Pro Memoria – A Lurking Memento Mori in Modern Metal


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Ghost's Pro Memoria at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Whispers of Lucifer: The Ominous Guide Within
  5. The Seas of Solitude: Navigating Mortality on Your Own
  6. A Chorus That Haunts: The Unforgettable Refrain
  7. The Hidden Meaning: Embracing the Inevitable End
  8. Mortal Realizations: The Finale That Binds Us to Saint Peter

Lyrics

Lucifer, whispering
Silently into your mind
Who walks behind
Who walks behind
Standing tall, invincible
But do not forget your knives
To save your lives
To save your lives

Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die

Don’t you vomit savage slurs
Spewed up wickedly
To hide from me
To hide from me
Navigate all alone
On this tempestuous sea
To ride with me
To ride with me

Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die
Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die

Lucifer, whispering
Silently into your mind
Who walks behind
Who walks behind
Had you had the chance today
You would’ve sold out too
Ain’t that right
Sweet Saint Peter?

Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die
Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die

Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die
Don’t you forget about dying
Don’t you forget about your friend death
Don’t you forget that you will die

Full Lyrics

In the dimly lit corners of modern metal, Ghost emerges with ‘Pro Memoria’, a song that weaves a haunting narrative simmering with existential depth. As a band that shrouds itself in ecclesiastical imagery and philosophical musings, Ghost presents listeners with more than a melody – they offer a reflection on mortality enveloped in a chillingly beautiful arrangement.

The song, quintessential Ghost with its rich, atmospheric production, exhumes the age-old mantra ‘memento mori’, a meditation on the inevitability of death. But beneath its gothic veneer and strikingly memorable choruses, there lurks an intricate landscape of meaning ripe for dissection. Let us peel back the layers of this thought-provoking track and delve into its enigmatic heart.

Whispers of Lucifer: The Ominous Guide Within

The repeated motif of ‘Lucifer, whispering silently into your mind’ evokes the image of a deceptive guide offering a semblance of comfort while leading one towards an inescapable truth. The presence of Lucifer, often a symbol of temptation and deceit, is a masterful stroke. It personifies our internal struggles and denial of mortality.

This soft insinuation into our psyche is a chilling reminder that no matter our stature – ‘Standing tall, invincible’ – death is the shadow that ‘walks behind’, a lurking companion on life’s journey. Ghost captures this eerie partnership with poise, challenging listeners to confront their own vulnerability.

The Seas of Solitude: Navigating Mortality on Your Own

The lyrical journey moves from external whispers to internal struggle, painting a picture of solitary navigation across ‘this tempestuous sea’. This metaphor expands on the concept of life as a turbulent voyage where one must ‘ride with me’ – ‘me’ possibly being death itself.

There’s a haunting emphasis on self-reliance and the inevitability of facing death’s storm alone. Therein lies a stark beauty, expertly composed by Ghost, illustrating that amidst our attempts to ‘hide from me’, life’s most profound journey may be experienced in desolate individualism.

A Chorus That Haunts: The Unforgettable Refrain

The chorus of ‘Pro Memoria’ imprints itself upon the mind, echoing ‘Don’t you forget about dying / Don’t you forget about your friend death.’ Through this macabre repetition, Ghost ensures the message is not lost – death companions every moment, a friend forgotten merely in the distraction of life.

What could easily be perceived as grim or morbid instead becomes a powerful chant, a cathartic release that makes one oddly comfortable with the notion of death. It emphasizes the importance of memory and acknowledgment, not as a source of fear but as a reminder to cherish every breath.

The Hidden Meaning: Embracing the Inevitable End

In what might be the song’s most compelling depth, Ghost invites listeners to interpret the acceptance of mortality not as resignation but as empowerment. ‘To save your lives’ suggests that in remembering death, we actually preserve our lives. By embracing our mortality, we are urged to live more fully, passionately, and authentically.

The acute awareness of death becomes the knife we carry – not a weapon against life, but a tool to carve out meaning and urgency within it. The paradox is striking: forgetfulness of death may actually lead to a life less lived, while its remembrance propels us towards vitality.

Mortal Realizations: The Finale That Binds Us to Saint Peter

In its closing moments, ‘Pro Memoria’ shifts its focus towards the hypocrisy of the saintly with ‘Had you had the chance today / You would’ve sold out too / Ain’t that right, Sweet Saint Peter?’. Here, Ghost levels the playing field between saints and sinners, apostles and heretics, suggesting a universal susceptibility to forgetfulness and betrayal.

The poignancy lies in humanizing death – even the pious are implored not to overlook their mortality. A reminder that finality is democratic, and death, the most human experience of all, awaits regardless of the lives we lead. Through this collective fate, Ghost binds us together in a shared destiny, punctuated by the existential question that humiliates our ego and solidifies our common bond.

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