The raven did sing, by will of his own or will of she who manifests at his melodic weeping. I highly recommend watching the exalted music video of Steven Wilson’s “The raven that refused to sing”
The music tells the tale of a man nearing his elderly years, reminiscing about his sister who he still mourned despite losing her at a positively young age. As the man suffered slowly and continuously from the consequences of being a social derelict by choice, darkness surrounded and overcame, his darkness, the one of a vivid past.
Gallantly, the raven lurking from a distance did sing and beautiful he was at that. He was swift when he miraculously summoned the shadow of the long lost sister through his songs. For a moment in time, the man was alive, he was momentarily saved by a memory, he became tranquility incarnate , unfortunately, it did not last long enough to rid him clean of the pain he shouldered for decades.
Fear then returned to rush the olden back to his bedding. On the morrow, rising from bothersome sleep, he could not cope with ‘waking life’ for he had touched the scars of loss, and his fear to love and to connect was born anew.
The man then crept towards the damp window to observe his savior and to pontificate the righteousness of its abduction, regardless of the fact that a decision had been made in advance. He then lured his supposed salvation into a cage to force it to perform its tricks for his new self proclaimed master.
Post the elaborate begging and pleading, the raven refused to sing and darkness returned ferociously to claim the withering soul. The ancient ran his lungs out and in desperation threatened the beats, to no avail for the darkness came howling. Suddenly but unsurprisingly, all the man’s suffering, fear and rage were gathered in the form of vicious and malicious quakes that shook the realm of the captured raven into a sanguine dystopia. The former was followed by the clarity of acceptance, of the end and one could tell the man prayed to be forgiven for his sin for it seemed evident to be the first his lifestyle allowed to be committed.
Waiting to be embraced by the dark and dim that has taken the subconscious influenced physique of demon and monster, the “lost-sister” makes her grand cameo to fend of the demons, even for moments before her being consumed by the darklings announcing the era of true despair. All was no more, a world engulfed in the blackness, foreign and despicable, yet all the same strangely familiar, then and there, the sister called from the heart of the shadow lands for infinite reunion, for an eternal embrace. He hesitated and trembled then marched onward to be finally cleansed of his curse or to a mere ending to another doomsday.
We never know if he escaped to a better place or picked up the wood pile he dropped at the raven’s first sighting. Again, I highly recommend watching Steven Wilson’s epic.
Aside from the naive and rather uneducated explanation, a few questions remain hanging atop of yours truly’s head; Who or what is our raven?
What was our slim chance at forgiving ourselves and at complete absolution? What was the chance or who was the person that we abused and locked in a cage without giving it/him/her the opportunity to sing voluntarily to rejuvenate our waning spirits?
Most importantly, why does a seemingly unique story trigger a strong sentiment from its listeners and/or viewers? Why can we relate? Is it because we all have had this “lost sister” who changed our lives and left us stranded? Can this “lost sister” be a father? A lover? A memory? or even an idea? Can we finally embrace our demons after an eternity at the tip of daggers longing to find their way to weakened wills, fragile backs and eager wrists?
This endless questioning is usually what remains alongside the sadness when the music is over. There is beauty and a general sense of familiarity to the sorrow that Steven Wilson and the band masterfully create, and in that they remain unmatched as the kings of misery’s throne.