I've been reading all of the Hugo nominated works over the last couple of weeks in preparation for voting for the awards, which I will probably do tomorrow or the next day. Today I have read through all of the finalists in the short story and novelette categories, and one thing that struck me is about all of the best stories that were nominated is just how melancholy in tone they are. And so I turn, as usual, to Jon Coulton for a song that reflects the same emotional tone, and pulled out his tale of a downward spiral titled Now I Am an Arsonist.
The original studio album version of this song featured Suzanne Vega as Coulton's duet partner, and she does a beautiful job of singing the part, but I think that Molly Lewis holds up the female half of the song better. I have seen several different interpretations of the lyrics of this piece ranging from a space craft plunging to a fiery end as it hurtles into the Earth's atmosphere, to a patient slowly dying in a hospital. No matter which interpretation is correct, and it may be that none of them or all of them are, the fact remains that the song is drenched in a glorious sadness that fits the best of this year's Hugo nominees perfectly.
Jon Coulton Molly Lewis Musical Monday Home