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Epitaph

February 27, 2009

These minatory lines could have come from a medieval tombstone:

Look alive
See these bones:
What you are now,
We were once.
Just like we are,
You’ll be dust.
Just like we are:
Permanent.

But they did not (as far as I know). And do echo sentiments from centuries ago.

This version is more modern, though–it’s the chorus of Nada Surf’s song “See These Bones,” (via KEXP; also available via Stereogum), on the band’s 2008 release Lucky.

Something about that song just hits me – maybe it’s the lyrics; maybe it’s the way the song builds to a triumphant – yes, triumphant – conclusion. The song is not at all depressing; we are to make the most of our time alive. It’s an old message, but a good one, and well worth repeating.

Those are legal links, by the way; the song was widely released promotionally.

Updated from info in comments 3/8/2009.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anhidonia permalink
    March 8, 2009 8:43 am

    Your first thought was right, although it looks like the Cappuccin Crypt was was built a little after the Middle Ages.

    http://hyongbu.blogspot.com/2008/11/cappuccin-crypt.html

    http://www.pbase.com/image/68360335&gcmd=add_comment

  2. March 8, 2009 9:51 am

    Thanks! I’ve updated the post to acknowledge this. I think my initial search was too focused on Nada Surf’s version, which does use more contemporary syntax. Thanks for the followup – I appreciate it!

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