Song 175: Iron & Wine, “Each Coming Night” (2004)

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This is another song that immediately puts me at ease. Which is funny, because the central idea of “Each Coming Night” is ostensibly unsettling: what will people think of me when I’m gone? What does that mean about the kind of person I am now? And what does this all mean to the people who will be left behind?

After my father died, this song was on repeat, and I’m sure it sounds like bullshit when I say that the death theme wasn’t the reason. How could I have listened to this song, which features the phrase “your father’s body was Judgment Day,” for reasons other than the lyrics? Though there’s plenty darkness going on—in the lyrics, of course, but also those chords, major but descending down, down, down—the melody is so pretty, Sam Beam’s voice is so serene, and the production is so intimate that the resulting song is immediately comforting.

The last line, “Light strikes a deal with each coming night,” provides a reason for the madness of death: this is just how it goes. That idea doesn’t make death any easier to take, especially when it’s premature, but hearing someone like Sam Beam sing about it sure makes it sound beautiful.

 

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