Soldier of fortune


by Ishrak Ahmed Resham



The heavy metal pioneer Deep Purple, produced some of the most classic songs of all time in their best-selling Stormbringer album in 1974. This band is one of the still surviving names of metal today, even though all the original group members have changed since its inception in 1968.

‘Soldier of Fortune’ is a memorable and stunning melancholic acoustic song with vocal perfectly matched by the weary and time-battered voice of David Coverdale and dramatic guitar play by co-writer Richie Blackmore, one of the most distinguished guitarists in the modern music history.

Indeed I do find this a very depressing song and the song’s lyrics and mood say it all. My own interpretation of this song helped me to bring it closer to my heart. It felt to me that the song is about someone feeling hopeless and helpless, struggling and gripping on the demon within himself, feeling lost and committing himself to fate. I find this song significant and relevant because it is a satirical song about the Modern society, this is a song of people with unfulfilled dreams and challenges.

Most of those people’s passion for life has been lost and they are frantically struggling within to find meaning of their life. It is indeed so for a society like Bangladesh where urban middle class often feel their business or jobs are rather intimidating and taking a larger toll than it is compensating. As usual, these realities seem cruel just like David Coverdale, when he finds out that work replaces passion over a longer period of time, out of necessity if not spontaneity.

To me, the best part of this classic number has to be the lyrics and also the guitar play of Richie Blackmore. The song is short yet effective and you cannot but love the guitar solo after the first chorus where the best ever use of bends have been made. I actually love the whole song, starting from the intro to the very last second.

It is like one of those songs that you can listen to over and over again, always. Songs as such are rarely composed these days, attributing more value on these old gems. But I’m pretty sure that this song will live on for ages, as evergreen as it has always been.

Ishrak Ahmed Resham is a student of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology.

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