“One More Light”, a piece from the seventh studio album of Linkin Park stands as an effective portrayal of the significant turning points of life: loss and death. The two aspects are continuously linked together throughout the piece by bringing out the distress of an onlooker who may be a friend or family and the dejected feelings of a victim, both experiencing a precipitous slide of an important chapter in their life.
The song which was originally attributed to Linkin Park’s all-time pop genre came out as a revelation due to its unexpected heart-touching and half-hearted pop nature. Starting off with the slow-going verse “Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?”, the writer mournfully reflects on the fact of being oblivious to the disaster looming on the horizon of their lives. It simply speculates a possible misfortune that some stranger was going to end their time, but how the signs were unintentionally missed or ignored by the rest. The repentance in the air pointing towards the possible loss is manifested in the next line when the writer questions the victim “Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?”. The simplicity in the word usage clearly serves as heart-piercing, highlighting the regretful emotions stuck in his mind. Moving on, the writer reminisces the joyous time together with the victim by accompanying the audience down his memory lane in just a simple phrase, “We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep.” This is followed by the phrase “There are things that we can have, but can’t keep”, which reflects a run after a mirage further heightening the regretful feeling throughout the piece.
Moving through this length, the writer shifts his viewpoint towards the victim. Here, he brings out the victim’s feelings on the scenario, being a part of the victim himself. He questions the audience “Who cares if one more light goes out?” Here, the writer portrays how the victim describes himself as an unimportant figure in the world he lives. He expresses him as someone whose presence or absence is neither seen by the world, especially the loved ones, and highlights a certain unseen distance between him and the people he thinks are close to him. The rejected feelings of being left out are quite evident as he continues to emphasize his insignificance, “ In a sky of a million stars”. He continuously questions the audience, “Who cares when someone’s time runs out?” trying to assure that his existence didn’t matter, which also implies the fact that he is trying to authenticate his pending misfortune. The constant questioning sounds more like a plead for help, a cry which is worth being answered but hasn’t been answered yet. As we move down the chorus he questions further “If a moment is all we are ;We’re quicker, quicker;Who cares if one more light goes out?” At this point of the chorus, a pleading tone and a surrendered feeling seem to overtake the melancholic tone which was maintained since the beginning. To be more precise, the writer indirectly hints at his decision to put an end to his life. But the onlooker’s immediate defiance within the chorus, “Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do”, insists that this person/victim wasn’t merely some insignificant figure to his life. Here, the writer further highlights the fact that their initial claim on the unseen distance between the victim and the people around him wasn’t entirely true as the onlooker approaches the victim for his rescue. Yet the response of the onlooker being observed late within the chorus makes the audience doubt the victim’s existence. Whether he’s alive or long gone.
Impatiently as we wait for an answer, the writer shifts back to the onlooker’s perspective with his next verse. “The reminders pull the floor from your feet”, indicates how unexpected reminders seem to drag him back to the reality of the victim. ‘Pull the floor from your feet’ here serves as a death sign which clarifies our doubt that he’s long gone. This is quite shocking to the audience as it’s a mishap that would’ve been taken care of. The repentance of losing a loved one is brought to the spotlight with the onlooker missing his presence at the kitchen table, “In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh”. The fact that the onlooker was less focused on the victim makes him regret himself. In the next few lines, he accuses himself of not being able to help a loved one in his time of need “And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair”. The fact that the victim is gone is yet unbelievable to the onlooker and he seems to picture the victim in his mind as if he’s still a part of the ongoing reality of his life, “Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it, isn’t there”. These last words clearly point out the depressed, regretful feelings of the onlooker. The emotional breakdown he suffers is further highlighted at this point in the piece with the repeating chorus “Who cares when someone’s time runs out?;If a moment is all we are; We’re quicker, quicker; Who cares if one more light goes out?;Well I do” and thus he ends repeating “Well I do” which quite strongly impacts on the fact that the loss of a loved one would always be a scarred memory in one’s life when you are completely aware of the fact that you would’ve stopped it.
“One More Light”, a regular song on your stereo ambiguously approaching the audience with a valuable, lifesaving message on how depression, rejection might lead to suicide. Hence, if you ever cross paths with anyone in need, take the initiative to lend them a hand. Drag them out of those dark daunting memories and be the most awaited spark to their lives. Save ONE MORE LIGHT for a gleeful future!
By Rtr. Thiruni Withana
- Featured image : https://bit.ly/3nFdO3j
- Image 1 : https://bit.ly/339OJUK
- Image 2 : https://bit.ly/3eci6fw
- Image 3 : https://bit.ly/2RiEGdi