Download “The Death of a Meme.mp3

(Want the sheet music?)

So this is how it ends.

After all this time.

You and me, together --

The last believer

And the one you still believe in.

I listen to you pray,

Asking me for peace.

Asking my forgiveness

For all the ways

In which you think you’ve disappointed.

But I’m the one to beg forgiveness,

For I’m the one who’ll soon be

Disappointing you.

I cannot bring you peace.

I cannot answer prayers.

I’ve never been a god --

Just a meme . . .

Don’t get me wrong,

It was a hell of a time while it lasted.

I could hardly have landed

On more fertile soil.

Conditions were right

And my story took hold

And the people began to believe.

I watched as the

World’s population exploded.

And strong competition

Allowed me to thrive.

And unlike the pantheons past,

I was “God-with-a-capital-G,”

So I alone shaped the

Wonders of Nature!

I alone knew the

Myst’ries of Life!

I created the Universe

Because people believed!

And they said I made

Miracles happen

And they thanked me for

Answering prayers,

Back when there were still

People like you

Who believed I could do

What they said I could do . . .

But now we’re at the end.

Vital signs are poor.

Breathing getting ragged.

The final stages

Of internal organs failing.

I know you have the strength to face this.

I know because your strength has

Never come from me.

It’s always been in you.

I hope that that’s okay.

I thank you for your faith.

(A note:  While it could be anyone to serve in this particular role, in my mind, the “last believer” in this song is a “she,” and she’s elderly and dying of natural causes.)

When I listen to Jason Robert Brown’s King of the World, I interpret it as being sung by one of the “old” gods -- a god that used to have “tides to control” and “moons to spin and stars to ignite,” but now exists impotently in limbo because no one believes in him any longer.

This has happened many times.  For example -- at some point, the gods of the Greek pantheon passed from being a driving force in people’s lives to merely being characters in a mythology book (engendering test questions that high school students get wrong on quizzes).  Countless other religious memes have similarly reached the end of their reigns of influence.

So -- when tasked with writing a song about “the last day of work” -- I decided to fast-forward us all to the day when that happens to the Judeo-Chrisian-Islamic god.  The day when God no longer has any useful tasks to perform, and the day when the human race no longer has the job of hosting this particular meme . . .


(By the way.  My favorite line?)

“I created the Universe because people believed!”