Really, Mark Lee should be writing this post. A couple weeks ago, he had the idea of doing a schmaltzy Terminator song, in the style of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” or “Everything I Do (I Do It For You).” He asked if anyone would be willing to help, and I told him to “keep me in the loop,” which means “good luck.” Then he sent me a demo version of the song, and it’s been in my head ever since. So in the end, I had no choice but to make this video.
Notice the armband he’s wearing?
This song, to me, is a prime example of “earony,” a word I coined to describe my feelings towards inspirational speeches. The word is a combination of “earnest” and “ironic.” With this song, Mark is clearly mocking monster ballads. At the same time, he clearly loves monster ballads to death. Thus, it’s an earonic song.
I like to imagine this whole backstory about lovers separated by nuclear disaster, searching for each other as they dodge exoskeletons. “How far would you go to find the one you love?” No wait, maybe we play it a little lighter. Poster shows an endless line of gleaming robots walking down Santa Monica Boulevard. Tagline: “The commute is killer today.”
But here’s something to Overthink: is the end credits monster ballad a thing of the past? Robin Hood was ’91, Armageddon was ’98. Nowadays, they end action movies with upbeat rock songs, not cigarette lighter-waving declarations of undying affection. Of course, maybe the monster ballad itself is an endangered species. The genre definitely peaked in the 80’s and early 90’s. I might argue that the high water mark for monster ballads was 1992, which gave us “November Rain” and “Bed of Roses.” But ’92 was also the breakout year for Nirvana. After Nevermind, rock became less glam, for better and for worse.
Anyway: Mark, you’re a rock star, plain and simple.
Lyrics after the jump.
I’m sleeping alone on this cold concrete floor
Another sad night in this sad robot war
On Judgment Day man and machine did collide
But even though billions of people have died
Somewhere out there tonight
You’re hugging your rifle so tight
I’ll find you, somehow, someway
In the rubble that once was L.A.
I’ll be back, no man no machine
Can keep me from you, I’ll always be true
I’ll be back, to finish the fight
And say “hasta la vista” to this lonely night
This vow I must take:
No fate but what we make
I’ll be back
Dogs they are barking, I know something’s wrong
He barely speaks English, his accent’s so strong
The cyborg attack took us by surprise
All the silvery skulls with their glowing red eyes
Skynet has torn us apart
And Judgement Day’s broken my heart
But I’ve got so much to give
Come with me if you want to live
I’d travel through time just to hold you again.
I’d take on a world of mechanical men.
Tonight Hunter-Killers keep watch from above
But nothing can Terminate our love.