Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips
It’s such a gut-punch of a line, and I never, ever don’t think about exactly what it is saying every single time I hear it:
Do you realize that everyone you know, one day, will die?
No matter where I am when I hear it - in the car, doing chores, on my bed - it knocks me out. But it also centers me, providing an almost Buddhist sort of balance to things, an inevitability to the proceedings, whatever the proceedings may be. All things must pass.
And yet it’s wrapped up in such a beautiful package: Wayne Coyne and the rest of the Lips’ ecstatic, propulsive melodies - a sound not unlike what I’d imagine joy itself sounds like. Coyne delivers the line, then, in the only real way that allows you to accept it without becoming instanteously and overwhelmingly depressed: in the context of wonder. In the context of awe. It’s happiness battling sadness, life battling death, music - the sheer universal glory of it - battling this awful mortal coil.
In just a handful of minutes, “Do You Realize?” accomplishes two very diverse, yet overlapping objectives. It makes you think about your own mortality while simultaneously providing you with an aural reminder of just why life is so worth living. For songs like this.
Wrote this a little over 3 years ago on my (now mostly defunct music blog), but still feel exactly the same way about this song.