“Heavy Bells” was almost featured this week as it’s been stuck in my head for the past three days, but instead, I opted for a song that I consider one of J. Roddy Walston and the Business’s most underrated gems. “Go Malachi” is the final track on the band’s first full-length album, Hail Mega Boys, released in 2007. Through some of the most poignant lyrics I’ve ever heard, the song describes the dissolution of a marriage resulting from the wife’s unfaithfulness. Interestingly enough, in the Bible, Malachi 2:10-16 deals with divorce. I can’t help but wonder if that’s what inspired the song title.
The members of J. Roddy Walston and the Business aren’t just awesome musicians; they are awesome storytellers, too. Their sound blends rock ‘n roll with the storytelling elements commonly found in country and folk music. In many of their songs, you’ll find a well-constructed narrative with lyrics that figuratively slap you in the face because they’re just that good. The story in “Go Malachi” isn’t a pleasant one, but it does end on a note of hopefulness, implying that in spite of the divorce, the narrator will “keep carrying on.” After all, perseverance is a necessary part of life. Sometimes life throws us lemons and curve balls. Sometimes life doesn’t throw them – people do. What matters most is that we remain strong and “keep carrying on” through the difficult times.
Hang on, I just realized something. Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. “Go Malachi” is the last song on the album. Is that a coincidence or am I reaching a little? Either way, this song was a very interesting way to close out the album.
What will we tell the kids? / I can’t go on like this, yeah / All I know is / You gotta keep, you gotta keep carrying on