“If God lives, she doesn’t want you to go.”
It’s a powerful line to start off a somber song filled with violins, soft percussion, and acoustic guitars. “In Your Honour,” from St. Bart’s album no man is a failure who has friends, is a quiet, reflective song, reminiscent of the brother-sister duo The Oh Hellos – with folk influences and quiet moments that bring you to a comfortable spot by a fire pit on a summer night.
The title of the album comes from the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life, where a man disillusioned by the greed and misfortune he’s suffered contemplates suicide in the days leading up to Christmas. But after being visited by an angel and being shown visions of his town without his contributions, the man discovers a newfound appreciation for his life and family. The ending of the film sees the town rallying around this man and his family and the angel proclaiming, “no man is a failure who has friends!”
The reason this is important is because this is fairly obvious throughout “In Your Honour” – the sentiment is carried on in the solitary song.
“Tell the ones that you love not to go.”
There is a love and yearning present in the song. A wish to be with people who make your life better.
“The weights that drag you to hell may soon be shaken
A letter of light to all lives taken
At a hand never strong, frail and weakened
For this pain will decay.”
The lyrics of the song speak of perseverance for the promise of an ending of pain and suffering, similar to what is sometimes seen in contemporary Christian hymns. This is not a bad thing by any means – it brings with it a faithfulness, a piety that puts us right with the singer in this place of vulnerability.
While I mentioned The Oh Hellos earlier, it may be better to compare “In Your Honour” to the band Sleeping At Last, specifically their song “Light,” which is far more plaintive and pleading than St. Bart’s, but conveys the same emotions: personal emotions, shared only with us because they cannot think of ever saying it to us any other way. These are only things we can share with the artists through music, not in spite of it, making this a very personal experience – and not one
for easy listening.
“In Your Honour” is long. It clocks in at over five minutes, so if you’re wishing to have a quick dip into St. Bart’s catalog this may not be the best place to start. But if you want to have a peaceful, loping trail through their sonic landscape, I would definitely recommend giving this track a listen.
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