dancing plague of 1518 (lyric video)
liner notes | cw mental health, compulsive behavior
dancing plague of 1518 is probably, actually, the most personal song on the album, even though they’re all pretty personal -- maybe with the exception of medusa in a stone garden, which really is just about how Medusa Was Right.
it’s the only song i’ve ever written which was almost entirely adapted from a, like, i guess you could say journal entry except that i don’t keep a journal. i was on a bus, going home after work, and it had been a bad day, and i was so tired, and like 99% of my coping mechanisms are pretty healthy now, because i’ve gone to a LOT of therapy and y’all should too, but HOO BOY that 1% really digs its heels in, you know? and sometimes it’s almost like, i have really good self-control, so when i give into my worse impulses sometimes it feels even more frustrating. it’s like, how come i can do it for all these other things, but not this one thing? it’s so easy. just don’t do it!! like, it’s easier to not do things than to do things!! and yet.*
and i was sitting on the bus, so mad at myself, holding this CVS bag that i remember very distinctly had 2 bags of smartfood popcorn in it, and i was trying not to cry because i’d rather be dead than cry in public, and i opened up my notes app and just started typing to myself to try and explain it, except of course it isn’t something that can be explained, it’s not rooted in anything other than vestiges of trauma, a survival instinct you can’t let go of even though you don’t need it anymore.
anyway, the note i wrote did not rhyme and was not, like, as neat as this, so i went back later and chopped it up and rearranged it. the only bit i didn’t write in the notes app was the chorus:
i think sisyphus has learned to love the mountain
i think he seeks to remember beaks have birds
the want is animal but indulgence makes me human.
oh temptation of promises untrue, and
nothing makes me feel alive like you can
no, nothing makes me feel alive
... which i wrote later, when i was feeling better. i wrote it because when i Do The Thing, i get so mad at myself, a terrible spiral downwards of feeling like i’m weak and stupid and the only person in the world with this problem, and how if i could just get a hold of THIS thing then i’d be the best version of me, but until them i’m BASICALLY GARBAGE, throw the WHOLE WOMAN OUT.
but after, when it’s past, it’s easier to look back and realize that falling down doesn’t negate standing up; it’s not like every time you taste dirt it erases all the times you didn’t. and i wanted to understand the me that does those things, and see how hard my brain works to protect me, even though it goes about it badly.
i try really hard not to separate my brain and my body; my body is not the vessel that carries my brain around. the me that i am is my body, my brain is part of my body; you can’t draw distinctions between them. and The Me That My Whole Body Is always tries so hard to care for itself. sometimes the things it does in search of that care aren’t the things that i need, but missteps are not malice; and the chorus is about that. "it seeks to remember beaks have birds,” was my attempt to remind myself that all the things i do that hurt, they’re done because there is a bird attached, a creature which is trying so so hard to survive.
*nobody needs to worry about me, i’m not gonna talk about Mollyhall’s Maladaptive Coping Mechanism with u bc you’re strangers to me and that’s my business, but i promise it’s nothing unsafe, it’s just frustrating for me, personally. so nobody needs to worry. and for everyone who is also dealing with their own Stuff, i love you and you’re gonna be okay!!! give yourself grace. i’m not good at it, either, but let’s try anyway, together.
"runaway, run" EP now available everywhere: https://mollyofgeography.hearnow.com/
Follow me on...
lyrics: molly ofgeography
music: molly ofgeography
vocals: molly ofgeography
instrumentation: greg critchley
produced, mixed, and mastered by greg critchley