Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heroism in Music: Beyond Thunderdome

 This is a tough song to analyze outside the context of the Mad Max movies, but I think the gist of it still comes through. I'll take a stab, though...


 It's anti-war, obviously. Mad Max movies are dystopian warnings of a bleak future of the breakdown of civilization after an oil shortage. (Hmmm...does this mean we'll soon see Mel Gibson riding around the outback in his underwear while Tina Turner runs the Thunderdome?) With that in mind, I could see this song as an Obama campaign anthem...

 The idea of not needing "another hero" can be valid, in some contexts. Heroism for the sake of being a hero seldom works. A hero is a protector or a defender, and is called on in times of crisis. If things are going well, heroes have to find other things to do. It's time to be a creator and a producer. But if one is accustomed to being a hero, then he has to find a crisis...if there isn't one, he could be tempted to create one instead...which is not very heroic, now, is it? 
That's the problem with this song's sentiment, it's a song from a movie about a violent society. Apparently the people did need a hero. I'll confess to not being familiar with the films, but I understand that the third movie offers a Christian-themed sacrifice and redemption, putting the song's lyrics in context. At least it's consistent, in that regard. But then, is not Jesus considered a hero among Christians? So what we're really saying is, we don't need another hero, if he's going to be violent in defense of life, but a hero who offers solace in the afterlife. 

 We don't need another hero of that kind. 

"We Don't Need Another Hero"
OUT OF THE RUINS
OUT FROM THE WRECKAGE
CAN`T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE THIS TIME
WE ARE THE CHILDREN
THE LAST GENERATION
WE ARE THE ONES THEY LEFT BEHIND
AND I WONDER WHEN WE ARE EVER GONNA CHANGE
LIVING UNDER THE FEAR, TILL NOTHING ELSE REMAINS

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING
WE CAN RELY ON
THERE`S GOTTA BE SOMETHING BETTER OUT THERE
LOVE AND COMPASSION
THEIR DAY IS COMING
ALL ELSE ARE CASTLES BUILT IN THE AIR
AND I WONDER WHEN WE ARE EVER GONNA CHANGE
LIVING UNDER THE FEAR TILL NOTHING ELSE REMAINS

ALL THE CHILDREN SAY
WE DON`T NEED ANOTHER HERO
WE DON`T NEED TO KNOW THE WAY HOME
ALL WE WANT IS LIFE BEYOND
THUNDERDOME

SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LIFES
WE LEAVE ONLY A MARK
WILL OUR STORY SHINE LIKE A LIGHT
OR END IN THE DARK
GIVE IT ALL OR NOTHING
by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle

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