Short Song Essays

SSE: a voice of understanding

Only want to get to work, but every morning I’m too sick to drive.
Suffering whiteout conditions, forget the mission just get out alive

Whiteout Conditions – The New Pornographers

The song Whiteout Conditions is one that has become a close companion in times of stress and trouble. The band that performs it, The New Pornographers, has always seem a little light at heart, mostly because of the slightly ridiculous name – rather than because of the songs they release. And this song too, is almost ridiculously cheerful at first glance. The song sounds like an upbeat new wave tribute, and could have been a cheesy love song or cliché-ridden story on happiness. Instead, it offers familiar words to everyone who’s been down, burned-out or down-right depressed before: a voice of understanding in the darkness and troubled times. Somehow the song manages to end uplifting while it drifts of into distance. It’s not as simple as a beautiful, sunny day lifting you up out of whatever hole you’re stuck in. But it helps a little, for the moment. What sticks, however, are the lines that so clearly evoke the feeling of the fear, anxiety. If ”forget the mission, just get out alive” doesn’t describe panic accurately, I don’t know what does.

Short Song Essays are our way to bring a little attention to the songs that matter, and that you may have missed. We publish one whenever the need arises.

Photo by Josh Redd on Unsplash

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