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Cursive – “Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament”

Lost in the wave of protest songs that washed over us from 2016-2019 is perhaps one of the most important messages to come out of the entire decade. “Noble Soldier/Dystopian Lament” is the curtain call and thematic crux of 2018’s Vitriola – an album whose overarching themes damn both politics and society, deeming both “fucked” as guitar chords slash away at listeners’ optimism. Lead vocalist Tim Kasher laments the abuse of power and financial wealth, self-prioritizing civilizations, and endless finger-pointing – frequently wrapping it all up into plainly stated disgust. The culmination of this miserable album is this seven minute all-damning epic, in which Kasher lists a series of things that used to give him hope, then swats down each one with a reason why it is corrupted:

I used to fall for love
For family and for friends
I used to fall for unity
Despite our differences
I used to fall for trust
The decency of man
I used to fall for secrecy
‘Til a neighbor played my hand
I used to fall for math
A universal truth
I used to fall for science books
Until they were removed
I used to fall for hope
The promise of our youth
I used to fall for change
‘Til our youth became recruits
I used to fall for currency
To dictate what I’m worth
I used to fall for ancestry
Now I know we’re fucked from birth
I used to fall for news
I’d check it each morning
I used to fall for freedom of speech
Before the red warning
I used to fall for anarchy
But loved the world too much
I used to fall for rioting
‘Til the sentry locked us up

…Now I fall in line
…Fall in line

This passage has stuck with me for two years now because of the gravity of its warnings. It depicts the destruction of facts, fake news, and censorship, ultimately seeing the protagonist succumb to the ways of the world and “fall in line.” It’s probably been since 2006’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me since I’ve heard a band this accurately summarize a total loss of hope and innocence, only updated for these grim and contentious political times. It’s not a song that makes me feel good, but it’s one that I feel like I need to listen to in order to remind myself that this “new normal” is not okay – lest I be another noble soldier who falls in line. It’s a powerful and compelling piece; one I never want to get lost in a decade’s worth of political anguish.

Read more from this decade at my homepage for Sowing’s Songs of the Decade.

The entire song is so quotable

Song is great but Ouroboros is my fave Cursive song period.

same as WatchIt. Great writeup!

Last 2 Cursive albums are one hell of a comeback, face song from this album too

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