Nov 102013

Most of the time when we get songs stuck in our heads, it’s annoying. We don’t want it stuck in our head, we get sick of hearing it loop over and over–especially if we can only remember snippets of it! But sometimes, I’ll get a song stuck in my head that I just want to listen to over and over again. It’s stuck there, but I don’t want it to leave. For the last week or so, that’s been “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell, familiar to most people as the title music to Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s debut film as James Bond.

The rockin’ style and melody of the piece aside, a couple of lyrics in particular resonate with me.

I’ve seen angels fall from blinding heights
But you yourself are nothing so divine
Just next in line

I want to steal this verbatim for a line in a book somewhere. It’s right up there with Roy Batty’s “Tears in the Rain” speech from Blade Runner or Dirty Harry’s “Do I Feel Lucky?” bit in terms of how utterly badass a line it can be, in the right context. I also get a kick out of how completely dismissive it is.

Arm yourself because no one else here will save you
The odds will betray you

This is the part that taps directly into my brain; I absolutely love what happens musically on that first chorus line. I could listen to that line on loop and be happy. But setting aside the music, the lyric itself has some gravitas to it just because of how cynical it is. At the same time, it actually makes me think of Iron Man (or Batman; any genius-human that becomes “super” through the application of knowledge and training). There are a ton of ways to read the line, from the superficial “you are in a dangerous situation and will need to take up arms yourself because no one else will save you” to the deeper but more mundane idea that you are the architect of your own success because no one else is going to build it for you. If you depend on that, “the odds will betray you.”

The coldest blood runs through my veins
You know my name

So far, I’ve called out a badass verse and a verse about self-actualization, but this one gets me for an entirely different reason. One of the things that Craig’s James Bond captures that I think many will agree got lost in prior portrayals is a sense of cold, ruthless lethality. This line, right here, embodies that for me. Similar to the way “Sympathy for the Devil” never calls out just exactly who is singing the song, this line expects the listener to know from the harsh, ruthless tale weaved by the lyrics just who the singer is. No names are necessary; we already know.

I love dissecting why certain songs resonate with me, so I might do more of these in the future!

Sep 232009
  • Hooked on Veronica Mars.  First season is incredibly smart and engaging.  Tina Majorino (“Mac”) is adorable.  Started watching season two.  Have heard that seasons two and three are not as good as the first, with the third even breaking with the format of the previous two seasons.  Will stick with it as long as it remains interesting.
  • Glad to be back to the regular TV season with the debuts of House, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, and Castle on Monday.  House, in particular, was interesting for breaking its traditional format.  Only regular cast member (other than Hugh Laurie) to appear was Robert Sean Leonard, and only for a few moments.  Awesome appearances by Franka Potente (Bourne Identity) and André Braugher.
  • Lots of work to be done in the kitchen, with a hard “due” date of Saturday evening, when we’re hosting a birthday bash.  The list includes sanding the walls, washing them, taping off the edges of areas we don’t want to get paint, priming, and painting.  I’m hoping to hit the first three items tonight.  We shall see.
  • Started watching Defying Gravity at the suggestion of a friend.  Excellent show thus far (two episodes in).  It’s amazing to see a hard sci-fi TV show (with the exception of that one thing, which I won’t mention for those of you who haven’t seen the show yet).  “Alive” by Edwin was in the first episode. I haven’t heard the song in years, and recognized it at once (though I mis-identified it as Bon Jovi at first).  I love that song.
  • Started reading Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds last night.  Been meaning to read this for a while.