Another song about someone dying from hypothermia. It was inspired by this magazine cover…
Why do I like songs about people dying from hypothermia? Because as humans, we need our world to stay just the right temperature. We lose our ability to live if things get too hot or too cold. Sometimes, we compensate for an excess of warmth or an excess of coldness in ways that prove detrimental to us later… for example, if our lives feel too cold we might engage in excessive risk taking or drama making, or if things feel too hot and chaotic we might isolate ourselves and hide behind a computer screen.
But, there is only so much we can compensate for, and eventually these hostile forces overtake us. When there is not enough love and nobody seems to care about us, we can compensate for a while, but eventually the ice creeps into our soul and we lose the ability to move, to reach out, to feel, to care, and finally even the will to live is extinguished.
It makes me think of the following poem by Robert Frost:
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
This is a song I wrote during my short-lived interest in politics. A lot of what Ron Paul said really opened my eyes to new ways of seeing things, but ultimately I lost interest in the “liberty movement” when it became clear that the people wanting less government were just as interested in power as the people they were trying to depose. I still like Ron Paul, though, and admire him for his willingness to stand up to at least one of the Longfingers in our world.
This song is called “White World” and it is about… well, on one level, like many of my songs, it is about people lost in a frozen world, struggling to maintain enough body heat to stay alive. On a metaphorical level, it is about the struggle for perfection and goodness, and how it can sometimes run counter to the struggle for survival, growth, and even love. Ideals are beautiful, but also cold and inhospitable. Everything that enchants us with an image of perfection, can also leave us disenchanted with the way things are. If there was no ice in the world, no dedication to purity and goodness, then maybe the world would heat up into a chaotic, fiery hell. But, if there is too much ice- when the attachments to moral, spiritual, or aesthetic values grow too strong- it becomes harder and harder for any life to flourish.
Personally, I do believe that there is a world where the Platonic Forms live, a world of perfection and beauty, but I do not think humans could survive there for very long. I think it is the world of minerals, and there are places on Earth where this world can be visited- at the North and South Poles, and also at the top of any mountain that stretches above the tree line.
This song was recorded by James Prendergast, who is playing guitar.