Muse – Glorious – Review/Analysis

I’ve talked about a lot of poetry recently, and so I think it might be time to break it up with a little bit of music. This is a analysis of ‘Glorious’ a b-side by Muse that has absolutely fascinating lyrics, let alone the awesome riffs throughout.

The lyrics to this song are absolutely fascinating. It’s evident he views religious belief as a lie, and yet is compelled himself by the beauty of ‘Faith’. He claims it ‘drives [him] away’ and yet also ‘turns him on’. He remarks that faith ‘rockets through the universe’, a beautiful image, perhaps reflecting that religious individuals believe that the universe is made for them or even that Faith, or the power of belief, can carry them to any destination. Psychological studies often reveal that belief in something, in the case of sporting individuals for example: their ability to win, can drastically affect the result, so perhaps these lyrics are designed to highlight this empowering aspect of faith. However he also, contrastingly, refers to faith as ‘fuel[ing] the lies and feed[ing] the curse’, implying a delusional aspect to belief that he condemns.

The lyrics are structured so that each line switches, like a debate or argument, between the positives and negatives of faith. In the final verse he opens with the statement: ‘I need to be believe’ – seemingly implying that he himself feels that he should have faith, and that this would be a good thing for his life. But in the next line he juxtaposes this against ‘But I still want more / with the cuts and the bruises’ suggesting that he feels perhaps that faith takes away the importance of the ‘cuts and the bruises’, or the pain of physical existence, something which most spiritual individuals would argue the exact opposite of, that faith justifies the pain of living with eternity.

The final line of each chorus is that faith ‘Believes we could be glorious’, and the whole song seems almost in awe of this idea, that mankind might be more than another mammal, more than physical, more than another species whose only purpose is to continue its kind. The song doesn’t fall down on either side, i.e. it doesn’t affirm faith or deny it, but it does imply the importance that religious or no, mankind is glorious and that for this to be manifested, it needs to have the faith in itself.

Thanks very much for reading

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