In 2015, the song of the rock band Kaleo literally blew up the charts of music channels and radio broadcasts. Four musicians from distant Iceland managed to penetrate into the hearts and minds of millions of people, to touch the innermost strings in their souls, which sounded in unison with the words of the song. Of course, such success cannot be an accident: in the song Way down we go, several aspects came together at once, which brought the group overwhelming popularity.
It is worth noting that at the time of the release of the famous song, the group already existed in its composition since 2012. This speaks of the maturity of the musical group: experiments and “grinding” were left behind – the guys sang and worked together a long time ago, in a sense they synchronized to do a common thing, to create music.
If the previous album of the group carried a more positive connotation, then in the album A / B, the single of which was Way down we go, one feels a mature outlook on life, awareness of not only the light, but also the dark side of human existence, which is impossible to remain silent.
The song is a classic conversation with a parent, a kind of request for advice, maybe even a complaint. Such passages are well known in the musical and poetic worlds. For example, the famous Bob Dillon song Knocking On Heavens Door, where the main character turns to his mother in order to express his feelings, his fatigue, anger and pain, disappointment through this request. The song Way down we go comes from the same position: to express the feelings and experiences of the protagonist through a conversation with his father. Such an approach immediately touches the heart of the listener, since many experienced similar moments in their families, turned to their elders for help and comfort. Of course, it should be borne in mind that the appeal to the father in the first lines can also be considered as an allusion, a hidden appeal to God, the father of all people.
The special performance of the song in the blues style: mournful, abrupt – only adds sincerity to the words of the protagonist, because we see before us thinking aloud, bitter words about the injustice of life.
Meaning of “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo
The title of the song translates as “We’re Going to the Bottom”. And this is very symbolic, because as a sinking ship, one can say about a human life that has been lived in vain.
The song touches on the personal tragedy of a person who surrounds himself with “wrong” people, idly burns his life, spends his youth and talents in the company of the same rake, in order to finally realize that his so-called friends are drowning him. This story is as old as the world: getting into a “bad company” people see around innocent sheep, friends who know how to live cheerfully and carefree, and gladly give themselves to their power, not noticing that dangerous predators often hide under fluffy skins. For a while they will smile in the eyes, and they themselves will do everything possible to drag their victim to the bottom, to where they themselves are.
There is a lot in one short phrase from the song “You burned your life”, and everyone can substitute their own version, whether it be addiction, prodigality or something else that cripples a person’s fate. Next, the songwriter asks if the protagonist has the courage to look his “friends” in the eye when it’s time to go to the bottom. Look into their eyes, perhaps for the first time to see them in reality as they are, to recognize themselves as their direct reflection.
Any person who has ever experienced an addiction or watched loved ones try to get rid of it knows that the environment does not want to release their victim. Unconsciously or consciously, codependents find thousands of reasons to dissuade their comrade from moving up. They will devalue everything, turn it upside down, turn simple truths in order to prevent another from breaking out of the vicious circle, because then it turns out that they themselves do not have willpower and the desire to move forward. It is much easier to convince yourself and everyone else that falling to the very bottom is normal, inevitable, the process cannot be stopped, it is not worth even trying. In a sense, this is really a real hunt: former “friends” can besiege their comrade for a long time, try to lead astray just because he dared to flounder up and not stay at the bottom.
There is no ready-made solution to the problem in the song, there is no struggle, only a bitter realization of what is happening, as if looking at oneself from the outside. But such awareness is the first step towards intelligent action. A person first needs to realize the scale of the disaster, get used to the idea that something went wrong in life, not according to plan, grieve about missed opportunities and lost time. And then move on.
Lyrics to “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo
Ohh father tell me
Do we get what we deserve?
We get what we deserve
Way down we go…
You let your feet run wild
The time has come
As we all go down
But before the fall
Do you dare to look them
Right in the eyes
Oh ’cause they will run you down
Down to the dark
Yes and they will run you down
Down ’till you fall
And they will run you down
Down to your core
Ohh ’till you can’t crawl no more
And way down we go…
’cause they will run you down
Down ’till you’re caught
Ohh way down we go
Way down we go…