We May Make It Through the War If We Make It Through The Night

2 Aug

I have entered back into the mystical realm of WordPress posting after my brief stay in Florida. Florida was awesome. Nice weather, good people, Universal studios. Yeah, I was spoiled. But, hey, doesn’t everyone deserve a little fun vacation every once in a while. This weekend I am actually taking a Civil War sites tour with my family. So, I guess count that as two little vacations. But, come next Tuesday I will be taking the Long Island Railroad to the offices of Wolters Kluwer Health to start my FIRST JOB! I expect a ticker tape parade New York City. In all actuality, I will be greeted with Penn Station’s “busy” feel, which involves swarms of people focusing only on getting to their destination. This can result in some accidental shoving, but hey, I’ll be alright.

Woah, that reminds me of a song. Two points for the transition. On the flight back to New York last night, I was showing fellow Music Court contributor Josh Lampert some songs that he should listen to. “People Say” by Portugal, The Man was on that list. It’s bluesy and exceptionally catchy. Josh cannot avoid that combination.

“People Say” is a track off of Portugal, The Man’s 2009 release The Satanic Satanist. The song’s clear anti-war message is smooth. What I mean by this description is that the song does not try to force feed you its message. It is so easy to fall into this trap when it comes to passionate anti-war songs. “People Say” places biting commentary into short lines and this is effective. Read this before listening to the song:

Save me,
I can’t be saved,
I won’t.
I’m a president’s son,
I don’t need no soul.

All the soldiers say
“It’ll be alright,
we may make it through the war
if we make it through the night.”
All the people, they say:
“What a lovely day, yeah, we won the war.
May have lost a million men, but we’ve got a million more.”
All the people, they say.

The verse is in orange and the quick chorus in green. The reference to the “president’s son” is not specific, but it is not terribly difficult to delineate the true meaning. But I do like this obscurity because it makes the lyric timeless. The chorus is hard hitting and comes early in the song. The verses are all very short. This is done for two reasons. First, I believe, Portugal, The Man released that the chorus of the song was catchy and awesome so they figured to keep that going for as long as possible. Secondly, and most importantly, the chorus enters with a medley of voices and sounds like a troop is singing it. Soldiers questioning the war they are taking part in, where life is recklessly lost and everyone tells them it will be alright. But is everything alright. According to Portugal, The Man that answer is a solid no.

The band pastes this awesome lyric over a strong blues riff that culminates in the moving chorus. It is tight and hard-hitting from a lyrical and musical perspective.

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