“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (1976) written and sung by lead guitarist Donald Roeser from the rock band Blue Oyster Cult redefines the process of death as an eternal embrace of love into the afterlife rather than an agonizing moment that you are dreading.
Death is extremely scary to most people because of how unpredictable it is, but having the courage to accept it makes the process much less painless. People leave the Earth fearing the ‘end’ of their lives but forget the journey they just had and the new one they’re about to start. The song’s message correlates with Emily Dickonson’s poem, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” in that death(The Reaper) came to someone unexpectedly; however, death is portrayed as a gentle and easygoing man as he leads his lover into eternity.
The song begins with:
All our times have come
Here, but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the Sun, or the rain
In nature, death is viewed as a normal process in the circle of life. But modern human society has portrayed it to be a painful event that must be avoided at all costs. This phrase eases the minds of listeners and reminds them that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Getting caught up in your own human nature causes people to forget that they came into the world where Earthly nature rules.
Come on, baby (Don’t fear the reaper)
Baby, take my hand (Don’t fear the reaper)
We’ll be able to fly (Don’t fear the reaper)
Baby, I’m your man (Don’t fear the reaper)
The chorus directly follows the first few lines of the song implying that “The Reaper” wants to join in nature with his lover but can’t unless she is willing. This reassurance encourages her to take a leap of faith and join death as they fly away to heaven.
Valentine is done
Here but now they’re gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity
Their time on Earth may have ended but their love has moved on toward’s a greater existence that exceeds mortal nature. Romeo and Juliet signify their love by dying together but it doesn’t necessary mean that suicide brought them closer. It is Romeo’s soul who leaves first but waits for Juliet to cross over so they can be together. They wanted to love each other while alive but because their love is so strong they are able to find each other in the afterlife.