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My Greatest Collapse

Thief & Love album design

My Greatest Collapse

The tenth track off the debut album, Thief & Love, draws heavily from my own personal failings and inserts them into a C.S. Lewis novel, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, from The Chronicles of Narnia.  A vastly superior book than the movie adaptation, Dawn Treader has many subplots, but the one that inspired this song is that of the personal journey of a young boy named Eustace.  (SPOILER alert!).  In summary, Eustace is a beastly little snot when we first meet him:  self-absorbed, arrogant, and entitled.  During the course of the story, his greed and selfishness turn him into a horrid dragon, which is basically a physical manifestation of his inner spirit.  Eustace the dragon tries desperately to scrape the scales off of himself, but to no avail.  Conceding defeat and accepting his fate, he succumbs to despair.  Suddenly, Aslan the lion appears and offers to help the dragon become a boy again.  Eustace is overjoyed, but Aslan warns that this process will hurt very much.  Eustace gives his consent, and Aslan sinks his claws into the scales and begins tearing them off (hence the lines in the pre-chorus “If it takes all night, you gotta undo it.  If it hurts like hell, you gotta tear through it.”)  True to his promise, the process of transformation is exceedingly painful, but Aslan turns Eustace back into a boy.  Not just a boy, but more importantly a boy who is forever changed.  From this moment forward, Eustace is a different person, for the better.

The scene for me has always been very powerful and personal.  I believe that God is in the business of working in our lives in such a way that makes us much more like himself.  Sometimes that work is painful, but in faith I hold that it is always beneficial.

My Greatest Collapse
© Wes Gow

I’m looking back on recent events
The time that’s elapsed
My greatest collapse

If it takes all night, you gotta undo it.
If it hurts like hell, you gotta tear through it.

I’m staring back at the reflection of me
And all I can see
Is what’s been hiding in me

‘Cause you can’t sing about redemption 
If you like the looks of those stains   
And you can’t write a song of repentance 
And keep those chains   
If you’re gonna talk about revival   
Then you’d better stop those games   
Cause you gotta long way 
You gotta long way  
You gotta long way home

I can see right through my hands & my feet
A poltergeist shadow
Of what I used to be

And someone’s telling me there’s hope in those hills
And someone’s offering to help me get there
And I’m telling you there no place I wanna be
But those mountains are just so far away