Warning Signs

Today, Song of the Day for Today is three years old! Thanks for dropping by today to share a little music together.

Music is such a powerful force in life. It can influence moods, motivate and move us, create community, and enrich us. Happy, sad or in-between songs, all music can be inspirational and therapeutic.

Today’s song, “Warning Signs,” is by Band of Horses, a Charleston, South Carolina, USA-based rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 2004. I’ve previously posted three other Band of Horses songs, “On My Way Back Home,” “Monsters,” and “Ode to LRC.” All three are bangers, as the Brits call terrific songs. (Please check out the links to those earlier posts while you’re here on the site!)

In “Warning Signs,” the band discusses mental health and relationships, topics that have gained more public attention since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and the isolation of lockdowns and, to a lesser degree, public health restrictions when those were in place in much of the world.

I believe the song also touches on male toxicity and how this permeates society due to traditional expectations of men’s roles: tough guys who don’t cry and will start fistfights to protect “their women.” Such stereotypes are so damaging to all of society.

“Small talk with a registered nurse
Not to cry in front of people at work
Well that’s hard, hard, hard, at times you know

Get reminded of the earlier days
The end of April ’78
That was a long, long, long, long time ago

And you showed a lot of warning signs
You made your own situation mine now your problem is mine

You don’t want help
You don’t need me
You don’t look well
And you don’t want anything
You don’t want anything

Slim pickings when the weather is snow
Pretty winded on a bicycle
It’s been quite, quite, quite, quite a row to hoe

A hot dinner on a souvenir plate
The part of town where the money ain’t
But things are fine, fine, fine, we’re on our own

We don’t want help
We don’t take handouts
We won’t seek sympathy
And we don’t want anything, we don’t want anything, we don’t

Get reminded of the earlier days, April ’78, long, long, long, long time ago
And you keep it bottled up inside and let it out from time to time yeah the problem’s mine
I don’t want help, I don’t want counseling, I won’t go to therapy
I won’t do anything”

“Warning Signs,” by Benjamin Bridwell, Ryan Monroe.
Lyrics retrieved from AZLyrics.com.

In the official video, a man, clothed in grass and flowers — maybe he feels invisible and neglected or is trying to hide his true self for fear of rejection — drives into the country on a sunny day and stops in a scrubby area. He carries his memories —a boxful of VHS tapes — and sits in a nature-surrounded, makeshift living room to watch them on many TV screens stacked upon each other, perhaps symbolizing the many thoughts that can consume us in a moment. He watches the tapes to connect to his childhood memories and pictures showing animals and plants, possibly concluding that nature has been the only constant in his life, thus, his clothing.

The film’s powerful message at the end seems to be that we only truly bloom after we break open.

“Warning Signs” is the opening track from Band of Horses’ latest album, Things Are Great (2022). Lead singer Ben Bridwell’s assertion, “But things are fine, fine, fine, we’re on our own…” seems to be a play on the album title. This song’s vocals, instrumentation and production are excellent, making it captivating and thought-provoking.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here. Please enjoy.

Here’s the video for “Warning Signs” from the Band of Horses YouTube channel:

With my best wishes,

Steve

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