March 17, 2020

"Saved By Hell" by Millencolin

"My friends look forward to Friday night, but I am anxious for the weekend fights."

"Saved By Hell" is possibly one of Millencolin's darkest songs. It's a song about witnessing domestic abuse occurring in your own household. It could be between two parents, or a parent and a sibling, or maybe it's an abusive Aunt, Uncle, or maybe some other dynamic. The main character in the song doesn't appear to be the primary focus of the abuse. So I can only assume that the song is about a child in a house with two parents who are headed for divorce. But domestic violence can have a big impact on even those who aren't targeted.




I knew a guy who grew up watching his mother verbally and physically abuse his older sister. His father worked nights and often wasn't around. So it was up to a teenage boy to intervene when he could, or try to cope when he couldn't. I can only imagine how the guy's sister was affected because I know my buddy was pretty scarred by it and endured a lot of abuse from his mother as well. He would spend hours at my house or another friends house after school and would often mention that he didn't want to go home.

I remember him talking to me one week when it was really bad. He had to call his father late at night crying in tears begging him to come home from work and make his mom and sister stop fighting. He felt absolutely helpless when his father told him he couldn't come because he had already left work two days in a row for the same situation. There's no way that his father could leave a third time in three nights without impacting his job.

"You'll just have to hang in there and handle it, son." his father said.

I had another friend when I was in elementary school who lived with his  single mom at his Aunt and Uncle's house. His mom worked full-time, while his Aunt was a stay-at-home mom to his one year old Nephew. It seemed like every time I went over to that buddy's house, I was never able to stay for longer than twenty or thirty minutes before his Aunt would call him into the other room for a moment. He would always come back rubbing a red and swollen cheek, hiding back tears, telling me I need to go home because his Aunt was mad.

Men get a bad rap as deadbeats who abandon their families, and rightfully so when that's the case. But a toxic or unhealthy woman can have just as damaging of an impact on her family as well, in some cases more-so.

Some kids go to school in fear of bullies, while some kids go to school to escape them.



I've included the outro "End Piece" because it is the track that immediately follows "Saved By Hell" on the album Machine 15. I think that it's a good instrumental piece that helps to emphasize the somber tone of the final song, and leaves the listener with a "moment of silence" ( or perhaps more like a "moment of static") of sorts to digest what they've just heard. In my opinion, it works incredibly well. It's a great contrast to what is otherwise an album full of positive vibes. Not unlike a comedian who smiles and makes others laugh on the surface, but inside is deeply troubled.

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