"AMERICAN SECRETS" - PARACHUTE
As promised, here’s a post! I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long. Like, so, so long. I’ve been feeling quite uninspired as of late, but that has changed today. It took me forever to pick a song to write about (because I came up with a HUGE list of songs), but I finally settled on this one. I think this song is a work of art. It’s pure lyrical genius, maybe the best thing Will Anderson has ever written (and I’m a really big Parachute fan).
I recently (-ish) saw Parachute in concert and they both opened and closed (well, kind of closed, it was one of those fake encores) with this song. That in itself was absolutely breathtaking, without even getting into the content of the song, or what it means to me. For a little background information on this song, it took 6 months to write and was originally two separate songs before it was combined into one. A decision, in my opinion, that paid off in an amazing way. It’s hard for me to talk about this song in particular because I don’t want to down play it, or say it wrong. I’m also out of practice :/
What this song does so flawlessly is continue a theme. What are “American Secrets?” What are we driving for? Where are we headed? Maybe more importantly, who are we leaving behind? It’s hard to consider all the what if’s in our lives. We probably shouldn’t consider them at all, but there’s always that passing thought. What if? Where are the moments that change our courses forever, and could we have done it any differently? You don’t know, but you know when you get to wherever you’re going, it might be too late. “We were just two kids in a beat up car. Oh, I’m still driving home from the things I’ve done.” It’s like running away, only realize what has become.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because you could get to exactly where you wanted to be. But, there’s always that chance where you realize something is wrong. And maybe it would be better to go back for a second, just one second. One second can change everything, right? Go back, and have a moment to reconsider. Just a moment to see the future and pick the path that we want. The path that we intend. “Give me one more minute with those baby blues. Oh, she looks back and waves as I wait too long. I can picture her room with the light turned on. I’m still dancing alone with the way it was.”
That line, right there. “I’m still dancing alone with the way it was.” You can play the scenarios in your head to perfection. But you can’t go back to the way it was, and even when you do in your mind, no one else comes with you. And maybe that’s the “American Secret.” The way it was.
You have to wonder though, is there a way you can go back? Make it better? Remember those you left behind and go back to find them? “Got my mind made up, and I’m coming back for you.” As Will sings, he’s always been running, but he doesn’t know where. Where are we going? Where? Why are we always rushing to get away? The moment we leave, are we better off? Have we left part of ourselves behind forever?
I have always thought this, but there is a kind of beauty that comes with numbers in songs. Specific numbers. It’s like the 14 months and 7 days in A Rocket to the Moon’s “Like We Used To,” the 81, 23 in The Maine’s “We All Roll Along,” the 20 years in Augustana’s “Twenty Years,” the 8 seconds in The Fray’s “Over My Head (Cable Car).” It’s just…beautiful. Numbers in songs take my breath away. Somehow they mean more than any of the other words. I don’t know what it is. This song is no different. “It took 25 years, but I finally see. Not the boy I was in the car that you saw leave, but I’m still not the man that I thought I’d be.” Wow. Just wow.
I think the best thing about this song is the transition from upbeat to almost somber. It kind of breaks your heart. Because you feel like you’re running away with them, with the wind blowing and hearts pounding. And then you reflect. You become a better person, you realize what’s happened. And you do something to change it. And that is amazing. This is, in my opinion, one of the best songs of the year.
Alright, sorry for the long delay, and I know this post is quite long, but I hope you enjoy. Take a listen to the song, and I hope you come to love it as I do, if you don’t already. Take care. Hopefully I will have more posts up soon, too!