I don’t know if you got my letter. I don’t know if your cheeks got redder. I don’t know if you feel better, but I know that I’m alright. I don’t know if your friends are there. I don’t know if they’d even care. I don’t know if you feel it in the air, but I know that I’m alright. I could be strong for you. I could be wrong for you. I could be anything you’d like. I’m not fine, but I’m alright. I don’t know if you’re crying still. I don’t know if you’ve had your fill. I don’t know yet, but I will, and I know that I’m alright.
Torch Song is such a fucking beautiful and underappreciated song on Crash Love. (Which is, as I’ve realized in my ‘old age’ a very underappreciated album.)
There’s all this awe and reverence for the subject of the song with this underlayer of bitterness, something I’ve always loved about AFI’s songs. Now this is probably, actually very likely to just be me projecting, but this is how I’ve always read AFI’s songs from a lyrics/general feeling perspective: There’s a common thread of being in absolute, poetic awe of something whether it’s a former lover, a feeling, or some sort indefinable “spiritual” experience related to either of the above. But there’s always this sense of being destroyed or undone by it, or else overwhelmed to the point of drowning or being consumed by it. Torch Song is such a powerful example of this kind of…dichotomy of feelings.
And the music fits so absolutely perfectly with the lyrics. The guitar starts out kind of high and dissonant but then morphs into this beautiful riff that perfectly accents the important, vital parts of the lyrics. There’s this soaring ballad quality to the chorus especially with the higher pitched backing vocals.
Sorry to go all snobby art school critique mode on you guys, but I’ve just always been overwhelmed by this song. And yet when I let people listen to it they don’t get it. I didn’t get it until I actually looked up the lyrics (because Davey doesn’t enunciate and you miss so much important stuff that really makes the song). I was just floored looking up the first few lyrics which I couldn’t understand at first, the only bits I got were: “I’d tear out my eyes for, you my dear”
But then I read this part:
“I saw you. Angels came to light your path. I heard you keep their wings pressed under glass. Now am I, so enthralled that I might die? I saw you, sweetly smile, and say “do try”
And just seeing this written out is underwhelming because you need that vocal delivery to really get it.
I dunno guys, I’m overwhelmed with emotion every time I hear it and the only way I can think to express it is by writing overly important sounding sentences.
Are there other people who hear an AFI song, even if they’ve listened to it 50,000 times; but they’ll hear it in the context of a certain moment in time and just have to take a moment to process it? Also, do yourselves a favor, if you’ve never listened to Burials while driving down a pitch black country road at 3 in the morning do it. There’s something about being alone in a vehicle in a place that’s barely recognizable and only being able to see a patch of ground two feet in front of you and hearing the The Sinking Night come on with the booming drums first.
The sun was coming up, and our friend was sound asleep But we saw through the window that the water ran so deep That you couldn’t make out the ocean floor Then I saw you in the light I couldn’t take it any more
Give me your hand Give me everything you’ve got And the light from window will fall on us burning hot Just like a torch
The air was humid; I will not forget When we stepped outside, I hear your footsteps Now in my mind, it’s a soft sound Almost imperceptible against the giving ground
Let me kiss your eyelids with my lips Let me feel the heat coming off your fingertips Just like a torch