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"Until the End:" An Essay

Nightmare Recherche

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I confess: though I did not promise any sort of schedule for this series of mine, I have slacked a touch more than I would have liked. :mlp_please: Nevertheless, I believe I have found another excellent song worthy of appraisal, and one from a band that I have been familiar with for quite some time. I refer to Until the End, by Breaking Benjamin.

Spoiler

 

Breaking Benjamin is a group that specializes in more melancholy music as a whole, and in a way, this is no exception... but with a twist. A twist that puts this song just a league higher than their other music, in my opinion. This song has many interpretations, but I consider it a song about depression, the struggles of life, and perhaps even suicide... but persisting in spite of it all. With that said, let us begin.

As the song begins, a powerful but nevertheless passionate guitar melody is played, as is Breaking Benjamin's specialty, outside of their lyrics. Speaking of which, the opening lyrics are as follows:

"So clever, whatever, I'm done with these endeavors. Alone I walk the winding way. "

It's quite amazing how great the opening lyrics are, if you ask me. These lyrics get straight to the point of the song; ultimately, depression is something that none of us want to deal with, deep down. In a sort of way, we can begin to romanticize being free of it, so we begin creating fantasies. Fantasies of being social butterfly in spite of your social anxiety, for instance. Unfortunately, like all fantasies, they simply do not correlate with reality, which can lead to one feeling defeated. Not to mention, while any amount of support can be incredibly helpful, in the end, this is something you must chose to persist through yourself.

"It's over, no longer, I feel it growing stronger. I'll live to die another day, until I fade away."

This verse admittedly perplexes me slightly, but I ultimately perceive it as defying the temptation to give up on life. "It" is functionally the vocalist's will to remain alive, in spite of everything life throws his way. The second half of this verse paints the picture for the upcoming chorus beautifully; it shows a prevailing will to live, but not in an overly sappy way. It would have been easy to write the lyrics as "I'll live to see another day," but instead, it opts for a slightly more cynical approach. In a way, that actually makes it more powerful; maintaining your will to be alive is not as simple as not wanting to be sad any longer. We then enter this song's first chorus:

"Why give up, why give in? It's not enough, it never is, but I will go on until the end."

"We've become desolate. It's not enough, it never is, but I will go on until the end."

This chorus states the meaning of the song beautifully and succinctly. Depression is not something that you can simply brush off; if it were, than depression rates would plummet by the hour. It is instead something that must gradually chipped through, and lived with for a time. A common symptom of depression is very high, often unrealistic self-expectations, and when they are inevitably fallen short of, this can lead the sufferer to see themselves as a lost cause. These lyrics show, however, that he has outsmarted these expectations: if I can never live up to them, why bother trying to reach them? Nevertheless, he will continue to strive for the best, even if his best expectations are not met.

"Surround me, it's easy to fall apart completely. I feel you creeping up again."

"It's over, no longer, I feel it growing colder. I knew this day would come to end, so let this life begin."

These lyrics show the beginning of a recovery, and an acceptance of the vocalist's circumstances. Even if he has accepted that he cannot be the perfect version of himself, he still will have to endure the pain that depression causes. In many ways, it can be tempting to simply give up once again... but it's over, no longer. No matter how painful it can be, a day only lasts 24 hours, and the vocalists is prepared to roll with the punches. Basically, life began tearing him down again, in spite of his efforts... and his response? "Do your worst." As these lyrics conclude, we then enter the second chorus, alongside a new set of lyrics.

"I've lost my way. I've lost my way"

"But I will go on until the end."

"Living is hard enough without you fucking up."

These addition lyrics show a relapse of sorts; unfortunately, the path to recovery is not always directly upward. To the contrary, there are often many slopes and inclines. This can be incredibly discouraging, especially after a long period of prosperity... but you must persist forward all the same, even if you regress a bit. This is what I believe "fucking up" is referring to; not the mistakes along the way, but the temptation to give up once again. That would be a much greater mistake than whatever may have occurred that day. We then enter the final chorus of the song, alongside a repeat of the above lyrics, excluding the third verse. We are then treated to a final set of lyrics:

"The final fight I win."

"The final fight I win."

"The final fight I win."

"But I will go on until the end."

Once again, these lyrics also summarize the song as a whole wonderfully, as it shows that the vocalist has outsmarted himself once again. The fight her likely refers to is... life as a whole. This is the final fight he will win, but it will also be his first and only. Truly, he will go on until the end.

Though I have known of this group for quite some time, this is a song of theirs I have only recently discovered, and it has arrived at quite a good time for me. Without giving too much away, I was making leaps and strides towards self-improvement at the beginning of this year... but come April, it all began to fall apart, until we reach today. My diet, hygiene, motivation, and overall willpower have taken a serious hit since then... and I have lamented this ever since. I was doing so well back then; how could I have let myself fall back to my older, worse self? Unfortunately, I may have been a touch too eager, so once my first speed-bump hit... it was all downhill, due to my fantasies not being fulfilled.

This song was an excellent wake-up call of sorts for me; though I may be worse off now than I was earlier, there is not much point in lamenting it. You can either give up and become a hermit of sorts, or get back on your feet and accept that you still have improving to do, as you always will. In short, you cannot base your self-confidence on perfect results. Ironically, this is an excellent way to never achieve them. Instead, you must learn to be happy with your progress, even if it fell short of your ideals. Though I may be in a rut at the moment, I firmly believe that there is another opportunity on the horizon for me.

Either way, thank you once again for reading. I still cannot promise a schedule, but I will be sure to post once I discover another song that speaks to me. :mlp_grin:

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Sounds like a very meaningful and emotional song, though I'm just going by the lyrics for now, since I don't think I've heard it (which I plan to change very soon). Another good analysis – I'll definitely read the future ones, whenever they're released! :)

I hope your situation improves soon, my friend! :kindness: And what you said at the end are definitely good words to live by, even if it can feel too easy to give up sometimes.

Edited by Tacodidra
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3 hours ago, Tacodidra said:

Sounds like a very meaningful and emotional song, though I'm just going by the lyrics for now, since I don't think I've heard it (which I plan to change very soon). Another good analysis – I'll definitely read the future ones, whenever they're released! :)

I hope your situation improves soon, my friend! :kindness: And what you said at the end are definitely good words to live by, even if it can feel too easy to give up sometimes.

Thank you very much. :mlp_rarity: I have not fully matured yet, of course, but it becomes increasingly clear the older I get how unrelenting life can be... but as these lyrics go, I will go on until the end.

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