Singled Out: Christian Hansen
Our band was originally formed in Edmonton, Alberta. There, the winter's are particularly brutal and the drivers drive particularly dangerously, especially on the ice covered stretch of road that connects Edmonton to Calgary. It's know as the QE2 or the Queen Elizabeth Highway. It's a road that our band drove many times, and each time my mind was tortured by the myriad of crosses and home made memorials that line the side of the road. They're all markers of people that have died in wrecks on that road, created by their grieving family members. Sometimes the little crosses are well maintained and last forever. Other times they linger, getting progressively more weather-beaten until they eventually become the ricketty bones of a memory.
Each time we drove past those crosses it got me thinking how awful it would be to go through that, and I think to deal with my fear, my mind started to formulate a song about it. I just imagined one story out of the hundreds. A young couple driving down the QE2 in the middle of the winter. The man thinking he was an excellent driver but making a fatal mistake on the ice covered road and sending the car rolling. The accident kills him, but the woman survives. Here's where it gets really bad: The man sticks around. Even though he's dead, he can't really move on. He is a ghost. He follows his love around as she recovers from the accident and deals with his death. He sticks around to see her eventually begin driving again. He haunts her back seat and remembers all the details about their life in cars: the way she crosses her legs in the passenger seat, the tightness of the seat belts etc. He sticks around long enough to see her find a new love and to see her and her new love driving down the same stretch of road that killed him. Only this time, it's in the middle of summer. The road is clear. The weather is fine. Life goes on.
I guess this is what the song is really about: getting left behind; seeing everyone around you move on and being powerless to do so yourself. As a ghost haunting your own life, you'll replay all the details, wondering what could've been different and how you should have done things. Ma-Me-O is a beach community that you can access off the QE2. In the song, the girl is on her way there, with her new love and her new life. It's summertime and her dead love is just a bad memory. At the end of the day, all my songs are about my fears. Perhaps my worst fear is being separated from the woman I love: a ghost in her back seat, to suborn to move on.