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“You Already Know” what This Song Means

December 19, 2010

On the recent season of So You Think You Can Dance, contestant Kent and all-star Neil, performed an amazing Travis Wall dance routine about backstabbing. The dance featured DeVotchKa‘s famous “How It Ends” from the so-named album “How it Ends.” In my opinion, it is about death or the end of things. In the dance’s case, Neil and Kent’s friendship ends as Neil back-stabs Kent. At that time, I had already fallen in love with the song in the background. The violin duet at the end was so powerful for me that I got goosebumps, but my favorite part in the song/dance was when the chorus first begins and Neil actually stabs Kent in the back (well not “actually”).

After spending 3 hours on this post, it turned out that the youtube video of Neil and Kent dancing Travis’ Wall’s dance routine to “How It Ends” by DeVotchKa cannot be embedded, so here is the link. Here’s Neil and Kent’s dance routine.

Months later, on my way home for winter break, my brother played some U2 on his iPod and the only thing that I could think of was the chorus from “How It Ends.” So I looked into DeVotchKa and found the full version of the song and then I learned the lyrics. At first I thought that the song was mocking Christianity by the first three lines: “Put your grandmothers bible to your breast / Gonna put it to the test / You wanted to be blessed.” But then I realized it was approaching religion and belief in a whole different manner. In my opinion, DeVotchKa wasn’t mocking the person for believing in a religion whose existence and truth could only be proven through death. The band was encouraging the person to trust his or her beliefs and not be afraid of what happens after death.

Here’s DeVotchKa’s music video for “How It Ends:”

I guess to prove my interpretation of this song, I interpreted it line by line below just like I did in “Regina Spektor’s ‘Blue Lips’.”

“How It Ends” by DeVotchKa
“Hold your grandmother’s bible to your breast.
Gonna put it to the test
You wanted to be blessed.
And in your heart,
You know it to be true
You know what you’ve gotta do
It all depend on you,
And you already know.
Yeah, you already know
how this will end.
And there is no escape from the slave catchers’ songs.
For all of the loved ones gone,
forever is not so long,
And in your soul, they poked a million holes
But you never let them show,
Come on; it’s time to go,
And you already know.
Yeah, you already know
how this will end.
Now you’ve seen His face
And you know that there’s a place in the Sun
For all that you’ve done
for you and your children,
No longer shall you need
You always wanted to believe
Just ask and you’ll receive
Beyond your wildest dreams.
And you already know.
Yeah, you already know
how this will end.”
“How It Ends” as Interpreted by Me
Trust the beliefs that you’ve been taught.
Afterall this is what you chose to believe in
You know your belief is real
Your faith is too strong
Your “afterlife” depends on your belief and faith
You already know
what happens after death.
Sometimes there is nowhere for you to hide.
For everyone who has passed away,
know that you won’t be separated forever.
They have torn you apart
But you never let them see your pain
But now it’s your turn to pass on.
Do not be afraid.
Remember, you already know
what happens next.
You’ve seen “the light”
You know that there is an afterlife
You know your efforts for you and your family
will not be put to waste
In this afterlife you will no longer need anything.
This is what you’ve always believed in.
All your wants will be fulfilled
Beyond anything you’ve ever imagined

P.S. This post literally took over to three hours to make work. I’m tired now. When I added in the links to this post, I opened DeVotchKa’s website and their music started playing. When I finished writing this post, “How It Ends” started playing. You tell me how ironic that is. Comment on this and any of my posts by clicking the “Leave a Comment” link at the end of each post. Please and Thank you 🙂

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