Survival Songs: Muse, Resistance

Survival Songs: Muse, Resistance July 2, 2012

This is part of a series of songs with excerpts of lyrics I’ve found relevant to leaving fundamentalism. Lyrics below the jump.

Muse, Resistance.

Muse would have been way out of my reach when I was a fundamentalist teenager. So convinced was I that anything with a beat constituted “satanic rock” that I thought Billy Joel was scandalous (though I sneakily listened to him anyway). When I went to college, I studiously hid my music choices because I was certain that whatever I was listening to was definitely Not Cool.

I was right. I mean, a lineup featuring Aerosmith, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Jewel and Evanescence isn’t going to win you many points with the hip crowd. Only lately, as my musical tastes have diversified, have I noticed how much my early music sounds just like 90s soft rock – you know, the basis for Christian music. (Although they’d never admit it!)

I still favor alternative rock with a lot of melodic electric guitar, piano and strings. Hence Muse.

This song in particular touches me because the repeated line (“It could be wrong, could be wrong”) almost drowning out the subject’s doubts reminds me of the head games that ex-fundamentalists go through after leaving. (What if I’m wrong? What if I’ve just thrown away my life? What if this is blasphemy? What if they really do have the truth?) The cycle of jubilation, determination and then crushing self-doubt is one of the things that the movie Tangled also captured perfectly.

Other highlights of this song are the conviction that it can’t be wrong “to let our hearts ignite,” the brave face the subject puts up to the possibility of living life in fear, resistance to the “thought police,” and the final realization that it’s impossible to hide who we really are and “it’s time to run.”

It’s a song about love, but that love can be easily understood as love for life and freedom, too. Even though I left alone, I can relate to it, in part because I felt back then that I was split into two parts: the stronger, determined part of me carrying the weaker parts of me (plugging their ears and covering their eyes) to a place none of me had ever been. For a long time, I ran on adrenaline and the feeling that my old life was still nipping at my heels. (“It could be wrong, could be wrong.”)

Eventually I became whole again, but I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t done just what the song says: run.

Is our secret safe tonight?
And are we out of sight?
Or will our world come tumbling down?
Will they find our hiding place?
Is this our last embrace?
Or will the walls start caving in?

It could be wrong, could be wrong
But it should have been right
It could be wrong, could be wrong
To let our hearts ignite
It could be wrong, could be wrong
Are we digging a hole?
It could be wrong, could be wrong
This is out of control
It could be wrong, could be wrong
It could never last
It could be wrong, could be wrong
Must erase it fast
It could be wrong, could be wrong
But it could have been right
It could be wrong, could be

Love is our resistance
They keep us apart and they won’t stop breaking us down
Hold me, our lips must always be sealed

If we live our life in fear I’ll wait a thousand years
Just to see you smile again
Kill your prayers for love and peace
You’ll wake the thought police
We can’t hide the truth inside

The night has reached its end
We can’t pretend, we must run
We must run, it’s time to run
Take us away from here
Protect us from further harm

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