Rhyme and Reason Existentialism is the main theme throughout the song Rhyme and Reason by Dave Matthews Band. Matthews cites the ideas of dying and the pointlessness of life in general within the song. His ideas follow the basic pattern of existentialism thinking. The main points of existentialism found in the song are the search for meaning everyone has in their own lives, everyone is responsible for their own choices, the outside world is meaningless and absurd, people are often overcome by anxiety in the face of their own choices, and that happiness only exists in the present.
Since the song is full of examples, so I ll start from the beginning. The lyrics, Oh well so here we stand but we stand for nothing. show that the world is meaningless and that everyone is searching for the meaning of their life. In this instance Matthews feels he is lost in the world and anything he does not matter. This theme of not mattering in the world is continued throughout the song. Well I know these voices must be my soul I ve had enough of being alone I got no place to go. The theme of dying is also a big part of this song.
Dave talks about dying through his own devices and ending up 6 feet underground because he needs to kill his pain. In addition to showing that death is the ultimate end, this also shows that happiness only exists in the present. By needing to kill his pain Dave shows that he is unhappy and troubled at the present time and needs relief immediately. Since the song is mostly about dying and relieving pain there are many examples of the ultimate end and the pursuit to find happiness in the present. In my grave lying wired and shut and quiet leave it to me to waste here.
Through reading the lyrics one can get a sense of self-condemnation to live in Matthews personal hell. In following with the existential idea of responsibility for one s own choices and the anxiety in the face of that responsibility, the reader can get a sense of Matthews need to stay like this because of the choices he has made. This is shown through the lyrics the reason my reason, this shows that the only reason this is happening is because it is a self-choice and there is anxiety to keep responsible about the choice.
Through obvious drug use references in the song, Matthews is looking to show the only way he can relieve his pain and be happy or so he thinks is to dull himself from the absurd and meaningless world. Oh how I wish I didn t smoke or drink to reason with my head.. , but sometimes this thick confusion grows until I can t bear it anymore Needle to the vein. The end of the song ties all thoughts together. My mind s wiped clean The needle make my great escape.
I seem caught in time My head leaves me behind Body fall cold. This shows all points of existentialism previously mentioned all together. Mind s wiped clean and I seem caught in time shows meaningless of the world before and after his injection. The needle reference goes back to the search for meaning and peace in his life. Finally the quote, My head leaves me behind, Body falls cold. Shows that the death of him as cause of his pursuit to find meaning and happiness leaves him dead and finished ultimately.