If you’ve ever been betrayed, if you’ve ever lost your ambitions, if you’ve ever had your spirit broken, listening to this song will be an incredibly resounding and maybe even painful experience. Listen anyways.
And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones
Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.
Setting fire to our insides for fun.
Youth by Daughter is a haunting, insightful melody describing the moment when we take our first steps into the unsightly realm of the not-so-pretty-in-fact-it’s-rather-ugly side of the human mind and find that we can’t return. It talks about the loss of innocence, of a loved one, of the ability to trust another person.
Remember a time when, due to an unfortunate event, you were forced out of the comforting sheets of your ignorance and onto the cold, hard ground of truth that you weren’t quite ready to accept.
When you showed up to school with high hopes and a beautiful blue dress your mom sewed for you the night before because the popular kid in your class had invited you to an after school party. And as you opened the door to the designated party room, you were received with a deafening silence and an empty maroon colored carpeted room filled with empty white tables and chairs and you realized oh, people lie.
Friends, For Now
The theme of betrayal and its horrific effects on a person’s soul is resonant in the book I am currently reading in class, The Count of Monte Cristo. In this book, the main character Edmonde Dantes (who has never before thought that people can have underlying motives for doing kind things) is betrayed by the people in his life who envy his success. When we are first introduced to his character, Dantes is living the high life. He’s about to marry the one he loves and at age 19 has been promoted to the position of captain on his ship where he is adored by almost all the crew members. Although he is smart and does indicate that he knows some folks won’t be too happy with his success, Dantes doesn’t really think further than that. When he ends up in jail because of his enemies, and a certain opportunist looking out for his own interests, he is genuinely surprised to learn that he was lied to, deceived and betrayed by the one person he trusted during his moment of despair.
Shocked, broken from being jailed for so much of his life and vengeful, Dantes comes up with an escape plan to return to his hometown. From having first arrived to the prison to where he is now (chapter 10), the reality of his betrayal have sunk in long enough to darken his eyes and twist his soul. One particular sentence I found that really solidified his change was this:
“Have you found a way to escape?” asked Dantes eagerly.
“Yes, if the sentry were blind and deaf.”
“He’ll be blind and deaf,” said the young man in a tone of resolution which frightened the priest.
Getting back to the topic of the song, I’ve listened to this song for a while now. The song is romance-oriented, but trade the word “someone” for “something” and it could be talking about a love for anything, such as music. Art. Fresh air. Laughter. Life.
When I was reading the story, this song came to mind. The lyrics fit Dante’s situation so perfectly it hurt to think about it. He can no longer breather through clear, unsoiled lungs because he has breathed the air inside the metal cells, the ones his enemies imprisoned him in. Although once in love with life, he can’t say the same after jail. He’s bitter — so bitter that he’ll go as far as take revenge on those who took away everything he loved. The effect of betrayal on a person is worse than the act of betrayal itself, because you can never go back to the innocent, unknowing self you once were.
Although the story is fictional, it holds much meaning and truth about society and humankind. We betray each other. We hurt each other. We lie to each other. And for what purpose? To inflict more pain, to create more tragedies? Revenge is an endless and hateful cycle. Why continue it? I know things will never be as simple as just calling it quits and somehow creating world peace overnight.
A Note to Mankind
But it can start with one person: you. Instead of wishing the world was kinder, be the kind person. Smile at someone. Earn someone’s trust and keep it. Reassure someone who looks stressed that yes, it will be okay in the end. Like this brilliant photo states: Let us adore and endure each other. Let us find happiness even in these hard times. Let us mend those broken bones and broken spirits.