It’s 3:13AM and all I can think about is a novel I read and watched, and how it changed my life. The Perks of Being A Wallflower is perhaps one of the most poignantly written contemporary novels of the 20th century with a just as poignant movie. There is something amazing about how well music can accent a movie or the reading of a novel. However, there is something infinitely more beautiful about the way music can really inspire a writer, or inspire the insides of a writer, such that he or she can produce timeless literature. With that being said, the one song that really stood out was The Smiths‘ Asleep.
There have been several covers since its release, some of the more notable by Emilie Autumn, Xiu Xiu and the Canadian-bred band, Stars (personally, of the three, Stars’ cover worked best). More recently, Emily Browning performed it for the Sucker Punch OST, which was somewhat haunting given the movie storyline. Each has a lovely quality, a different dimension brought by the artists and their interpretation. But, there is something to be said about an original — especially if its meaning and impact can traverse decades of difference unscathed and unmarred.
The song has been used in compilations as a “lullaby”, but the original intent and meaning behind the song is related to suicide. The real challenge in the song is going beyond the quiet undertones and simple lyrics. Morrissey’s voice in the original conveys so much fatigue, so much desperation and a sliver of hope.
My favoured cover, by Stars:
An equally beautiful cover using female vocals, and really embodying the meaning, by Emily Browning (Sucker Punch OST):
Since this song has so much associated emotion and imagery, I haven’t a scene to offer. Just really wanted to post an old song, a timeless song, and show it some respect. That, and I wanted everyone to remember the brilliance of The Smiths and to pick up a copy of The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, because it is fantastic. And endearing. And wonderful. And beautiful.