"...Look and see the sky turn red
Like blood it covers over me
And soon the sea shall give up her dead
We'll raise an empire from the bottom of the sea"
THRICE - "RED SKY"
I've known of this song for several years. I've known of its album for several years. I've listened to it before and thought it was cool. I liked the sound at the time, but I was still obsessed with other songs by Thrice, especially from the The Alchemy Index (have a read through Daedalus) to have paid enough attention to this one. Earlier this year however, my affinity with this song increased tremendously and I found myself completely engrossed with its sound. I would listen to it on repeat, go to sleep with it on repeat, listen to the slow and reverbed version on YouTube and yet I would still find my emotions ablaze at the final chorus, everytime! Its playing now as I write this.
Mid-way through my obsession, I realised I knew nothing about the meaning of this song. A lot of songs by thrice if not all of them tell a story, one just needs to slow down, pay attention and comb through the lyrics. From what I have been able to find, Red Sky is written from the perspective of a sailor:
"Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sky in morning, sailor's warning"
Understanding that this may very well spell doom to his voyage, the sailor personifies the wind and ocean; an entity beckoning him to his death. As tragic as this meaning is, the very end of the song seems to inspire some kind of hope of a rebirth:
"...We'll raise an empire from the bottom of the sea"
This small paragraph might not fully capture the essence of the song, I haven't even touched on the potential biblical meaning embedded in this song. But, my dilemma hasn't been with the interpretation of the song, I've just struggled to understand why it seems to stir up my emotions and imagination so much. And I believe I've finally figured it out. It's becoming clearer as I write...
I'm planning on spending the next few months in near isolation, working on a few things to do with my psyche, personality and art. I've been anticipating this for several years now. Without attempting to sound ominous, I've always thought it was going to be something I never really returned from. Metaphorically of course. Much like the sailor, I saw the warning, I may have even personified/romanticised the entities that potentially could send me to my metaphoric death. Now I understand too, that just as the final words of the song bring hope, there may be something bigger than me waiting at the end.
The significance of the image I've created?
It's the imagery that pours into my head towards the end of the song. A being, illuminated from above, receiving heaven's blessing, a being having his mind set ablaze by what he has perceived about his end.
He always seems at peace with everything happening to him.
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