Aedan Peterson’s “The End Did Come” and Thwarted Expectations

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How often do we find ourselves saying, whether out loud or in our heads, Nothing came of it?

In high school, I spent most of my free time playing tennis. I was decent, and thought that with enough practice, I might play in college. I still remember key matches that left me either exuberant or in tears. I remember obeying and disobeying coaching. I remember looking over to the stands after hitting a good shot, hoping that my girlfriend was watching.

That was eight years ago. I hardly pick up my racket twice a year now. And I haven’t talked to that girl since we broke up in 2016.

Nothing came of it.

I write this from Nashville, the City of Nothing Came of It. The walls of coffee shops are plastered with posters of bands that broke up two years ago. I have countless friends who, after releasing a few songs and playing two shows, have settled into marketing and coding jobs. Even the old industrial buildings downtown have all been turned into blue-collar-themed breweries and upscale bars and one overpriced duckpin bowling alley. The Titans were supposed to be good last year, but they finished 6-11.

Nothing came of it.

For all of our planning, we humans are not gifted at telling the future, hard as we try, bless our hearts. We invest wholeheartedly in things that fail, and we claim that our next move will be a big one.

To use indie artist Aedan Peterson’s example in “The End Did Come”, we’re like the self-proclaimed prophet who said the world was going to end on August 22nd.

The old man with the sign out
Saying we’re all gonna die now
The end is coming soon
And it’s all gonna happen
On August 22nd
An apocalypse at noon

Nothing came of it
Nothing came of it

August 23rd rolled around. Nothing changed.

Nothing came of it.

Peterson’s song wields a double-edged sword of piercing sarcasm and frank humility. In one stroke, he laughs about the old man who has been made to look silly. In the next, he holds himself to the same condemning standard:

That’s when she asked me
“What happened to the masterpiece
You were always gonna do?”

Nothing came of it
Nothing came of it

It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? But you and I aren’t immune. None of us have had our expectations met, whatever they were. The plans we make with certainty are often disrupted with ease, thwarted as if the earth is merely shrugging us off.

The song, produced by Asher Peterson (Aedan’s brother), carries this irony with the same ease, drifting along with the calm momentum of a plucky guitar, never getting too big for its britches, letting Aedan’s voice do the heavy lifting. It sounds like the day after a letdown: stripped bare, with only the necessary truth still kicking things along.

And if the song has a point, that’s it. The day after our expectations are dashed is the day we’re finally afforded perspective. It’s a gift, not a curse. The end did come, just not the end we planned for. Either I can let my dreams “drown me like a deadweight,” or I can accept it.

We’re all made to look silly. It’s up to us to join in the joke after its been told.

The post Aedan Peterson’s “The End Did Come” and Thwarted Expectations appeared first on Two Story Melody.

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