Suicide Awareness – Recently NBI had a client come in to commemorate personal growth of his journey with mental health. Jose was asked to tattoo the cover art for the song "Goodbye Angels" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the song touches on themes of mourning and the death of a bond between two people. This client found that he could relate to the strong lyrics.
While in public statements, lead singer Anthony Kiedis only touches on that the song is about his relationship and breakup with model Helena Vestergaard, it is clear the lyrics paint a much more vibrant story than just a typical breakup song.
Considering it’s a popular subject in mainstream media, most breakup songs tend to touch on bigger themes to intensify the listener’s perspective while also opening the song to more life experiences than just heart break. The song starts with suggesting that Kiedis possessed a negative outlook on life before meeting Vestergaard.
“Suicide a month before I met you | Deep regrets, I never could forget you”
Yet as Vestergaard was quite younger than Kiedis and was busy building her career the song suggests she was a free spirit, and due to this their relationship wasn’t definitive. At this part of the song the lyrics are starting to touch on Kiedis’ feeling like things are out of his control.
“Do not Dismiss the promise you made me” | “Overkill, you took another red pill”
By the second verse the lyrics start to imply that life, work, and other potential lovers have stolen Vestergaard’s attention, and their fading love is paralleled to themes of struggling with death.
“Sticky fingers find a way to take her” | “I know your days are numbered when it comes to this life” | “Slip away into the solar system” | “Give up the ghost before you go under”
While this song isn’t directly the subject of self-harm much of the same verbiage is used to paint the idea that similarly when we are in love with someone and put too much of our identity into a relationship, we feel a part of us dies along with the relationship. Similarly, there is plenty of room in these lyrics for listeners to relate to their relationship with themselves. We don’t need to go through a breakup to feel that a part of ourselves has vanished. Feelings of self-hatred or depression can often feel that another person has imbedded themselves in our minds and poisoned our former personalities.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide know that help is available
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Number: 988
or visit 988lifeline.org
*Tattoo By Jose Carire*
*Article by Savannah Harmon*