The random number generator pulls out Surrender just a couple of days after it brought us Moment Of Surrender. Coincidence? Of course, but being human we like to look for oddities like that. Kind of like seeing faces on Mars.
War brought some really good songs, some average songs and some poor songs. I’m sorry to say that Surrender is one of the poor ones. It’s not musically outstanding, and the lyrics aren’t much to listen to either. It’s one of those songs I’ve listened to a hundred times and still not gotten an understanding of what it’s about or how it could grab my interest. I think it’s about letting go, being yourself, quitting on all the material things in your life in order to be able to live for real. Of course I don’t think I could do that myself, much as I might want to sometimes, because I do love much of my stuff. I’ve read a lot lately about minimalism and it seems like something I could get into, but when it comes to actually doing anything about it that’s when I take a step back and realize I want the things I have. Whether I use them or not.
It hasn’t been played live since 1985, which is odd since it was played seemingly every show for a couple of years. How often does that happen, that a song is a strong regular part of the setlist, but disappears quickly and is never seen again. I understand sometimes, because you switch from one album to the next and something has to go, but you’d think a song would fade out of the setlist rather than be dumped and never seen again. Yet another thing I guess I should research, huh?
One of the things you’ll see repeatedly when you read about this song is the idea of surrender being the idea of suicide. Sadie heading up to the forty-eighth floor to find out what she’s living for. The famous line from the song is “if I wanna live I gotta die to myself someday.” I’m not sure I get that. You’re going to think about suicide to get yourself to live more? Maybe I can get the idea of people going through a near-death experience, then wanting to live life as much as they can. But to consider suicide as the step that pushes you into wanting to live, that seems like a little stretch. Although now I think about it more, I do seem to recall stories of people who have been close to committing suicide, and being rescued as they decide they want to live after all. That’s still not getting you to live more though. So I don’t know. What’s the idea of dying to yourself mean? Back to the taking your life and throwing it away, walking away and starting fresh somewhere else. I guess.
I always thought Sadie was somehow related to Sexy Sadie from the Beatles, but I guess not. Just a coincidence.
My rating for Surrender: 3 / 10