In retrospect: “Kenny’s Lament”
Sometimes we do serious sounding, sad songs about things that aren’t so sad in reality. This is one of those. It’s a song about Kenny from South Park, inspired by the episode “Mysterion Rises,” in which Kenny actually shows emotions and self-awareness about his death experiences. I thought the writers of South Park handled that exceptionally well, and it inspired me to write this. I find this song to be in a very weird place because it’s a serious song about a South Park character. And South Park isn’t like… a serious thing. But since this song is almost two years old now, I think I can say that it sort of foreshadows a lot of the more serious songs that evoke death imagery on our upcoming album.
As for the music… it’s pretty solid, I think. Brendan came up with that and I connected with it immediately. It sounded painful and emotional to me… maybe because of that, I should have saved it for a better song idea than this. But it is what it is. I like all the keyboard stuff in here, too. With the exception of one of Brendan’s keyboard tracks, I played most of that stuff on MTSU’s MIDI lab equipment, and it was actually the first time I’d ever used my school’s MIDI stuff on our songs. Ever since, I’ve been going in there and using their MOTIF and Moog Voyager and all sorts of virtual instruments and things. So that really helped us. I also did a lot of small production things, like adding those heavy guitars in the second verse and using the organ and choir as sort of musical jokes. (Get it? When I say “organs on the road” an organ riff plays! Ah ha ha ha…) I’m not as big of a fan of the ending, even though Elaina Campbell (a very nice girl who was in my songwriting class at the time) did do a great job with those “Oh my God, they killed Kenny” vocal harmonies. But looking at the song now, I like how it isn’t obviously about Kenny McCormick for most of it. It could just be a song about death and resurrection from any perspective. But then that “oh my God they killed Kenny” ending comes in and just ruins any sort of mystique that the song may have had.
Jace McLain: vocals, keyboards guitars
Brendan Sheairs: guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Kyle Thorne: bass, backing vocals
Steve Goodie: drums, organ
Elaina Campbell: backing vocals