Lazarus. A name you probably only recognize because of the story in the Bible, the story of how Jesus miraculously brought a man back to life.
But what about the song? The song that closes Circa Survive’s EP “Appendage.” The song that brings all the comfort in the world to me for approximately four minutes and 50 seconds.
We all know that people love music, especially music that they can relate to. And, you’re right, this is only a song. But it’s the most gut-wrenching and emotional song I’ve ever heard in my life.
Have you ever wanted to scream about something but couldn’t? Have you ever felt like you were against all odds and completely alone? This song exemplifies these two things and more. Quite simply, it is overpowering.
In my eyes, the song focuses around uncertainty – being alone, thinking about your past, blaming yourself for things you can’t control. It may sound depressing, but it’s not, at least not the way I look at it. The lyrics are phenomenal and the song itself flows perfectly from start to finish, despite the radical differences in its tone.
Why do I have such a strong connection to this song? I wish I knew but believe me when I say it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Maybe it’s because the song came out in late November 2010 when I had a ton of crazy things going on and my head was spinning with thoughts from every direction imaginable.
So much of this song gets to me, it’s tough to even write about but I will try. And I don’t mean tears when I say it makes me emotional – I mean the flawlessness of Anthony Green’s voice gives me chills. I mean the the beauty of the music itself makes me shake my head and wonder how a song could be so powerful. Above all, it makes me happy to know that I’m not in a different time and place – instead, I’m right where I need to be.
I think we’ve all been in spots when we wish we were in a different place and no one knew our names. It’s a sad part of life sometimes but it can always be overcome. The chorus of “Lazarus” features one line that goes “nobody wants to know my name and no one will recognize my face.” The way Green sings the words “know my name and,” holding each word for as long as he can and with a sense of desperation, is easily the most chilling line I’ve ever heard in a song (0:55 – 1:10 in the video below). Those four words make me cringe and smile simultaneously.
If you know me then you know how much this band’s music means to me, but this song is something else. The first two minutes really focus on the past – “now all of those things are haunting me,” “anything that I did way back when, it seemed so long ago.” It really makes you think about all that you’ve done, both good and bad, but at the same time it is both reassuring and thought provoking.
By the midway point the song slows down and becomes more about thinking things through. The beauty in the lines comparing a four-hour span in the overnight hours (2:38 to 3:08 in the video) really makes you think. Pure luck at 2 a.m. and complete solitude at 6 a.m. – I mean, how quickly do things really change in our lives? How much of a difference do days, hours and minutes really make? I’ve had days where I feel like I’m a completely different person when I go to sleep at night then when I woke up that morning. These lyrics, again, are perfect and really give me a sense of understanding. Whether I’m lucky or alone, whether I have a smile or a frown on my face, I just know that everything will work out and I feel so calm when listening to this song.
From the 3:12 mark to the end of the song, everything begins to blend together and the song takes a completely different direction. An overflow of guitars, bass, drums, singing – everything at once — a storm of noise, if you will. Quite honestly, it sounds frantic and panicking at first but after enough listens you realize that it’s really meant to be comforting. You may be overcome with emotion, like I first was when I heard the ending, but the last five seconds tell you everything will be just fine.
After nearly a minute of mass chaos with Green yelling what I make out to be “we’re not alone when the morning comes” over and over again, the song really hits you. Going from questioning your actions and being nonexistent to other people to telling yourself that things will work out… it’s such a realistic aspect of life. Any single person could be dealing with adversity in their life and thinking about how and when it will get better. Again, the ending to my semester back in the fall was a blur and I’m lucky I got through it. And I’m even luckier that this song was made by, in my eyes, five of the most inspiring and influential musicians on the planet.
Going back to the ending, you can’t help but feel overpowered, whether by desperation, sadness, joy, confusion or hope, when the song draws to a close. So much is put into the ending and it really just blows my mind how much passion a song can have, how words can make you think this much and really speak to you (and write a 1,000+ word blog post about it). But in the last five seconds, everything comes to a halt and all you hear is the slight tremble of a note being played.
That note tells me, “It’s over. You’ve overcome everything. You’re not alone, you don’t have to be fearful, just take a deep breath and everything will be fine.” Maybe that’s just me, though. Maybe other Circa fans have entirely different views of this song, but I look at it not as being lonely and nameless, but as being lucky and fortunate for what I have.
It’s emotional, it’s chilling, the lyrics are haunting and the music is overpowering. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a moment to myself and listen to this song… again. Won’t you do the same?