Song of the Moment: “Set the Fire to the Third Bar”

I first heard this song by Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright a couple of months ago at a party, and it’s been haunting me since I started listening to it on Spotify this weekend. There’s something kind of hypnotic about it.

Certain lyrics from this song have taken up residence in my brain and won’t leave. But they’re interesting houseguests:

I hang my coat up in the first bar
There is no peace that I’ve found so far
The laughter penetrates my silence
As drunken men find flaws in science

And after I have traveled so far
We’d set the fire to the third bar
We’d share each other like an island
Until, exhausted, close our eyelids

If Wikipedia is to be believed, “setting the fire to the third bar” means turning the heat up, I assume metaphorically in this case. The lyrics are full of imagery about fire and warmth as opposed to cold, and although it’s now March and spring is supposedly on its way, it’s flurrying as I write this. So this seems like an appropriate song for this time of year.

Have a listen. I’m actually not crazy about this music video, though- it’s not how I picture the song in my head. Damn you for not reading my mind, music video director!

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