My Fourth Favorite Song of All-Time

I can’t help it that many of the songs at the top of my list are going to be about death, or something just as serious and kind of sad.  I like my art and entertainment pretty serious, typically.  I like to be moved about the largest, most important elements of my existence.  I don’t care how pompous it sounds: I like songs that make me feel connected to the universe, and make my life feel as big as Jupiter.

I wasn’t sure I liked “Hospital Beds” by Hey Rosetta! the first time I heard it.  It seemed kind of sleepy, kind of average, kind of blah.  It is the last song on their debut album, Plan Your Escape, an album I like very much, so I ended up hearing the song frequently, and I noticed the musical buildup, finally, before I even noticed the lyrics.  The sleepiness I had noticed at first is firmly replaced in the song’s second half by a clearly heartfelt, heart-wrenching crescendo.  So then, I listened to words.

I’ve never had someone very close to me die, and definitely not while they were in a hospital bed, but that doesn’t stop this song from fucking me up.  When you think about someone dying there amid all that machinery, all those beeps and wheezes and in the fluorescent lighting in the huge building, one can be struck by the distance such a demise carries us from our basic humanity, from our core existence in our skin, with just ourselves.  And then, while thinking about all that machinery to die around, one can maybe ruminate for a few minutes about just how much of our lives we now spend draped in gadgetry, surrounded by plastic and screens, checking up on things we never cared about before, having forgotten about our own selves.  In the words of “Hospital Beds” (written by lyricist Tim Baker), “I’ve been swathed in inventions ever since I ventured into the light, but I’m leaving empty, with just my sacrifice.”  And then the musical buildup happens, and I feel like, in that riff, that gnarl, that thud, that I might just curl up and die, too, someday, carried to whatever is beyond in a song that’s bigger than Jupiter.

“Hospital Beds” by Hey Rosetta!

When I’m dying,
promise compliance,
and carry my body
up over the fence
and lay me on the moss,
we’ll hide my spirit from the gods,
and when they come looking
we’ll by laying in the park.

I don’t want wires.
I know they’re trying
to bring me back,
but no more plastic,
I’ve had my piles of all that.
I’ve been swathed in inventions
ever since I ventured into the light,
but I’m leaving empty
with just my sacrifice.

Cause you sacrifice
all of your life.
And when you die,
is that alright?
And when you’re bathed in light,
and when your body bursts wide open,
will you start to cry?
Not because you die,
but because you die
still hoping?

2 Responses to “My Fourth Favorite Song of All-Time”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    “‘Cause you sacrifice all of your life. And when you die is that alright?”. Fucking…just simple and to the point yet something we don’t think about or consider. I see this song as something to avoid when death is near to a loved one, but eventually you’ll get to it and absolutely let it all out.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Oh my gosh yes, if anyone I am close to dies, I would say this song is off limits for probably a year haha

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