Music as a spiritual guide

“Go Slowly” – Radiohead

‘Go Slowly’ is an intriguing song by Radiohead. It is dreamy and almost depressing. And yet, it is hauntingly beautiful. How can this be?

In my opinion, Radiohead has done a lot for modern spirituality. It’s great achievement is that it dares to face issues such as pain, desolation, fear, etc. as we have them in our modern day society. Radiohead is not about escapism. The other achievement of Radiohead is that it expresses a Great Beauty. There is an otherworldly quality in its music.

This particular song is almost like a Christian hymn sung by a Catholic church boys’ choir.

The lyrics are remarkably simple and consist of two parts. The first part somebody is ‘patiently’ waiting for ‘something’ to come. The song seems to be about a search for meaning in life and about longing for home: (spiritual) homesickness. The second part is a realization: there is a way out. In this part, the music seems to take off and it gets an almost mystical quality.

This indicates that the way out is not to be found in our everyday consciousness. The answer itself is only to be guessed at. Is it death and heaven? Suicide? Or something else?

I think that this song is about the quest for integrating of spirituality in our daily life. At a certain moment in life you long for a deeper meaning and you go on a quest. This is the first part of the song. In the second part of the song he has found the answer. This answer is not escapism a la death or suicide. The true mystery of life is to integrate your spirituality into your daily life by being reborn on earth. When you are able to do this, depression makes way for optimism.

This is the answer of the paradox. The beauty of this song lies in the promise of rebirth.

Lyrics “Go Slowly”

Over here Come slowly Come slowly to me I’ve been waiting Patient Patiently I didn’t But now I can see That there’s a way out That there’s a way out That there’s a way out That there’s a way out That there’s a way out

 

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