Starting with an insistent guitar motif and some shotgun drums, the Gaslight Anthem are my current favourite Alkaline-Trio-a-like band, with their punk-rock thang. Well, that is, until you listen carefully to their lyrics, which are far darker than you’d expect – moving from the repetitive “Young boys, young girls” call-and-response from “The ’59 Sound” at 2 minutes and 5 seconds, to the overlaying “Ain’t supposed to die on a Saturday night” at 2 minutes 17 seconds.
With lyrics as simple, yet as hard-hitting, as
Well, I wonder which song they’re gonna play when we go. I hope it’s something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow. When we float out into the ether, into the Everlasting Arms, I hope we don’t hear Marley’s chains we forged in life.
Did you hear the ’59 Sound coming through on Grand Papa’s radio? Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls? Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over? Did you hear your favorite song one last time?
And I wonder were you scared when the metal hit the glass? See, I was playing a show down the road
When your spirit left your body. And they told me on the front lawn. I’m sorry I couldn’t go, but I still know the song and the words and her name and the reasons.
if this doesn’t get your foot a-tappin’ and your head a-thinkin’, nothin’ will. Sorry, I’ll use proper grammer now.
www: The Gaslight Anthem