Behind the Lyrics - Live: Lightning Crashes


Welcome to "Behind the Lyrics" with Elise Chandler. Each week, I find a song that I feel is understated both musically and lyrically, and I analyze it through several critical lenses.

This week, we're looking at another 90s alternative hit "Lightning Crashes" by Live. This song is a beautiful example of interesting lyrics, a striped down sound, and great dynamics. Oh, and it is totally Grunge. I love me some Grunge!

What stands out to me lyrically is simply the story this song tells. Here are the lyrics for your perusal:

"Lightning Crashes" by Live

Lightning crashes a new mother cries Her placenta falls to the floor The angel opens her eyes The confusion sets in Before the doctor can even close the door

Lightning crashes an old mother dies Her intentions fall to the floor The angel closes her eyes The confusion that was hers Belongs now to the baby down the hall

Oh now feel it, comin' back again Like a rollin', thunder chasing the wind Forces pullin' from The center of the earth again I can feel it.

Lightning crashes a new mother cries This moment she's been waiting for The angel opens her eyes Pale blue colored iris Presents the circle And puts the glory out to hide, hide

Oh now feel it, comin' back again Like a rollin', thunder chasing the wind Forces pullin' from The center of the earth again I can feel it.

Oh now feel it, comin' back again Like a rollin', thunder chasing the wind Forces pullin' from The center of the earth again I can feel it.

Oh now feel it, comin' back again Like a rollin', thunder chasing the wind Forces pullin' from The center of the earth again I can feel it.

We go from the struggles of a new mother to an old mother's life ending to the beginning of a new life. It shows us the perfect circle of life as we can detect from the lyric "The angel opens her eyes/Pale blue colored iris/Presents the circle/And puts the glory out to hide, hide."

What the song isn't quite so direct about is the metaphor of lightning. Why is it during each essential part of the life cycle lightning is crashing? We all know that lightning does not crash every single time a person is born, goes through something new, or dies. So, what could it possibly be the symbol for?

The use of the word "angel" throughout to describe the mothers and infant is a

clue. It takes a spark. A spark of creation, determination, or power to complete the very important tasks this song sets to tell the story of. Every single time a human being does something that takes guts or is new should be looked at as a bold effort. Their "spark of creation" is showing, and it should be honored and respected.

Another clue that leads us to see this as the meaning of the "lightning"

symbolism is the imagery used in the following lines: "Oh now feel it, comin'

back again/Like a rollin', thunder chasing the wind/Forces pullin' from the center of the earth again/I can feel it." Whatever causes this spark in humanity, the thing that makes us unique and special and beautiful is something that connects all of us. It is basic like the nature of the Earth. If we all stop and think about it, we all have this gift in common with one another.

I wonder, if we were able to stop and see this commonality, would the world's conflicts be easier resolved? Great questions from a great song. Until next time.

Love it!

Very cool!

I love this song.


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ALL THINGS ALT. ALWAYS.