Song Recommendation: Chasing the Wild Goose

I’m a huge fan of Bad Religion. The punk rock band headed by Greg Gaffin has some of the best lyrics, even after 33 years of playing. As implied by the name, a lot of these lyrics involve religion. But instead of being direct, the lyrics are more poetic, not hesitating to use allegory and emotional appeal that can come from, and apply to, more than just an anti-religious message.

Another unique thing about Bad Religion, for me at least, is that I like covers of their songs as much as the originals, sometimes more. I discovered this one day after having heard their acoustic version of the song “Sorrow”, I searched to find some other acoustic versions. I stumbled upon some YouTube musicians playing their own Bad Religion covers on webcams. I tend to shy away from covers done that way, because they can go very bad, but these were actually really good. And that leads us to this recommendation.

Emily Davis covers Bad Religion’s “Chasing the Wild Goose

There was a man who banged his head against a wall
he banged for 20 years, the damn thing wouldn’t fall
he left an honest life he left a broken wife
he left it all behind, just to see what he could find

millions and millions chase the wild goose tonight
to conquer loneliness they’ll chase it all their lives
and when they find it they can just lay down and die
it seems the game is mostly pointless in the presence of the prize.

there was a woman who had a man as cold as ice
he built four walls so strong and he kept her locked inside
she harbored loneliness her husband couldn’t guess
that she’d take off her dress and kill herself without a mess.

millions and millions chase the wild goose tonight
to conquer loneliness they’ll chase it all their lives
and when they find it they can just lay down and die
it seems the game is mostly pointless in the presence of the prize.

In Gaffin’s greatest lyrical style, he begins with a story, and then turns around in the chorus to proclaim a more universal truth. And while Bad Religion is stellar on most of their songs, I feel that Davis’s voice, acoustic style, and emotion really capture the feeling of this song better than the original ever did. So give it a listen. Even though it’s a webcam, I would rather listen to this than many studio recordings I’ve heard in my day.

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One response

  1. Pingback: It fell like judgment, but it was only rain | Yes We Sam!

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