How Am I Gonna Be an Optimist About This?

It was absolutely gorgeous outside today.  On the way home from Cape Cod, “Pompeii” by Bastille came on the radio and it just fit with the sunshine, the windows down, and the air rushing through my hair.  For that three hour car ride (we hit massive traffic in Boston…that story may appear in a future post), my cares and frustrations about finals that were starting to come back to me that morning, flew away.  For that reason and more, “Pompeii” by Bastille is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

When “Pompeii” first came out on radio, I originally did not like it.  Whenever it came onto the radio, I would immediately switch the station.  That’s right, I wrote the song off before I gave it a chance, and I’m still not entirely sure why.  But I couldn’t control the radio this afternoon, so I had to put up with listening to the song, and my family got the pleasure of me being stunned into silence; that’s how good this song is and how wrong I was to write it off so quickly.

From the first second, I was taken with the male choir/vocals of “eh-eh-o-eh-o;” it was…majestic and rather wholesome sounding.  And let’s not forgot those incredible drum beats, particularly the drum solo before the second chorus (1:54 in the video below).

Watch the music video to “Pompeii;” listen out for those drum beats

So, musically, “Pompeii” is just incredible and it has a great beat for this summer.  It makes me want to get up, go outside, and…mow the lawn (I weirdly like mowing the lawn…again, another long story for another time).  Any music that will get me into the spirit of summer is a song that deserves to be on repeat!

However, this song also intrigues me because I’m almost sure that the song is actually a lot more depressing and a lot darker than I’m taking it to be.  I’ve written before how I associate music with the weather, and while I’m taking “Pompeii” as a bright summer song, it could actually be a darker, cold winter song.  With lyrics like “I was left to my own devices/ Many days fell away with nothing to show” and “And the walls kept tumbling down….Bringing darkness from above,”  “Pompeii” doesn’t really bode happy times for our protagonist.  And exactly how I think this is a positive, happy song is just…intriguing.

I also really enjoy the chorus, lyrically speaking.  Especially the lines:

“But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

I guess to me, this song is about a guy who is down on his luck, but he is still going to try to break through and find happiness.  While he questions his judgement and wonders how he’ll be optimistic in a place where it seems all hope is gone, he is still going to fight.  And that is the energy I admire in stories.  Especially during a time like today, the Boston Marathon.  #BostonStrong.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.