First & foremost, I want to announce that our friend dIEDRE has (timidly) entered the 'Battle Of The Bands' Family. So please be sure to visit her, welcome her, and add her blog to your links of BOTB Participants. dIEDRE's BOTBing can be found at [link> StreamPebbles.
My most recent Battle took place HERE, and it was a 'Fight Song' theme which included 'Fight Song' (Rachel Platten), 'Behind Blue Eyes' (The Who), and 'Long Promised Road' (The Beach Boys). It turned out to be a very close fight -- no knockdowns, no knockouts.
I really appreciate all y'all who took time to vote. And I double appreciate everyone who submitted a personal fight song of their own. Here are the Fight Songs songs which got mentioned in the comment section: 'I Won't Back Down', 'Fight The Good Fight', 'The Real Me', 'Eye Of The Tiger', 'We Are The Champions', 'Straight Shootin' Woman', and 'Face The Blood'.
The idea of a 'Fight Song' is entirely subjective; whatever works for a person is what works. Period. The songs don't even necessarily need to mention any sort of conflict. Sometimes it's just a powerful feeling induced by a beat, a rhythm, or the sound of certain instruments. I remember a day in the late 1970s when just prior to a high school wrestling match I happened to hear the following song played on the radio and it really revved me up for that battle:
'Black Betty' -- Ram Jam
'Black Betty' doesn't have a thing to do with fighting, wrestling, or conflict of any kind, but it has a certain aggressive sound & rhythm that did the trick for me that day.
Here's another song that really gets me ready to step into the ring when I hear it, even though I'm not Jewish and the song is specifically about God fighting the Battles for Israel:
'No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper' -- Joel Chernoff
If you were a llama opposing the authorities attempting to imprison you, I suppose even 'Yakety Sax' could be your 'Fight Song':
Llama Chase set to Yakety Sax
With my BOTB bote for 'Long Promised Road', the Results look like this:
Rachel Platten = 2 votes
The Who = 5 votes
The Beach Boys = 6 votes
I'm pretty shocked that The Who did not win this, but I'm pleased I was able to introduce some folks to a song they weren't familiar with and who were pleasantly surprised by it. For me, personally, since 1997, The Beach Boys' 'LONG PROMISED ROAD' has not only been a Fight Song, but actually my ULTIMATE FIGHT SONG!
In '97, I purchased a Beach Boys CD which contained a number of complex songs that were new-to-me.
I was working on a writing project at the time, so for a few days I played this CD on 'Repeat', as just background music to write to, until unusual songs like ''Til I Die', 'Surf's Up', 'The Trader', and 'California Saga' seeped into my mind. Another one which I gradually began to consciously understand was 'Long Promised Road'. After awhile, I found myself getting fired up by that "Get Outta My Way!" chorus.
The lyrics seemed a bit abstract until I started to reflect on the last lines which, initially, seemed oddly out of place. It was like the finale of the recording was turning into a Love song. "I'd love to see you... I'd love to see you". Suddenly it clicked! "YOU" was GOD, and the whole song was about a person fighting his way back to his Creator! It's not just a physical fight song, it's a Spiritual fight song!
But I hit hard at the battle that's confronting me, yeah. Knock down all the roadblocks a-stumbling me. Throw off all the shackles that are binding me down.
That's the singer (Carl Wilson) removing every thing in "this world" that is impeding his path to The Lord. ("Enter by the narrow gate... Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.") The Battle is in recognizing one's pure Spiritual identity and in overcoming the obstructions & illusions of "this world" that attempt to block the road to one's understanding, self-awareness & Divine Destination.
'Long Promised Road' is a fight song and a road song about a person's journey from "this world" to the Perfect Realm of Light & Love that's been promised:
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. ... For all that is in the world... is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away... but he who does the will of God abides forever. Now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
I'm not going to belabor the point and beat a dead horse by interpreting every verse in the song, but here's one that is very obvious, once a listener understands the true theme of this 'Fight Song':
The title is 'Long Promised Road'. What is that Long Promised Road? It's a Spiritual journey: forty years in the wilderness concluding at The Promised Land.
"Long Promised Road" (Heaven - The Promised Land - at the end for those who faithfully fight the Good Fight). "Trail starts at dawn" (your birth) "carries on to the season's ending" (your death). "Long promised road flows to the Source" (God, the Creator), "gentle Force" (Almighty Love) "Never ending, never ending" (Eternal Life).
There's one last thing I want to mention about this song that I find very unique. Perhaps this has been done in other musical arrangements, but if so, I'm not aware of it. The Beach Boys were masters at arranging background vocals with Heavenly harmonizing. Everybody knows this. But they did something in 'Long Promised Road' that took me a long time to notice, and I think it adds some "oomph" to the chorus.
Ordinarily, background vocalists will sing right along with the lead singer, or just slightly behind the lead vocalist. But in the chorus of 'Long Promised Road', the other Beach Boys, singing background, actually start singing the chorus just half a beat BEFORE lead vocalist Carl Wilson does. Here's the chorus again:
But I Hit hard at the battle that's confronting me, yeah
Knock down all the roadblocks a-stumbling me
Throw off all the shackles that are binding me down
If you listen closely, you'll hear the background vocalists are singing ("Hit"... "Knock"... "Throw"...), like, half a beat BEFORE lead vocalist Carl Wilson sings those same lines. I've never noticed this sort of thing in any other song, and I feel like it adds an interesting sonic texture and maybe a bit more "oomph" to the chorus. See if you hear that...
'Long Promised Road'
Thanks again for participating in my 'FIGHT SONG' FIGHT. I intend to return with a new Battle on Nov. 1st, so be here or be... in my doghouse.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy