ARCADE FIRE – ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER
Abraham took Isaac’s hand and led him to the lonesome hill
While his daughter hid and watched
She dared not breathe, she was so still
Just as an angel cried for the slaughter, Abraham’s daughter raised her voice.
Then the angle asked her what her name was
She said, “I have none”
Then he asked how can this be?
My father never gave me one
And when he saw her raised for the slaughter
Abraham’s daughter raised her bow,
How darest you child defy your father?
You better let young Isaac go.
To be honest, I have’t actually listened to Arcade Fire’s music before, but considering that I am currently obsessed with The Hunger Games, I was looking forward to hearing their song.
When the song was officially released by Lionsgate, Arcade Fire stated in an interview that they were inspired by Abraham’s story in the Old Testament in the Bible.
Found in Genesis 22.1-18, the Bible tells the story of the sacrifice that God asks Abraham to make. In order to prove his loyalty and faith, God tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the mountain in Moriah, where he is to sacrifice Isaac as a form of thanksgiving. Abraham does as he is asked, but just as he is about to stab Isaac, an Angel of the Lord appears and yells at him to stop, stating that Abraham has proven himself, seeing that he is willing to offer his son to God.
This is one of the most unique songs that I have heard. But I have to admit, using the story of Abraham to tell Katniss Everdeen’s is ingenius! Anyone who is familiar with their Bible stories would immediately spot the similarities existing between them.
The song introduces us to a fictional character – Abraham’s Daughter. She follows her father and watches as he prepares to sacrifice Isaac. But at the last minute, she defy’s her father by raising her bow and demanding that Isaac be released.
Now, in terms of The Hunger Games, Isaac represents all the tributes who are forced to be sacrificed in the arena, to prove that the Districts remain loyal to the Capitol. Abraham’s daughter states that she doesn’t have a name, so it is only natural that she is assumed to represent Katniss. However, I have a different view on this assumption. Yes, she is Katniss, the bow being further evidence. She defy’s the Angel and saves Isaac just as Katniss defy’s President Snow and stops the Hunger Games for good. But I think that Abraham’s daughter is not just a symbol of Katniss. The fact that she’s nameless kept bothering me. Maybe its because she stands, not only as Katniss, but as every citizen who fights for justice. Yes, Katniss is the instigator, but it is the people who make it happen.
Okay, I do not know how deep Arcade Fire intended to go with the song, but when I first heard it and then re-played it over and over again, my thoughts kept digging deeper into all the possible meanings this song contains. It could also mean nothing of the sort
This is just my personal theory, and only because I love this song. I’m sure there are hundreds’s of fans out there who have their own interpretations.