The Warmth

The other day I was listening to some old albums on shuffle and what began to play but one of my favorite songs, “The Warmth”. It was released as a single sixteen years ago by Incubus, one of my all-time favorite California bands.

 

At the time, I was in college and had been listening to Incubus for a few years already. They were just beginning to come into mainstream fame with their third album, Make Yourself, which was in heavy rotation on the radio and MTV. Despite my mild aggravation with all of their new insta-fans who knew nothing of their earlier work (their 1997 S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album functioned as my life soundtrack for years and in some ways, still does), I had to admit that the Make Yourself album was a sophisticated evolution along the trajectory of their familiar eclectic and brave rock style.

I think I was in a particular period of jadedness and disappointment with people when Make Yourself came out and it was kind of the right thing at the right time. The lyrics of this particular song, “The Warmth” resonated with me. It was more supporting evidence that irrespective of how other people treated me, I could not only intentionally choose to remain the same but that there was even an ethical correctness in not allowing myself to be punished and robbed by others’ lack of emotional capacity.

Someone much wiser than me once said that feelings are like children. You don’t want them driving the car, but you don’t want to lock them in the trunk, either.

I think Incubus’ lead singer, Brandon Boyd and I must have a similar outlook on life!

I’d like to close my eyes, go numb
But there’s a cold wind coming from
The top of the highest high rise today
It’s not a breeze ’cause it blows hard
Yes, and it wants me to discard
The humanity I know, watch the warmth blow away 

So don’t let the world bring you down
Not everyone here is that f*cked up and cold
Remember why you came and while you’re alive
Experience the warmth before you grow old 

So do you think I should adhere
To that pressing new frontier
And leave in my wake a trail of fear
Or should I hold my head up high
And throw a wrench in spokes by
Leaving the air behind me clear 

So don’t let the world bring you down
Not everyone here is that f*cked up and cold
Remember why you came and while you’re alive
Experience the warmth before you grow old 

“The Warmth”
Incubus, 1999

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