From Love to Thanatophobia

By: AC Covarrubias

Eventually, you will die, I will die, your loved ones will die, and everyone you know or don’t know will die. Different cultures have different views on the portrayal of death, but the most popular opinion is that man fears death. This fear of death molded the Blue Oysters Cult hit single Don’t Fear the Reaper.

         Don’t Fear the Reaper is a song by the American rock band Blue Oyster Cult In there 1976 album Agents of Fortune. The song itself was written by lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser. The song, theme-wise, was about the inevitability of one's own death and how it is foolish to be afraid of it. With that in mind, many have viewed this as the song encouraging suicide with the first set of lyrics stating that “ All our times have come. Here but now they're gone”, this, however, this was never the case.

         According to Roeser, the song was actually a love song set within a horror genre type of music. As mentioned before the song is about how one should not fear the end of one's mortality, but also how love can transcend the physical world into the next world. How loved ones can come together in death. The song hints to these themes with motifs such as mentioning saint valentine, saint of courtly love, and Romeo and Juliet. With lyrics that say “Valentine is done Here but now they're gone Romeo and Juliet Are together in eternity…” The song, in summary, is that if ones love is strong enough the fear of death is meaningless.

         However many people did not get the meaning. The song meaning was viewed differently by the public. As mentioned before, death is something we fear. You can make the most comforting song on the planet, but if mention the grim reaper, the song will be seen completely differently. With lyrics such as “40,000 men and women everyday... Like Romeo and Juliet 40,000 men and women everyday... Redefine happiness Another 40,000 coming everyday... We can be like they are”. Blue Oyster Cult was aware of this scenario while Roeser was writing the song, and there was nothing they could do about it.

         Death is just a part of life. Like the wind, the sun, or the rain. It will come for all no matter the circumstances. However if you love someone and he or she has died or is dead remember, we are all destined to die. So eventually you’ll be reunited in eternity. Do not deny it, I know I can't.