Friday, 27 February 2009
I'm not a religious person. I don't think I could ever be, really. And while I couldn't say I believe in God either, I struggle to budge from my agnostic viewpoint into either full-fledged atheism or any sort of real belief, despite having thought about it until the point of exhaustion at times. Even though I can't say that I can wholly relate to the subject matter, there's something about mewithoutYou's 'Carousels' that makes it one of the most profound and powerful songs I've ever heard. It gives me shivers every time I hear it. It was the song that made me fall in love with mewithoutYou in the first place. Everything about it is overwhelming: right from the wonderfully atmospheric descending guitar line in the intro that leads its way into a deep groove, the song completely immerses me emotionally from start to finish. This serves as a great platform for Aaron Weiss' performance, which is one of the most passionate and inspiring lyrical and vocal performances I've ever heard. The opening stanza, to me, is one of the most poetic and beautiful ways of saying "I believe in God" that I've ever read:
on a bus ride into town
i wondered out loud,
"why am i going to town?"
as i looked around
at the billboards and the stores
i thought, "why do i look around?"
and i kissed the filthy ground
at the first dry spot i found
and i didn't have to wonder
why i was laying down.
Weiss' lyricism continues to be consistently astounding from there onwards. The song touches on loneliness, doubt and confusion, but, most importantly, the profound faith in God that keeps the narrator anchored despite everything. Sometimes I feel like I am "lost in sinai" myself, and listening to this song, I can't help but wonder. I can't really explain why this song is as powerful for me as it is. Whether you're a devout catholic or decidedly anti-religious, all I ask is that you listen and discover what it means to you for yourself.
if i didn't have You as my guide i'd still wander lost in sinai
or down by the tracks watching trains go by to remind me:
there are places that aren't here.
i had a well but all the water left
so i'll ask your forgiveness with every breath
if there was no way into God,
i would never have laid in this grave of a body for so long.