Track: Song of Choice
Album: The Words That Remain (1998)
Genre: Celtic, Folk
Hey everyone! I’ve finally got another Top Pick to share with you so come check it out! Today, I’ve got “Song of Choice” from the very talented group, Solas. It’s a poignant little folk song that gets you thinking, and if you’re a fan of female singers, suspenseful atmosphere, and political commentary, then you are going to want to listen to this.
Originating from Philadelphia, USA, Solas is an Irish-American group of very talented Celtic/folk musicians. When I was first exposed to Solas a few years ago by my then-girlfriend, I fell in love with them instantly. It wasn’t until about last January, though, when I finally checked out their full music catalogue. I was blown away. Ever since, I have been playing their music at least a few times a day. I don’t see them getting old to me any time soon. Though technically a Celtic band, their diverse and vibrant musical style cover an emotional range of folky atmospheres. One minute, you may find yourself tapping your foot to an upbeat jig, and the next, you’ll be in awe over a beautifully solemn voice as chills shiver down your spine. Don’t expect this to be their only appearance as a Top Pick.
The song I bring for you today is “Song of Choice” off of their 1998 album, The Words That Remain. “Song of Choice” was originally written by folk singer Peggy Seeger in 1975 and Solas does an amazing job recreating it while introducing their own influence. The wonderful female vocal harmonies and air of suspenseful urgency in the instrumentation beautifully reflects the innocent assertiveness introduced by Seeger in the original. As the song develops, the singing takes on a pleading quality with an expression of thinly veiled anguish that is supported by upbeat, yet cautious sounding instrumentation. My favourite part is the subject matter. “Song of Choice” tackles the dilemma of the willfully ignorant: those who turn a blind eye to the seeds of corruption for fear of inconvenience. Even though the song is likely referring to those who remained passive during Nazi occupation of Europe and the Holocaust, the themes of mob psychology and civil responsibility still apply today. These lyrics awaken a sense of civil duty by warning us of the consequences of complacency and informing us of the importance of staying well informed and speaking your opinion. Unlike other political songs that typically portray corrupt, totalitarian entities as some kind of unstoppable and oppressive force, “Song of Choice” portrays such corruption as weeds seeding in a garden; if people are responsible and willing to act, they need only to cut the weeds before they get a chance to bud.
“Song of Choice” is a thought-provoking and wonderful song with beautiful vocals, suspenseful atmosphere, and rich lyrics and is one of my personal favourites by Solas. Recommended for those with a sense of civil responsibility and for those seeking a moment of reflection.
Didn’t fancy what you heard? Keep checking back! I’m going to be covering a large variety of music during my time here on The Harmony, so I’m bound to feature something you’d like. If a song seems unfamiliar or unconventional to you, I suggest giving it a try anyways. You’d be surprised what you can learn to like if you have an open mind!