• Vasundhara Vee

Lyric interpretation of Takar Nabam's 'Ashes'




One of the many things that we forget as songwriters, is that a song, once out into the world, will wiggle in through someone's eardrum, turn into electricity and navigate a vast subjective cosmos inside each listener's brain. Nobody knows what this song will encounter in that cosmos, which timelines it will illuminate, which realms it will hit, or if it will get lost there! Every stream online, means that the song, your words, your chords, will go through this entire journey. Passing through the body of the listener in zaps of interpreted electricity. We have next to zero control over this. Many times your meaning might be lost on the other....... and for me, the great magic is when you discover what meaning they made out of your ideas. Your spells. Your songs.


Today, I'm gonna try this experiment with my friend Takar Nabam's song 'ASHES'. I have two favorite lines. The first big one is, "When I think about those vibrant days, my roots inside are shaken" This really resonates. I know how the most vital parts of us get shaken up, when we navigate loss.... Loss is an uprooting.... and so often, our anchors come lose, our senses cheat us, our stability gets slippery --- and all it takes is one single happy memory. My mind is now moving to this idea, that when we experience deep happiness, in love, in life.... it finds an almost physical root in our body. And when loss appears ..... we feel empty in the same places.... our stomach... our heart.... our bones.... our knees.... our arms... the same places that were strengthened by love.... are now weakened by loss.


As I go down the lyric, I feel a different energy in the return of the line "When it slowly burnt down to ashes, sunny memories came back in flashes"

It makes me think of a man who is watching a relationship crumble. It's slowly disintegrating. I feel the heat of an endless unfixable pain, the debris of failed attempts, the light grey ashes of things which now cannot be reversed..... When we watch anything destroy itself, we are immediately taken to its original glory. This is true when a storm uproots a tree. or when an old building succumbs to wear.... and this same habit in our mind, pulls up the hay days of love as we watch its term ending.


I also feel sometimes, that this love song might be for Music. Or any other such conceptual living energy. One of our deepest relationships is with our artform. In my gut, this song links me to the toil of a child....innocence.... dreams.... travels.... accolades.... but also the vaccuum sometimes of Music.... I know this myself.... I've had to step away in various ways in the past.... for various reasons.... The willful turning away feels like the burning of a bridge within.... roots are uprooted.... identity torn.... something very core seems to go missing.....

but the thing about this song.... and about my life is.... that music always comes back as the little light inside.... it's a bridge I cant burn even if I imagine that I'm doing it.... It's a living force that makes its own decisions in my life too...

Everything is a concept.... songs... careers... chords... scales....We have our own little stories and journeys and dramas with these conceptual things.... but MUSIC is way beyond. And in knowing that, I find peace.


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ASHES - LYRIC

While it slowly burnt down to ashes, sunny memories came back in flashes,

through our eyes waterfalls emerged, into the darkest blue I had ever plunged

When I think about those vibrant days my roots inside are shaken,

I may fall any second

sunny day, a far fetched thought

the moon had turned pale lingers on,

I cannot forget that day

While it slowly burnt down to ashes, sunny memories came back in flashes,

through our eyes waterfalls emerged, into the darkest blue I had ever plunged


It still hasn't sunk in, as yet Decades of hard work, all went up in flames, for no fault of ours Yet it takes me back to the inside, now laden in fumes, with no light, it's suffocating inside I close my eyes and remind myself that there is light somewhere and I'll find it...

When I think about those vibrant days

my roots inside are shaken,

I may fall any second sunny day,

a far fetched thought the moon had turned pale

lingers on, lingers on, lingers on....

When I think about those vibrant days

my roots inside are shaken,

I may fall any second sunny day,

a far fetched thought the moon had turned pale lingers on, lingers on, lingers on... ________________________________________________________________________________________________________