A Hero’s Death is a single from the Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C., which gave the name to their second album.
Fontaines D.C.’s A Hero’s Death (2020) album
The song was released on May 5, 2020 on Partisan Records label and the entire album is available from July 31st. The producer is Dan Carey, the same of the first album “Dogrel” (2019). However, according to critics, the new songs differ from those of the debut album for the more psychedelic sounds.
The band said they took inspiration from artists such as The Beach Boys, Suicide, Beach House, Broadcast, These Immortal Souls. Probably their intention was precisely to take a step forward and produce something different from the debut album.
The title “A Hero’s Death” comes from the line of a play by Irish writer Brendan Behan. What exactly does this death of a hero mean? According to the band, the expression encompasses an attempt to balance sincerity and falsehood, happiness and depression, trust and uncertainty.
The album shows on the cover the statue of the Irish mythological deity Cú Chulainn by sculptor Oliver Sheppard. According to mythology, Chulainn died in 1 d.C. in battle. Before dying, however, he leaned against a stone to be able to remain standing and in the meantime a crow landed on his shoulder. His enemy Lugaid believed he was dead and so approached to cut off his head. Dying, he dropped the sword on Lugaid’s arm, severing his hand.
The meaning of the lyrics “A Hero’s Death”
The lyrics of A Hero’s Death are a pounding repetition of tips to have more self-confidence. It seems that an inner voice or one’s own ego is saying these words. Vocalist Grian Chatten wrote these words to empower himself and the band. In fact, after the success of the first album, they feared they would not be able to do as well with the second. The sentences are however open to various interpretations and everyone can adapt them to their own life experience.
Aidan Gillen from Game Of Thrones in the video
The director of the Fontaines D.C. video “A Hero’s Death” is Hugh Mulhern and the producers are Aaron McEnaney and Theresa Adebiyi.
In the video we witness the fictional television show “The Georgie Barnes Show”. The presenter is Georgie Barnes, played by Irish actor Aidan Gillen, aka Petyr Littlefinger Baelish from Game Of Thrones. Gillen also played parts in “Batman – The Dark Knight – Rises” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. He is a fan of the Fontaines D.C. band. and he offered to play the main part in this video (the same thing happened in Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ video with Ben Stiller).
The co-host is a parrot-shaped puppet, Marty, with the puppeteer Bryan Quinn.
At the beginning of the video Barnes has a vision of him as a child standing between his parents. Also in his changing room there is a photo of his childhood with his mother and father.
The presenter rehearses his lines, then takes a chocolate from a box and eats it.
The meaning of the video
Later in the backstage Barnes welcomes the guests of the evening, the members of the Fontaines D.C., who must perform on the talk show. However, musicians pay more attention to the puppet in the hand of the puppeteer.
The scenes return the same identical four times, as if Barnes is going back in time to change things.
The second time in the photograph on his table his mother is missing. However, on the stairs Barnes meets a young study assistant, who begins to transform into his mother and berates him heavily.
In the third repetition of the scene there is a man with only one eye in the center of his face, who sits in a wheelchair. Even in the photograph on the table there is only this man in the wheelchair.
This time Barnes meets the Fontaines D.C. but the puppet Marty is not with them. In its place, the puppeteer holds a puppet depicting Barnes and a fake crow eating its entrails.
Meanwhile, in the corridor, the cleaning man turns into a monster, whose face begins to pour like hot wax.
So, every time Barnes goes back in time, things get worse and worse. The fourth time, however, the presenter accepts his nightmares and fears and comes out of the curtain, presenting the talk show, as if nothing had happened.