Uneasy Listening: Helicopter by Deerhunter



I believe the songs that stay us with the most are ones that we connect to at an emotional level. This could be either because they convey a story that is very contextual and that we relate or because they tell a story that we strongly empathize with (even if we may not relate to it personally).

Helicopter by Deerhunter is a song that falls in the latter category. In Helicopter, frontman Bradford Cox tries to envision and communicate the thoughts of a young Russian named Dimitry Marakov during his last few days (read his tragic story here).

The lyrics do a remarkable job of capturing the isolation, fear and helplessness Dimitry must have felt towards the end of his life. Once the connection between the song title and Dimitry dawns on you, the helicopter sound in the song attains an ominous aura around it.

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Song lyrics

Take my hand and pray with me
My final days in company. The devil now
has come for me, and helicopters
circling the scene.

And i pray for rest.
Could you pray for us?
We know he loves you the best.
We know he loves you the best.


The light’s inside my cave.
I’m tired of my cave.
Oh these drugs they play on me these
terrible ways. They don’t pay like they
used to pay. I used to make it day to day.


No one cares for me. I keep no
company. I have minimal needs. And
now they are through with me.
now they are through with me.

While the song leaves me feeling deeply sympathetic and sad, it also makes me feel grateful for the kind of life I have. I think we get so caught in our lives that we over magnify the ‘problems’ we have; forgetting in the meantime how lucky we really are, given the kind of extreme difficulties that some people go through in their lives.

Let me know your thoughts on this song in the comments section below.

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