“The Ides of March” by Myles Kennedy
There is a holiday called the “Ides of March” which comes around annually on March 15th, which also was about the same date this song was released on.
The said festivity dates back to Ancient Rome. People don’t really observe it these days, but it still manages to hold a place on some calendars even ’til now, some 2000 or so years after it was first instituted. Perhaps such is at least partially due to the fact that it holds some historical significance, i.e. being the day upon which, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated.
Lyrics of “The Ides of March”
None of the aforementioned backdrop apparently has anything to do with this song, though. What Myles Kennedy rather based it on, in his own words, is how “bored, frustrated and self-mediating” people were feeling “during the beginning of the [coronavirus] pandemic”.
Well unofficially said pandemic did kickoff in the United States, i.e. Kennedy’s homeland, around March of 2020. So that is perhaps why, more specifically than pointing to an ancient holiday, said month is referenced in the title.
And yes, knowing beforehand that this song is about the pandemic and people’s reactions to it does make the lyrics a lot easier to understand. So for instance, the beginning of the first verse seems to be speaking to how the sickness appeared out of nowhere, if you will. And resultantly citizens didn’t really know what to make of it.
Indeed the line “some say they knew it from the start” reads like a nod to conspiracy theorists. These would be those who assert that the disease was some kind of semi-governmental concoction that was intentionally unleashed upon the hapless masses.
Others still understood the advent of COVID-19 as being the fulfillment of prophecy, i.e. a sign that the world is coming to an end.
But the bottom line, no matter how one may have interpreted its arrival, is that everyone was concerned. And more to the point would be the idea that as a result, some individuals even overreacted.
What the Narrator is Saying
Well the vocalist is here to let us know that such is not the way to go. He foresees that this hardship will come to an end. And as such, the aforementioned types of individuals should not let fear overtake their disposition. Rather Myles is encouraging all of us to “keep fighting” and to “cling to courage”.
Also taking it “easy” and “slowly” is advised. And the vocalist is confident that if one were to adhere to such instruction, he or she can come out of the pandemic unscathed or at least still intact.
And as the chorus points out “so much is changing who we are [and] what we are”. That statement comes off as if the vocalist is acknowledging more than the disease itself. Rather he is also taking into account all of the factors which, to some people, were just as bad or even more devastating than the sickness. Some of these factors include being put out of work and/or placed in lockdown/quarantine.
And with that in mind, there is a sense of futility present in the chorus. No one can actually change what is transpiring, whether they like it or not. So what the singer is rather advising is to actually “beware the Ides of March”. And again, all ideas considered, that phrase can be more simply translated to ‘beware of the coronavirus pandemic and all aspects of it’.
Indeed as you likely already know the second biggest event of 2020, after the advent of the virus was mass civil unrest, i.e. protests that were popping up all over the world. On the surface, the overwhelming majority of them were in the name of civil rights and what have you. But what the singer is insinuating is that it was frustration related to the lockdowns, mass unemployment that also added fuel to these fires. By the way, this is a theory which no one would logically deny.
So ultimately, as you have perhaps gathered yourself, the lyrics of this song are highly-metaphorical. Also they are dealing with what is in fact a global topic/experience. So combining those two factors means that they can be interpreted in a number of ways.
But the bottom line is that the singer, as with a whole lot of other people, is concerned about the coronavirus pandemic and all it entails. But in response, instead of panicking he is making a conscientious effort to keep a ‘cool head’ throughout. He would not let the situation or the pessimism contained therein overwhelm him. And the purpose of this song is apparently to encourage others to do the same.
Release Date of “The Ides of March”
This is the second single and title song from Myles Kennedy’s 2021 album. And despite said album being only his second-solo project, Kennedy is actually a tenured rocker who has been professionally active since 1988.
In fact he had established a name for himself prior to going solo as being the frontman of a rock band from Orlando called Alter Bridge since around 2004. And before that he served similar roles on other musical crews, such as Cosmic Dust, Citizen Swing and most notably The Mayfield Four.
Myles Kennedy’s first solo album, “Year of the Tiger”, came out in 2018. It made it onto the Billboard 200 and fared even more impressively across the pond, peaking at number 12 on the UK Albums Chart.
This song is nearly eight minutes in length. It was released circa 15 March 2021 and came out with an accompanying music video. And the label that supported the song’s issuance is Austria-based Napalm Records.