"SKYLINES AND TURNSTILES".REVIEW.
Today, 12 years ago, unfortunately three thousand people died in the World Trade Center in New York , victims of a series of Islamist attacks. Gerard saw it on his way to work (by that time he was devoting to drawing comics in NY ) .
The shock that this traumatic experience caused to Gerard led him to rethink his life up to that point and do something great with it, which led in founding, with his high school friend, Matt Pelissier, a first draft of what would be later MCR. The first song they wrote was “Skylines and Turnstiles”. Since then, fans of the band consider today the date of creation of the group and celebrate the birthday of it.
I did not know how to honor the victims and MCR today in a non- superficial way, so I’ll try devoting some of my time and my mind doing a review (or an attempt) of this mythical and beautiful (despite the horror of the situation) song.
First, I’ll explain the lyrics and the interpretation. It is well known that this song is dedicated to the events of September 11th 2001. However, MCR’s lyrics are often so open that many may interpret it in other ways , for example , a boy speaking to his beloved, although it is difficult to interpret in that way .
Well, returning to the first interpretation, I will break down the letter. Gerard (or any person) is talking to someone affected or maybe, himself. He says that not only he is going through this, there are people who are worse, and he supports them. With break the awkward silence and be the first to ask forgiveness, Gerard seems to refer to the taboo that was after the events or someone giving their condolences or feeling guilty. With “Go on record […] and hear me out” seems to refer to he wants to talk about what happened, how he feels, you want to be heard. With the following phrases: “and if you take me down …” refers to people who are already resting in peace.
Next, “and if the world needs something” Gerard sounds sarcastic and seems to use the voice of the attackers, saying they don’t care and believing that war is needed to improve the world. Then he talks about people walking in line and wasting their time building cold stairs. He could be refering to all the innocent people who were working and did nothing wrong but had that fateful end. He can also show the fact that humanity does routines, and we have a cold and superficial life and it can end at any time without having taken advantage of.
"This broken city sky, like butane on my skin, and stolen from my eyes. Hello, angel, tell me, where are you? Tell me where we go from here. "In this piece, Gerard speaks of the feelings he felt when he saw the bodies and the buildings falling. With the angel topic seems to refer to people who were in the buildings that, with panic could be praying and asking for help to get away from that (although it may have other interpretations)
"And in this moment we cannot close the lids, on burning eyes. Our memories blanket us with friends we know, like steam fallout. Steel corpses stretch out towards an ending sun, scorched and black. It reaches in and tears your flesh apart, as ice cold hands rip into your heart ". In these verses Gerard talks about the images he saw (people falling etc, I’ll go into metaphors later).
And finally, the last paragraph: “That’s if you’ve still got one that’s left, inside That cave you call a chest. And after seeing what we saw, can we still reclaim our innocence? And if the world needs something better, let’s give them one more reason now”. In this paragraph, Gerard relates directly to the perpetrators talking about their cruelty, and shows the guilt and sadness of many Americans and of even people of further away from what happened, and explains that this feeling will never go away. The second ” and if the world…” has a completely different meaning of the one of the first time. This time, has a meaning of hope, full of strength and courage.
And after the interpretive side I will do the review. I consider “Skylines and Turnstiles” a great song to have a presentation. It has a perfect introduction to a history (both for his narration of 11S, as an example of what would be MCR ) . Its introduction is instrumentally epic. It perfectly captures the sense of tragedy, heartache, turbulence and anger that it narrates later. It has the quality for being a soundtrack song. The music, like the letter provides a very clear visual image of what is narrated. Despite of the sensitivity of the issue, the song is never morbid or lacks sensitivity or respect. Instead, masterfully synthesizes all the feelings and images. Another point worth noting is the high quality of the metaphors of this song, such as “This broken city sky “, “And in this moment we cannot close the lids, on burning eyes. Our memories blanket us with friends we know, like steam fallout. Steel corpses stretch out towards an ending sun, corched and black. It Reaches in and tears your flesh apart. As ice cold hands,rip into your heart. That’s if you’ve still got one that’s left, Inside That cave you call a chest. The broken sky speaks of how the Twin Towers fell, leaving empty the famous New York’s skyline. Talks about the inability to close her eyes burning, because in despite they close it, the tragedy is always in their minds. Compares the statues and tombs of the victims with iron bodies. Talks about the memories that fall with friends (People who jumped from the towers).
As for strictly music, I must say that MCR knows to combine quieter moments with moments of anger, thus expressing feelings contrary . The representative choirs of Frank Iero in Bullets alongside Gerard’s screams get a great picture of it. In the second “And if the world needs something better” and in the chorus with “Hello angel” we can observe more hopeful and protest notes.
In short, this song, like all of MCR is notable for the large capacity of the band to transform a sad, horrible, painful thing into something beautiful, and that’s one of their gifts. I want to apologize if the interpretation is wrong or my review is not convincing, I do not feel very well and I don’t have a lot of strength to write something better, I hope you all do not think that I do not care.
I’m sorry that My Chemical Romance, the idea that has changed our life had to be born 12 years ago as a result of this disaster. Has been given the grim situation of give life as a result of witness so many deaths. However, I can assure that the killjoys will always remember the victims, it is impossible not to do it with the musical reminder that we have.
And to MCR, I think I cannot say anything more than what I have said a lot of times before. Thanks for show us always the hidden beauty of things, thanks for make a bit nicer this world so ugly.