Yesterday, I asked a question about one of the negatives of the whole bloggin’ thing on this particular site. It was minor and just about the looping time system they have here. Today, I shall highlight one of the positives and this will lead perfectly into the song of the day. When I look at the statistics of visiting members each day (and I get all of your personal information *evil laugh* For anybody incredibly gullible that was a joke) I get a list of what search has led people to the site. Today at the earth shattering number of twelve, Ben Gibbard has shown up as a much searched person. I have profiled Gibbard in the past as the #98th Best Songwriter of all time and I have actually profiled this song to a smaller extent in Gibbard’s section, but I thought, since it is such an awesome song I would profile it once again as a song of the day to appease those searchers of Gibbard.
Let’s get through with some logistics. “I’ll Follow You into the Dark,” was track five on Death Cab For Cutie’s fifth studio album, Plans. Plans was recorded in a farmhouse studio (you can here mooing in the background of some songs, just kidding) in Massachusetts in the “middle of nowhere” as described by Gibbard. In response to a question about the album from Mix Magazine Gibbard said,
” I don’t think there’s necessarily a story, but there’s definitely a theme here. One of my favorite kind of dark jokes is, ‘How do you make God laugh? You make a plan.’ Nobody ever makes a plan that they’re gonna go out and get hit by a car. A plan almost always has a happy ending. Essentially, every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time. I really like the idea of a plan not being seen as having definite outcomes, but more like little wishes.”
Gibbard is preaching the gospel of existentialism in this quotation. His discussion of unknown plans fits right into the philosophy that discusses the imprisonment of freedom; that one is condemned to be free as existentialist phenon, Jean-Paul Sartre, states.
For example, picture yourself driving. When one is driving you are constantly thinking your driving. Every moment you are choosing what to do. You are making choices and making plans. Any momemt one can have the freedom to simply throw fate to the wind or do anything for that matter. This is a good transition into our song of the day which shows a lover making a conscious decision to follow the other into the dark.
The song is quite beautiful and emits an Iron and Wine like feel with its plucked chord progression and solo performance. The song can be considered quite melancholy but the message is uplifting.
“If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
And illuminate the “No”s
On their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark”
It is a wonderful metaphor and one of the best I have heard in modern music. Heaven and Hell may not exist. They may both figuratively illuminate the no’s on their imaginary vacancy signs. But, that does not matter because Gibbard’s character makes his loving plea. I will be with you forever. If you have no one else beside you when your soul embarks then I’ll follow you into the dark.” If that is not love I do not know what is.