It’s the End of the World as We Know It, Just Listen to the Lyrics


Author’s note: The following piece was written after I had spent some time (my doctor would say not enough) exercising on an elliptical trainer while listening to my admittedly depressing playlist. Two lines from U2’s “New Year’s Day” inspired me to write this piece using only lyrics from songs that have helped shape my life into one that features plenty of pessimism and profound sadness for the world we share.

And so we’re told this is the golden age. And gold is the reason for the wars we wage. The tensions of the world are rising higher. We’re probably due another war with all this ire.

Oh, silver tongue suits and cartoons, they rule my world. I can’t believe the news today. Oh, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away. Blind faith, it don’t sit right. You got rage wound so tight. The flag pins on their lapels. The truth is anybody’s guess. When fact is fiction and TV reality. Don’t think. Dumb is strength.

Welcome to a new kind of tension. Where everything isn’t meant to be okay. I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies. This is the dawning of the rest of our lives. And today the millions cry. We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.

Sieg Heil to the president gasman. I’m at peace with my lust. I can kill ’cause in god I trust.

I’m waking up to ash and dust. I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust. I’m breathing in the chemicals. Choking on the black gold upon which we here rely. Under a sky no longer blue. We sweat all day long for you.

As I walk through this wicked world searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity, I ask myself Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery? What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?

I still believe. Through the pain, and through the grief, through the lives, through the storms, through the cries, and through the wars. Oh, I still believe.

It’s times like these you learn to live again. It’s times like these you give and give again. It’s times like these you learn to love again.

*Here are the songs and the musicians from which the lyrics were borrowed: “New Year’s Day,” U2; “Hypersonic Missiles,” Sam Fender; “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2; “Casual Party,” Band of Horses; “Dylan Thomas,” Better Oblivion Community Center; “Glorified G,” Pearl Jam; “American Idiot,” Green Day; “Holiday,” Green Day; “Do the Evolution,” Peal Jam; “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons; “Help Is on the Way,” Rise Against; “Re-Education (Through Labor),” Rise Against; “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding,” Elvis Costello; “I Still Believe,” The Call; “Times Like These,” Foo Fighters.

Frank Carini is the ecoRI News editor.


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  1. They say that one of the most rebellious things you can do is to know where the earth is heading and still remain optimistic & hopeful even though you are surrounded by all kinds of bad news. That way you can become aware of the blessings that are bestowed upon you here & there, and not yield to despair or anger.

  2. Frank –
    But you missed the beauty of the Isley Brothers. With incredible hope, I want you to play this every morning.
    ‘When Will There Be Harvest for the World.’

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