“Oh yes, my child Sarah. She with the voice and passion of a Siren, the ethereal Queen of all us damned souls...what, she's a Buddhist? Well, forget that! Never mind what I said. Still, why is she sounding like Sara Bareilles now? Yet another Lillith Fair? (sigh) Why Buddhist?”
Sarah McLachlan grew up Elsewhere, Lost in the Strange World of the Perfect Girl, Full of Grace and Trust - where it was Good Enough to Fear Dear God, Witness mother Mary's Mercy, then go Home to Wait for Plenty of Ice Cream, sister Adia's "I Love You," and off to bed. Everything was Black and White in those days, so Sheltered, but in Time she realized what a Stupid Path of Thorns it really was.
How she got Out of the Shadows is a Dirty Little Secret, really; though if you've listened to the Vox pop, you'll already know the Answer: Ben. Yes, a man - so Sad. Clown as he was, his Touch set her World on Fire. To escape her past was an Uphill Battle, but She Did What She Had to Do: she left by the Back Door, Man. She ran halfhazardly across the Ice, Pushed on over the hill, and Circled through the Black night, until she could hear the voice she was Fumbling Towards. Ecstasy awaited.
Drawn to the Rhythm of Ben's Song, Holding On to his body until - oh! she was Steaming and - yes, Sweet Surrender! - Into the Fire of intimacy at Last. "Dance of love," she thought, Drifting off to sleep - I am a Fallen Angel, and I don't mind. Tomorrow we'll take the Train. Wrecks that you are, you'll search street after street, building after Building. A Mystery you will never solve... but I Will Not Forget You."
The next day they were arrested for Possession; and the townfolk never let her escape again.
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McLachlan's lyricism and intimate vocal fluctuations have made her a matriarch of empathic aestheticism. Each of her albums explores a compelling, emotional theme.
McLachlan's first album delves deep into pity and sadness for a man sentenced to die.
- Doubt in the Gallows
- Box - the despair of life in a cage on death row
- Rage Hurled - obsessive, haunting memories of the act that led to Ben's demise
- Bussed - expresses the thoughts and emotions Ben experiences as he is driven with other criminals to the prison
- Hearing - hope further lost in the courtroom
- Dreaming - of the life he is too late to redeem
- Sadistic Clown - social commentary on society's revenge masked as justice
- Upheld Verdict
- Ben's Gone
- Box (extended version) - you spend awfully long time six feet under
In her second album, McLauglan laments the ease with which we fall from grace and envisions the punishment that awaits us after death.
- Drawn by Deception
- Into the Fire
- The Wrath of Horns
- I Will Not Regret You - the delusion of the damned insisting their shallow lives were worthwhile
- No Way Back, Poor Man
- Hell-ter Shelter
- Orangy-Red - the only colour you ever see again
- Eternal Home
- No Mercy
Stumbling Towards Ecstacy
McLachlan's third studio album explores the fate of Mary, a woman who has her home taken away because she cannot afford her mortgage. The bitter irony is that the deeper the woman falls into despair, the closer she decays towards her only escape: "ecstacy."
- Wait! - Mary begs to have one final chance to make payments
- Plenty - there is enough wealth for everyone, yet she is now homeless
- Food Enough - there is enough food for everyone, yet she is now hungry
- Scary - Mary's emotional distress her first night on the street
- Cycle of Poverty
- Rice - a meal at last, delivered via staple gun
- On Hold - Mary calls social services
- Rice Dream - a drink at last, though a few shots of scotch would go good right now
- Jeer - the taunts she hears while living on the street
- Stumbling Towards Ecstacy - her life in ruins, Mary finds solace only in addiction
McLachlan's fourth studio album warns against the dangers of overindulgence, and how they can lead to a squandered life.
- Building a History - we are reminded that every moment we are creating our past
- I Crave You
- Wheat, Remember - maintain a good diet
- Idea - how we are attached too often to ideas rather than actions: "Idea I do believe I love you"
- Do What You Feel Like Doing - McLachlan's sarcasm at its most scathing
- Change ill
- Wrong & Right
- Full of Excuses
- Last Chance
It took McLachlan another six years before she came out with an album of completely new material, because she was busy raising her daughter India (so named because McLachlan thought to herself "here I am bringing yet another life into this already overcrowded world"). Although India is well loved by her parents, McLachlan wished to provide some advice to young women so as not to exacerbate overpopulation when they do not desire pregnancy.
- Girl's Quagmire
- Use a Condom, Stupid
- Stiffing - you can get stiffed both on the night and for years afterwards
- Rain Check - until you've planned safe sex
- Push - what you may end up doing nine months later if you don't use birth control
- Answer Yes, In a Mess
- Time to See A Pharmacist
- Nervous Boy
- Developing Little Secret - what you will have if you don't use the pill