Depeche Mode is one of my all time favourite bands…hands down, no contest, don’t have to think twice about it. Love Dave Gahan’s delicious baritone, love the synthetic, tribal quality of the music, love Martin Gore’s tremulous tenor, love his gift with words…. but this particular song has always made me sad. Not because of the obvious reasons though, not because the girl dies or because the poor mother is grief-stricken, (sorry, spoiler alert!) but because Martin, David, and perhaps more than a good share of the audience, doesn’t seem to hear the Miracle contained in the lyrics.
First, if you are unfamiliar with the song, Blasphemous Rumours, then you should take a moment to listen to it before continuing on…(just a suggestion, really)
Sad tale? Yes. God vindictive and unfair? Not likely. Why not? How I can possibly say not? Look at it from another angle:
Sad Girl is lost, alone, hurting, who knows why, we aren’t told. She thinks life is too hard and doesn’t want to go on trying, so she makes the ultimate final attempt, but she doesn’t succeed. (“Thank the Lord for small mercies”..to quote the song.) She fails at failing. It takes time to recover, years, but she comes to the ultimate realization that LOVE is all around her; beautiful, joyful, ever-present, guiding, protecting…like a parent who cares unconditionally, or a best friend who never gives up on you, or like your most precious pet, who adores you unreservedly. She finally understand this LOVE and is Happy.
Suddenly, her time is up. No one can control our finiteness, life is brief. It seems like such a tragedy, especially since she only just found LOVE, but it’s not a tragedy, it’s a Miracle. Had she died without realizing how much LOVE is around her, inside her, watching over her, caring for her, she may never have been happy and she would have died, alone, bitter, lost forever in that pit of despair.(because I believe we go on afterward into what we value, create and share here on earth in this life….but that is another post altogether) …yet because she failed at failing, she succeeds.
She heard the Miracle.
So yes, very sad song, but not for the reasons you thought…
Exceptional music written and performed by Depeche Mode.