I was recently listening to The Academy Is... song, "Down and Out." While a truly heart breaking song, I can't help but love it. The story of an mistreated girl taking control of her life gets me every time. The line, "Why do you wear sunglasses in the home when the sun went down about an hour ago?," at first made me think of someone being abused and trying to cover up the marks. When I thought about this some more I realized that it also showed that she was hiding from herself behind something. The song does not signify who the abuser is (boyfriend, parent?) but it is still just as powerful. "Always up or down," could be describing the relationship. It is either extremely happy or much more sad. I think that "You dream of demons while you sleep that make you stutter when you speak" shows that the girl worries about what will happen in the relationship. This could cause her to have nightmares and/or worry about and become hesitant of the things she does. "Speak now or forever hold your peace in pieces" describes her need to tell someone, but she hesitates to because she worries about what will happen if she does.
Originally written October 1, 2008