The Inspiration Behind "Do Not Go Gentle"

As many of you likely know, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is a well-known poem by Dylan Thomas. I’d always found the beautifully-crafted words compelling, but it wasn’t until I saw it in the film Interstellar that it spoke to me. As obnoxiously cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth. Also, I’m a songwriter. Clichés are just what I do. In fact, I wrote a song titled Cliché. How’s that for cliché?

And now for a side note… I’m a bit of a star geek. I’m known for dashing out back doors to witness the state of the sky, setting aside evenings where I can lay out under the stars for hours at a time, and watching episodes of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos like the nerd I am. I just love those shiny things.

Therefore, my enjoyment of Interstellar and the stunning visual representation of Thomas’ poem in the film comes as no surprise. In fact, it compliments the basis for this EP in multiple ways. First of all, two of the four songs you’ll hear on the EP use the stars as thematic material. In fact, both were written after seeing Interstellar (accounting for two of the five times I have now seen it) and going on one of my “Google-the-nature-of-the-universe-like-that’s-actually-something-my-less-than-scientific-brain-can-wrap-its-head around” tangents. Most importantly though, it is indeed the aforementioned Thomas poem that majorly influenced the title. Although the poem, when analyzed in a literary sense, has rather morbid undertones, I have always understood it in an opposing light.

The main line of the poem is as follows: “Do not go gentle in that good night/rage against the dying of the light.” In my humble opinion, the “dying of the light” is not death (as many poet scholars conclude) but absolutely anything that keeps a person from living life to the fullest. This hindrance could appear in many forms. A person who makes you feel like you aren’t good enough. The notion that pain is unending and resorting to hopelessness instead. Fear of failure. Fear of heights. Fear of taking chances. Heck, fear of centipedes (which is a legitimate phobia, thank you very much.) The options are boundless, and unfortunately, often keep us from utilizing what little time we have here on this beautiful Earth.

Do Not Go Gentle is my statement of rebellion against the dying of the light. It is my declaration that I’m here living life to the brim, and that includes going after my dream as a professional singer/songwriter by taking the first step of releasing a debut EP.

You’ve only got one life. Don’t go gently.