In the center of a heavy metal song beats a human heart.
Mastodon’s “The Sparrow” serves as a eulogy for the wife of the band’s accountant who passed away due to stomach cancer.
There’s a single repeating lyric within the song.
“Pursue happiness with diligence.”
This phrase was her motto.
The song intro is as soothing as a full-fledged metal offering can be.
“Pursue happiness with diligence” floats around the powerful chords ephemerally.
Mastodon paints a vivid instrumental landscape.
At around 2:40 minutes into the song the gut-wrenching and mournful guitars kick in.
I couldn’t help but think the fiery performance evoked something from the words of Dylan Thomas.
“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
In stark contrast to the turbulent middle, the song ends on a reflective and acoustic note.
I’m going to plagiarise myself here.
This is from a piece I wrote some time ago:
“I once attended a funeral where AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” (one of the deceased’s all-time favorite songs) blared into the auditorium and bore testimony to one who dared to live a full life despite years of experiencing adverse health.
Nothing about those few minutes filled with power chords signaled the intent to rebel, or even dismiss the finality of that goodbye.
And I saw not a single dry eye in the house that afternoon.
Appreciation for a life who dared, against all odds… And the loss thereof affirmed with a loud and fitting eulogy!”
Am I thinking about death a lot these days?
No, on the contrary— I’m thinking more about simply being alive!
Pursue happiness with diligence!