Throwback Thursday: “Lightning Crashes” by Live

Lizzy Partsch, Staff Writer

Known mostly for their hit single “Lightning Crashes,” Live is a fairly regarded American rock band, which doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves.  This song sold over 8 million copies in the U.S. and reached Billboard Hot Mainstreams Rock Tracks charted for 10 consecutive weeks. The brilliantly written and composed “Lightning Crashes” is our next Throwback Thursday.

Released in 1994 on their album Throwing Cooper, the song has been misinterpreted to be about a mother dying in the wake of child birth, but actually has a much deeper meaning. The song is about a mother giving birth to her newborn while an elderly mother down the hall dies.

Lyrics in the first verse like, “Lightning crashes a new mother cries, Her placenta falls to the floor, the angel opens her eyes…” describe a new mother giving birth, while her newborn baby, aka the angel, opens her eyes to discover the world.

Contrary to the first verse, the second verse reads, “Lightning crashes an old mother dies, Her intentions fall to the floor, The angel closes her eyes…” Although quite similar, the second verse talks about an old mother dying, her dreams lost, and how the angel, aka the mother, closes her eyes for an eternal rest.

Essentially, the song symbolizes the circle of life, how in an instant, just like the flash of lightning, a life is lost, but also born.  The song definitely illustrates just how closely connected life and death are.

Although the song’s video may be confusing to some, lead singer Ed Kowalczyk even said, “I envisioned it taking place in a hospital, where all these stimulations–deaths and births are going on….”

The music video was actually filmed in a house, though the songs lyrics surely paint the picture of the meaning perfectly.

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