A Greek Tragedy. A plea. An attempt to save a life. A love story. That is the crux of the song Achilles Come Down. Originally made by the band Gang of Youths, I listened to this beautiful, heartfelt cover by Kieran Regan. It was incredibly moving.
Full disclosure, Kieran is a friend of mine, and I heard this song in its very early stages. What I heard left me wanting more, and what was finally delivered was well worth the wait.
The song tells the story of Achilles and his descent into madness. Kieran plays a perfect Patroclus, as he watches on from the afterlife, begging for his lover to “come down”. His voice carries the perfect weight of love and desperation, along with gentle scolding, hoping, praying that he’s enough to save his love.
Today of all days, see / How the most dangerous thing is to love / How you will heal and you’ll rise above
Interspersed throughout Patroclus’ desperate attempts are passages in French. They sound distant, and the vocal effect put on them make them sound as if they are coming through over a radio. Coming through time. Looking up the meaning of the passages, they too, relay a story of tragedy and love. The words are taken from Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus. And it really serves to make the song and the story timeless.
The argument in the middle of the song was incredibly striking and Kieran did an amazing job differentiating between the two voices. The dark voice in Achilles’ head, or perhaps the crowd around him, beautifully countered by the loving voice of Patroclus. It’s the most powerful part of the song.
I’m in awe of this seven minute epic. A song for the history books. Kieran brought the story to life in a very real and moving way. I recommend giving it a listen.
You can find it here on Bandcamp.