, and it surprises me a little because it is such an important part of music. Music tells stories.

Last Kiss tells the tragic tale of a car crash which kills a man’s beautiful woman. The man must now go through his life with both the trauma of losing someone in a car crash in which he was driving, and with having to make every decision the right decision so when he dies, he can visit his girl in heaven. It’s a powerful story told through a song, and when listened to, conquers up an image in your mind which is disturbing and horrifying, but somehow beautiful and touching at the same time. It’s one my favourite stories told in any song; I can listen to Last Kiss over and over and imagine the story without feeling I have ever overplayed the song.

Without stories, good music would not be possible. Every song has a story behind it, whether it is explicitly told such as Last Kiss is, or whether it is part of an emotion or feeling or moment which is portrayed through music. All around us are songs which tell stories. Rock legend Meatloaf is a great example. From Paradise By The Dashboard Light to You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth, we see a narrative developing, characters being introduced, conflict arising, a climax and some kind of resolution. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Fast Car by Tracy Chapman and Thriller by Michael Jackson are just a few examples of songs which follow the structure of a good story but have emotional lyrics which capture our attention and intense instrumental moments to increase the climax and conflict. These songs take us on a journey as we get to know  the characters and want to know what happens in their story. We connect with the characters and we feel for
them; whether it is the joy of being with a hot young girl, the fear of being caught or the pain of losing someone special.

Stories are beautiful creations which have benefited our world for thousands of years, and it makes me so happy that we have used music to tell such amazing stories. With these musings in mind, I will leave you with the rest of the amazing story told through a song.

“I lifted her head, she looked at me and said
"Hold me darling just a little while." 
I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss
I found the love that I knew I has missed
But now she's gone, even though I hold her tight
I lost my love, my life that night.”

1 comment:

  1. Oh I find this song so hard to listen to (because it's sad)... Thumbs up for mentioning Tracy Chapman though. I love Fast Car.