Hello, everyone! Since its Throwback Thursday, I decided to upload one of my old blog posts. This one is about Our Lady of Righteous Rage. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 12, 2014: Anatomy of a Song w/ Our Lady of Righteous Rage
One of the most important elements of Our Lady is music, and by music, I mean the lyrics to the band’s songs. The first full set of lyrics to appear in the book, are the lyrics to “Wish You Well”. It’s the song Amy writes in reference to her father. In reality, it’s a song I wrote for my father. The line, “I wish you well”, sounds like she’s wishing her father luck. The truth is, she’s being sarcastic. She doesn’t wish him well at all. More or less, what she’s trying to say is, “Hey, you were never around when I needed you, but I’ll move on, so forget you”. The lyrics, “This would be so easy/ If you were just deceased”, doesn’t mean she wishes her father was dead. What Amy is referring to, is if her father was dead, at least that would be an excuse for him not spending time with her. The fact that he is alive and well and just doesn’t see her, makes the situation harder to deal with. Another important song in the book (and my personal favorite) is “Come for the Wake, Stay for the Funeral”. Amy writes this song after her mother’s aunt’s funeral. Disgusted by the way her family is acting during the wake and at the burial site, Amy begins to view the service as a sort of “Spectator Sport”. The opening lyrics to the song, “All you spectators please gather ‘round/The dearly beloved is barely in the ground” relates to the conversations Amy overhears during the service: people simply wondering if the aunt left them anything in her will. No one seems to care that she is no longer living. In reality, I wrote this song in 2009, after my mother’s Aunt Dorothy passed away. Same situation: people just wanted to know who would get her house or her money. Next, is Nick’s song, “Smoke and Glass”. The complete lyrics do not appear in the book, however, the song is a tribute to September 11th.
The lyrics that the characters write in the story run parallel with the events in their lives. But, this is what most songwriters do: use the events in their lives as inspiration for their music. I suppose this is true for writers of any sort. Charles Dickens is a good example. Some of his best work involves young men born into unfortunate circumstances, and later, their lives turn around for the better. I wrote the lyrics for all of Our Lady’s songs, and bits and pieces of my life can be found in the lyrics.