The meaning of Spanish Sahara by Foals

I first heard Spanish Sahara on Misfits a few years ago. At first I liked this song because of the show itself, but as I became obsessed with the song and heard it on repeat, really listened to the lyrics, it took on a meaning beyond the show.

The lines that particularly haunt me:

Forget the horror here
Forget the horror here
Leave it all down here
It’s future rust and it’s future dust 

I cannot be sure about what the artist meant, but I like to assume that he is speaking about anxiety and depression. The feeling of losing control and falling apart, the constant noise in the head, the inability to breathe, the feeling that you are about to suffocate.

I’m the fury in your head
I’m the fury in your bed
I’m the ghost in the back of your head

As someone who is familiar with constant chaos in my head, these lines do speak to me.So perhaps the song is about finding that temporary oasis, where you are free of the ‘fury’ and the ‘horror’ – about peace and being able to breathe again.

It reminds me much of this painting:


(The Scream – Edvard Munch. Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway)

Just looking at the painting, one can feel the chaos in the artist’s mind. The world swirling around him, the utter feeling of terror and losing control, the colors mixing together representing that loss of control. Nothing’s structured anymore. The mind becomes a swirl of emotions, indescribable, but horrifying.

This is what the artist wrote about the inspiration behind the painting:

“I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous infinite scream of nature.”

No matter what it means, there’s such a beauty to the song that it makes it a emotionally resonant experience. I love the build up of the tempo from the start to end – it perhaps represents the constant debilitating ‘noise’ that comes with anxiety.

(By Misha)


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