Ex Die in Diem



So this week I’ve been thinking again about a little game I unconsciously play when I’m listening to my record collection. Sometimes, when a song has a story to it, you can picture an extension to that story: a conclusion, or maybe a prequel of sorts. This is already feeling like an idea that needs an illustrative example.

The Example

The song “Run”, by Amy MacDonald, definitely has a story to it. If you haven’t heard it, the song is about two people who are uncertain about life, a point of view with which I can sympathise. They don’t know what’s coming or why things happen the way they do, but they’re determined to carry on and find out the hard way. This is summed up in the blazing chorus:

“I will run until my feet no longer run no more,
and I will kiss until my lips no longer feel no more,
and I will love until my heart it aches,
and I will love until my heart it breaks,
and I will love until there’s nothing more to live for.”

So with this song in mind, forward looking and determined to run itself ragged in the pursuit of understanding, love and happiness, we cast around looking for a conclusion to the story. That conclusion comes from another act I love: The Killers. The song in question is “For Reasons Unknown”. This tune is a lot less optimistic; viewing a hard-lived life from the other end, after the excitement and youth has gone and all that is left is an unabated confusion and desperation for meaning. The dovetail with “Run” is clearest in the chorus of this song:

“But my heart, it don’t beat, it don’t beat the way it used to,
and my eyes, they don’t see you no more,
and my lips, they don’t kiss, the don’t kiss the way they used to,
and my eyes don’t recognise you any more,
for reasons unknown”

Worn out.

If this kind of ending appeals, may I direct your attention to Richard Linklater’s fantastic bookending films - Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. If you think dialogue is the most important part of a motion picture, you’ll love these two.

Example Ends

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