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A Thoughtful Review of the Song “Paralyzed” by Rock Kills Kid

“This feels like another dream / Trapped underneath my own routines…” – Jeff Tucker, lyricist of Rock Kills Kid from his song “Paralyzed”

Have you ever heard of a rock band called Rock Kills Kid? It wouldn’t surprise me if you haven’t. They were a decent alternative rock band, but they never really had any major hits. However, they have one hit in my mind, one that should’ve gotten a lot of radio play at the time called “Paralyzed.” It was the first single off of their “Are You Nervous?” record.

Here’s the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwrYcvuRej0

“Paralyzed” is one of those catchy songs that once you hear it, it’s stuck in your head forever. I don’t know if it’s the bass line, the lyrics, or just the overall message of the song. Essentially, “Paralyzed” is about being stuck in your daily routine, feeling trapped in it, and not knowing how to get out of it. While it’s not the most original topic for a song, its relatable and at least for me, it seems “Paralyzed” does it better than most. Let’s take a thoughtful look at the lyrics of the song.

The lyrics of “Paralyzed,” written by Jeff Tucker, delve deeply into the feelings of stagnation, helplessness, and the struggle for self-realization. The recurring theme of paralysis in the song’s lyrics symbolizes an internal conflict and the overwhelming sensation of being trapped in one’s circumstances or mental state.

The song begins by referring to a clearly evident Sisyphean struggle with routine:”This feels like another dream / Trapped underneath my own routines,” Tucker touches upon the monotony of daily life and how it can feel suffocating. This sense of being trapped under the weight of one’s routines suggests a lack of control over one’s life, leading to a state of despair and resignation.

The repetition of “I give up, I give up” throughout the song signifies surrender. “Paralyzed” right away offers a poignant admission of defeat. It highlights a moment where the song’s narrator acknowledges their inability to change their situation or break free from their mental constraints.

Next, let’s briefly explore the metaphor of paralysis. The chorus, “I’m paralyzed, I’m paralyzed / Stuck in the middle / And I’m paralyzed,” vividly captures the essence of being immobilized by one’s fears, doubts, or external pressures. This paralysis isn’t just physical, but it’s also emotional and mental. This metaphor represents a state where one feels incapable of moving forward, caught in a limbo between what they want and what they are currently experiencing.

References to being “Caught inside a stupid dream” suggest a disconnection from reality, where dreams and aspirations feel unattainable. This further exacerbates the feeling of paralysis for the song’s narrator. This disillusionment can stem from repeated failures or the harsh realization that certain dreams might not be achievable.

“Paralyzed” also betrays the narrator’s search for meaning and clarity in their life. The lines “Look for her, but cannot see / There’s no time to believe” could symbolize a search for meaning, purpose, or even a significant other, who remains elusive. The lyrics suggest that a female companion or lover may be a part of finding that meaning or purpose. But, the absence of belief or hope portrays a profound sense of despair and existential crisis which is clearly at the core of the song.

Interestingly, the song does suggest a glimmer of resolution in the lines, “The only way to cope / Is to realize.” This realization may refer to accepting one’s circumstances or limitations as a coping mechanism. It implies that recognizing and confronting one’s state of paralysis is the first step towards moving beyond it. That’s a healthy bit of advice.

Finally, the lyric “Everyone grabbed a hold of me / Pulled from every side of me” indicates the collective experience of external pressures and expectations. It reflects how societal norms, relationships, or responsibilities can contribute to an individual’s feeling of being overwhelmed and paralyzed.

So, through its simple, but evocative lyrics, “Paralyzed” by Rock Kills Kid paints a vivid picture of the struggle against mental and emotional stasis. It resonates with anyone who has ever felt stuck in the middle, torn between different paths, or burdened by the weight of their own thoughts and routines. The song is more than a lament in rock song form, but also a subtle nudge towards self-awareness and the importance of confronting one’s inner demons to find a way forward. It’s a great track that’s been well worth a listen whenever I’ve felt paralyzed by obligations or my own failures.

The band had some other really good tracks, as well: “Are You Nervous”, “Hideaway” and “Midnight” are ones I definitely recommend. They’re probably best known, though, for performing “I Turn My Camera On” from “The OC” television show soundtrack, which is another decent song of theirs. I honestly recommend any tracks performed by them. Sadly, the band hasn’t been together for years. It’s too bad that we didn’t hear more from them.

~ Amelia Desertsong

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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