Maggie’s Pick 10.8.2014: “The Truth About Heaven” by Armor for Sleep

I was kind of hoping for a rainy day to post this Pick, because I’m always looking for good rainy day songs, and this could be one. However, today is the most perfect weather day of all this week, and in a way that’s perfect for this Pick.

This song explores a lot of ideas in an interesting way, and is musically cool. How does it fit with the home theme, you ask? Well, in a lot of spirituals, the lyric “I’m going home” actually means “I’m going to Heaven.” I think a lot of these spirituals had origins with the African American slaves who worked plantations in the 1600-1800s, until the North created and eventually could enforce anti-slavery laws. Singing built community and helped to distract slaves from their mundane and sometimes painful daily work; coded lyrics like these were also a way to secretly rebel, to express but not let your master know that, in some ways, you would prefer death and Heaven to working his plantation.

I generalize, but it intrigues me, the correlation between “home” and “Heaven” in so many hymns and spirituals. This song kind of turns that on its head.

Sorry for the low picture quality of the video. All the versions I found were like this. I think you still get the effect of the ghost band, though.

Lyric version in case you don’t like somewhat creepy, somewhat blurry, emo music videos.

Also, perfect weather and the perfect lyrics:

“Don’t believe that it’s better when you leave everything behind,
Don’t believe that the weather is perfect the day that you die.”

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