Friday, December 14, 2018

Do We Make Choices Or Do Choices Make Us?

To Kill a King’s emotional anthem “Choices” from their 2014 album Cannibals With Cutlery provides the listener with a beautiful snapshot of the deterioration of a relationship. While it’s easy to get goosebumps from nearly every song off of this album, frontman Ralph Pelleymounter’s songwriting abilities shine front and center in “Choices”. Pellymounter opens with the striking line
I never took away your crutch
Just became it day by day
Pellymounter is speaking to a partner in a past relationship. His use of past tense language clearly informs the reader that the relationship has ended, and this song is a message to his ex. In said relationship, he confesses that he never took away his partner’s “crutch”, but over time took it’s place. His use of the word “crutch” is interesting, as crutches are not known for being particularly sturdy or helpful in the long term. He is saying that he never was a truly strong support system, but rather a temporary one. Pellymounter continues by lamenting that
This is how the summer ends
This line suggests that his relationship or love for this person is fleeting, much like the summer. The next verse contains a very small shift, but a very impactful one.
You never took away my crutch
Just became it day by day
Here the writer is acknowledging that he was not the only one playing a part in their unhealthy, unstable relationship. His partner also served as a crutch, never truly providing support, or providing only superficial support. He is basically saying with the first few lines of the first two verses that they had a very unhealthy relationship, enabled by both parties, wherein they could not function without the other person. After a dynamic shift in the song itself, with the beat increasing, the lyrics experience a tone shift with the introduction of the first chorus.
I, I had the same choices as you do
As you do
And you fall
Fall like I knew you would
Lead me down, down, down
Pellymounter now reveals that after the end of the relationship, him and his partner were both in the same position emotionally. He made the conscious choice not to fall into despair or other unhealthy behaviors with his ex-partner. He rejects the idea of being dragged down with them. After the chorus, Pellymounter continues to give examples of unhealthy behaviors in his relationship.
I never showed you what I want
You never told me what you need
A match bursting into flames
And all is dust soon enough
Eyes are open finally
Their lack of communication in the relationship was truly what caused it’s demise. Without both people being unhappy and not getting what they need, they could not continue. The match referred to in this line may symbolize some life or passion in the relationship, but not anything sustainable, as it will end up turning everything into dust. Pellymounter’s eyes are finally open to the toxicity of his relationship.


  1. This was very well done, you went into great detail about the lyrics of the song.

  2. Great analysis. I think my favorite part is the title. It's clever.