Back When We Had Nothing by BANNERS

This song seems to be a musing on a contemplation that I have long held to be true: It is not unbearably hard to fight for your life, your love, or for what you believe in. The true difficulty lies in picking up the pieces once the war is over.Track: Back When We Had Nothing
Album: Banners – EP
Artist: BANNERS
Genre: alternative, indie
Music Rating: 10/10
Lyrics Rating: 9/10
Overall:
9/10
Sounds Like: Coldplay, Keane, The Script
Interesting Fact: Mike’s favorite track from this EP is “Ghosts”.
Best thing About this Track: The background music sets the perfect emotional tone throughout the track. It gives me chills almost every time. The marriage of haunting yet hopeful music with simplistically sparse vocal reflections seems to echo through the hallows of my soul.
One thing I wish was different: I sat for a long time trying to find a flaw in this track. I guess the second verse is not quite as perfectly technical as the first verse, but it’s incredibly hard to find fault in this song.
Website: BANNERS
*Note: If you are the type of human that only likes to listen to music that evokes ecstatic and positive emotions, you might consider skipping this one and checking out “Start A Riot” (I know that sounds counterintuitive, but for realsies. It’s happy and cute. I promise). I don’t think that this song is depressing at all, but it’s not fluffy either.

This song seems to me to be a musing on a contemplation that I have long held to be true: It is not unbearably hard to fight for your life, your love, or for what you believe in. The true difficulty lies in picking up the pieces once the war is over.

It is possible to win the war and lose everything that you were fighting for. That happens sometimes. Beyond that though, even if you do manage to make it out on the other side with your identity, your loved ones, and your beliefs still intact, your way of life and sense of self will begin to feel challenged. You have survived and you know how to fight, how to defend. But what has escaped you entirely through all of this is learning how to live. You have become an expert at not dying. Not failing. Mission accomplished. But how do you succeed after you’ve won? Now that not dying does not require any active assertion, what now? What do you do? How do you act? What is your purpose? What is your role? What is important?

0:37
You were not happier fighting. But you connected to people more. There was an unspeakable common bond that bound you to those around you who fought by your side. Now you have no common cause and are isolated in the feelings of devastation and destruction that have been left in the wake of war. That is not something you want to share, so you don’t. You do not want to go back to the way things were when chaos and struggle ravaged your life. But you do not want to move forward. How can you be so calloused and disrespectful as to move on? There are things that need to be honored, not forgotten. So you remember. You did not and still do not choose war as a way of life, but you do not know how to live without it. So you become a ghost. A tin soldier, a suit of armor, walking the halls of an abandoned castle in continual search of something that you can’t quite name.

0:51
The hi-hats and electric guitar enter your ethereal and hallowed space through the echoing light, triggering you into a dreamlike state of awareness, in strange melancholily joyful nostalgia you are reliving the bittersweet tones of the past. You smile sadly, thinking of the “good old days” when life was hard, but you had something to fight for, something to believe in. A tom enters the scene, and your reminiscence gains steam and grows in strength, expanding with your heart to fill the halls around you. Finally it has expanded to bursting as the full drum set kicks in. You are fully living in the past now, completely alive in the only place you ever truly were: the memories in your mind.

1:28
The snare beats the insistent sound of the battlefield as you march fearlessly into the depths of your warring mind. Here you can be proud. Here is your glory. Here you have something to live and die for. Either one you are proud to do for the cause. Here, where everything around you is wrong, all is finally right within.

1:58
The halls of the castle come back into your mind’s eye, but they are no longer old and abandoned. They are new and bright. Instead of your soul crying out in helpless anguish into the expanses, the call is the sound of a powerful battle cry echoing around you. You are not alone, but one soul in a sea of many. A small part of something much bigger and greater than yourself. Here, in the chaos, is your peace. You revel in the powerful unity of fighting for what you believe in.

3:12
Suddenly, the light in the halls seems to fade as a shadow crosses over you. The glory burns out, people disappear like wisps in the wind, and you remember yourself. You come out of the haze of the past alone, but it feels like going back to sleep, not like waking up. Sadly taking in the space around you, you reminisce one last time before walking over to an empty doorway and, closing the helmet visor on your suit of armor, take up your post once more as an outdated statue, an obsolete relic of the past. Here you will stay, watching over your victored battlefield for all eternity, for it is the only purpose you know.

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Lyrics:
Flags upon the floor
We won this cold war
Battle torn
Soldiers fall
Lay down your arms
Losing all control
And down this rabbit hole
Lost souls
Letting go
But I won’t

Whoah
Down these halls
These holy walls
Echoes of light
Lost in time
Do you hear me call?

Back when we had nothing
We never stopped running
Back when we had nothing
We had everything
I feel my blood rushing
Burning like a glory blaze
Back when we had nothing
We had everything

Us against the world
We won’t surrender
Bullets fly
Burning skies
If we die tonight
When it all goes up in flames
We’ll ride this hurricane
And wash away
Like tidal waves
As it fades

Whoah
Down these halls
These holy walls
Echoes of light
Lost in time
Do you hear me call?

Back when we had nothing
We never stopped running
Back when we had nothing
We had everything
I feel my blood rushing
Burning like a glory blaze
Back when we had nothing
We had everything

We had everything
Back when we had nothing
We had everything

Back when we had nothing
We never stopped running
Back when we had nothing
We had everything

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