Serpents - Sharon Van Etten

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by cassrclark
Last updated 6 years ago

Arts & Music

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Serpents - Sharon Van Etten

Serpents (Basement) -- Sharon Van Etten

When this song begins playing at the end of the episode, our protagonist, Rick Grimes, has just told one of the members of his group that she must leave along the lines that she killed members of their group. Although this woman, Carol, was motivated to kill them to save the other members of the group from sickness, Rick believes this is his only choice to banish her if he wants to keep the group and his family safe.As the song plays, we see Rick watch Carol drive off into the distance and then see him driving back home alone, clearly distressed by what he was forced to do. The lyrics and the music itself reflect this.


Songwriter Bio

Sharon Van Etten is a 34 year old singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. After going on tour opening for Meg Baird, lead singer of the band Espers in 2008, she released her first album in 2009. She has released four albums since, her third, Tramp, making it to number 75 on Billboard's Top 200. A number of her songs have also been featured in well-known television shows such as Elementary, Boardwalk Empire, and The Walking Dead.

Why I Like It

When I first watched the episode of the Walking Dead in which this song was featured, I immediately paused the show to look up what the song was. The quality of Van Etten's voice and the simple guitar just drew me in. The more I listen to the song, the more I enjoy it. The song starts in a somewhat calm, melancholy place, but builds to a more angry state throughout the song as the lyrics in turn grow angrier. So, although the melody repeats a number of times through the song, each repeat is meaningful and interesting. The lyrics "everything changes" repeated over and over is actually quite meaningful and fits in really well with the scene it overlays in the television show.


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