“Opening my eyes
Seems like it gets harder sometimes
Look at the skylight
Would you be mad at me if I tried running away to it in the night?
I tried to fight
But I’m not strong enough I just want you here but I also wanna be alone
I don’t know what I want anymore

Every now and then
The darkness tries to chase me
And my legs are getting tired of running

Oh, please don’t
Please don’t let it get to me
Oh, I don’t wanna give up that easily
But the darkness keeps chasing me”

I was reading these lyrics and it kind of struck me about whether or not the character in this song is singing to “her” (it could be anybody, but it’s Grace singing so I’m making the protagonist female) darkness/depression in some parts.

Opening her eyes, seeing the truth, the light, a way out of sadness or melancholia, becomes harder each and every time it affects her. Would her depression, her demon be mad if she ran away to a “skylight”?

Maybe the skylight is the way out? At the moment she is not strong enough to want a way out. She both wants it stay with her but she also wants it to go away. She doesn’t know what she wants.

One of the very worst things about depression is not that you feel sad or tired, but that, perversely, it makes you not feel anything at all. It’s such a state of UNfeeling that it almost feels good not to feel anything because at least the sadness is merely flickering at the edges while you are safe and warm in a cocoon of nothingness.

“Hiding places remind me of you and I
I wanna call you
But if I hear your voice I just might (cry)
And I don’t even know what the song’s about, anymore
And I don’t know what I want, anymore”

Two things about these lyrics: A) the way she sings “I wanna call you” in the recording is so heart wrenchingly sad and beautiful that it clinches the entire song for me, and she’s not even done yet. B) it makes sense, to me, that she is still singing to and about the depression.

Everyone reading this knows that at some point (I don’t quite remember when – maybe one of her concerts – Utica?) she dropped the “cry” from the “I just might cry” lyric. I kind of just realized that it makes sense to drop that lyric if the protagonist is singing to her depression.

Read it again with that in mind: Hiding places remind her of you and I/I wanna call you/but if I hear your voice/I just might. She and her depression have familiar hiding places, perhaps deep within herself, and calling out to it is something she DOESN’T want to do. It’s an effort to not succumb to calling out and “hearing” it’s familiar voice.

The last two lines is SORT of a 4th wall break, which Grace doesn’t normally do. She usually stays within the poetry of the song. It might mean that she relates to the lyrics. It might mean that sometimes the lyrics are about her. But the song is so good because it’s about all of us, sometimes.

This next bit is where it gets tough, So I’ll try not to fumble at the 1 yard line.

“Weather streams down my cheeks
Look to my eyes
See you’re blowing smoke in your ripped jeans
Don’t tell me you fell in
The darkness is already seeping through
Oh, can’t you see?

I will be different I’m not sure if I can do it all alone
God, I want to be different
But I’m not sure if I can do it on my own”

Up until now the protagonist in the song has simply been weary and tired from trying to outrun the Darkness. But in this verse something has changed. Are there two people involved now? Given the information Grace shared abut her brother it doesn’t seem like a stretch that this verse is about him. On the other hand, why would the song suddenly involve two people? That seems unnecessary and maybe out of character for the writer to suddenly change who and what the song is about. No, I think the verse is still about the protagonist.

Weather is streaming down her cheeks. Not just tears, but a maelstrom of emotions that is just as furious as thunder and lightning and wind and rain all at once. She is letting of all her bottled emotion out and recognizing a problem.

“Look to my eyes” is a line that could describe an action such as looking into a mirror and seeing herself. SHE is the one “blowing smoke” in her ripped jeans. That is, she is one fooling herself. blowing smoke up her own…well, you know. “The Darkness is already seeping through, can’t you see?” She is finally telling herself the truth, seeing the truth. She finally says to herself, definitively, that she will change. She wants to be different. With the help of friends, of family, of god, she will be different. Not necessarily “cured”, but at least she will not allow herself to drown in darkness.

“Cause every now and then
The darkness tries to chase me
And my legs are getting tired of running
No, no, no, no, please don’t
Please don’t let it get to me
Oh, I don’t want to give up that easily
But the darkness keeps chasing me, me, me, me”

This last part reminds me of the ending of Clearly. Grace’s forlorn sigh at the end of that song in a way that is similar to the slightly upbeat tone of the last “me” in Darkness. It’s a struggle, it’s a battle, one that requires effort on the part of the person suffering, and the ending is not certain, but at least there is hope. I just want to say, for those of you who haven’t picked up on it, that I think this song is simply incredible. No amount of analysis can do it justice, and I wish it had been showcased more. It deserves to be heard by everyone.

 

This article was first posted on VanderVault’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RMyfR1R3y4&lc=Ugy7OTnxDMTHXXgb5ed4AaABAg