So I just finished listening to the most incredible song. I’m honestly just blown away by its beauty. It’s Phosphorescent’s “Song For Zula”, and once you listen to this you’ll understand why I said I was bringing you something amazing today. I was so determined !
As I sat here listening to the haunting vocals of Matthew Huock, and the chilling, synthetic drum beat echoing in the back ground, I was whisked away to some sort of cold, stoney wasteland through the music video. It features a young woman chained to the ground, wearing what appears to be animal pelts, who is relentlessly beating the chains that hold her captive with a rock. Each time she pounds the chain her existence blurs, with her finally destroying a link in the chain at the end, giving her the freedom she desires.
At first the meaning behind this song seems obvious. Someone breaking free of their chains, someone finding their freedom… blah, blah, blah we’ve heard it before. Upon further examination, there seems to be more…
Reading through the lyrics, there was an allusion to a romance going terribly wrong, leaving him a broken man. The lyrics “Some say love is a burning thing, that it makes a fiery ring” is borrowed from Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” which does make sense given Phosphorescent’s 2007 tribute album to Willie Nelson. It’s not hard to see where Huock draws inspiration from. The inclusion of this phrase in this song is interesting especially since it’s followed by “Oh but I know love as a fading thing” and “Oh but I know love as a caging thing”. This song represents a loss of hope, not just a bad break-up. It’s a complete voluntary disconnect from the feelings of love and what it represents in fear of having to experience those same shattering emotions again.
Huock continues on to say “My feet are gold. My heart is white, and we race out on the desert plains all night. See, honey, I am not some broken thing. I do not lay here in the dark waiting for thee.” I absolutely love this because it’s a ferocious confirmation aimed towards his oppressor meant to amplify his independence and will to carry on. He is not some spineless being, quivering at the thought of never being in love again. He is both strong and ready to be who he is without the chains of a disastrous romance holding him back.
Have a listen !
I’m excited to hear more from Phosphorescent. There’s a uniqueness to his music that has piqued my interest.
One of my friends showed me this song, so naturally I need to go hug her now and thank her for putting this in my life.
Hope your day is as lovely as you are.