I Love You, Big Brother 

Disclaimer: All the tracks from "We Were Dead From The Start" are base on the book 1984 by George Orwell. "Memories being the first song, I explain why I wrote this album on that post. It'll help to read these posts in order of album appearance.

If "Memories" is the introduction to the whole story of "We Were Dead From The Start," then "I Love You, Big Brother" is the conclusion. It's essentially the entire story of Winston Smith in three verses. I always wanted to have a good ol' fashioned blue grass hoe down, so I wrote this song to be exactly that. Here's where sometimes interesting recording methods don't translate to the masses. I originally intended for the band to record around a single microphone, as they would have done in the good old days of bluegrass. I had myself, my cellist, and a fiddle player gathered around for a single, live take. I really loved the raw feel of the song. But as I play tested it out to people, there seemed to be one common thread. Everyone felt like it sounded less professional than the rest of the album. So instead of forcing my desires for period authenticity, I decided to use the live take as a bonus track to release here and on Bandcamp, and rerecord a studio version. But now that I was free to do a much grander production, I wanted to solicit the skills of better bluegrass players than myself. As with "Under The Spreading Chestnut Tree," I brought in local bluegrass players from the band My Brother's Keeper. The final result was an extremely fun song that, whether because My Brother's Keeper has a decent following around these parts, or because I happened to really nail this song on it's head, has become one of my most popular songs. 

The premise of "I Love You, Big Brother" revolves around that phrase. The first verse sets up the idea that with the Thought Police and telescreens ever present. the citizens of Oceania are forces to display their undying love for Big Brother whether they truly feel it or not. If they show any hint of dissent, they will die. So the verse ends with "I love you, Big Brother, because I have to."

The second verse describes the daily Two Minutes Hate, where the citizens are gathered around a communal telescreen and shown images of whatever enemy Oceania currently has, followed by images of Big Brother as a savior. The result is a frenzy of hatred directed outwards against the enemies of The Party, and love and adoration towards Big Brother. Winston describes this as unavoidable. No matter how deeply he hates The Party and Big Brother, during the Two Minutes Hate, he can't help but get caught up in the emotion. For this reason I end verse two with the same, "I love you Big Brother, because I have to." Only this time instead of, "Because I have to," implying he's forced to, it implies he can't help himself. 

The final verse describes the ending of the book. After Winston's betrayal of Julia, he finds himself broken. The final lines of the book describe Winston winning the fight over himself, and finally loving Big Brother. So the final line changes to, "I love you, Big Brother, because I want to." Like the previous song, "Take It Away," this song does require a deeper knowledge of the story of 1984 to fully understand the lyrics, but it's such a fun song that you can enjoy it for what it is regardless. And if you're reading this, then you're on the website. Check out both the album version with My Brother's Keeper and the live version. They each have their own feel and I think compliment the other well. 

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