Welcome to Music Monday!
On Mondays, I will be posting and analyzing songs. I’m not a musical person, so I’ll be sticking mostly to the meaning in the lyrics—but if it’s obvious how the music affects the lyrics, like today, I might catch on!
I’m a rock gal, so you can expect mostly rock/metal here, but you are welcome to give me song suggestions of any genre in the comments! Now, without further ado…
The first song—and the first post—of this blog is “God Went North” by Nothing More:
A hospital bed
A room filled with flowers
Every monitor beep keeps the time
As I count down the hours
Pretty heavy for a first post, I know, but this song is one of my absolute favorites. There’s history behind the song, too: lead singer Jonny Hawkins’ mother passed away from cancer years several years before.
It starts off slowly; there’s sounds of a thunderstorm, and while the melody has a hard undertone, it’s ultimately soft and slow, vocals not coming in until about a minute in.
If You won’t save her
Please just take her away
She pulls me close
Says that she loves me
Right where I have the line is where the song changes. There’s a kind of screeching sound (listen, I’m not musically inclined!) and the music and vocals pick up. This stanza, which you can find on the Song Lyrics page I’ve linked, is about him watching her decline—“tightly she holds/but the plan still unfolds.” There are two philosophies at work here: first that she can “hold” onto life, but secondly that there is a “plan” that is out of the hands of people.
Hawkins, and guitarist Mark Vollelunga and bassist David Oliver backing up, repeat:
This is Your moment of Glory
And the music builds with each repetition, until finally Hawkins sings,
It may feel like God went north
And left you to be
I’ll hold you till the end
I’ll hold you till you’re free
You may have heard that someone is “going south,” health-wise, which I find is the cleverness in the line “God went north.” God goes north, and the mother goes south, explaining her decline.
As Hawkins sings those last two lines, he starts to do light screamo. While screaming may not be your style, I find that it works for this. He’s grieving, and I can imagine it being sung through tears, especially as, when he sings,
If You won’t save her,
Please just take her
For the last time, his voice sounds like it breaks on the “please.” When the chorus ends, the song slows down again and begins to fade out, ending with faint vocalizations.
It’s an emotional and stirring song. The guys of Nothing More are talented songwriters and musicians. Check them out!
Am I completely wrong? Do you have a different interpretation? A recommendation for next time? Leave a comment!
Band: Nothing More
Label: Eleven Seven Music
Producer: Johnny Hawkins, Nothing More
(Image credit to: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45095750)