Welcome to our ‘The Truth Behind the Song’ feature. For this feature, we’ve asked a number of our favourite artists to give us in-depth piece about a song that has a special place in their heart. Today we feature the brilliant The Danberrys, who gives us an insight into the meaning behind ‘Francis’.
I started writing “Francis” during a time when I was exploring the life of a Catholic priest from the 16th century named Francis Borgia. Several years ago, I started having visceral experiences of “being” this man during meditation. Those experiences sent me on a deep dive into reincarnation, past lives, esotericism, consciousness, karma, and ultimately into myself. When the lyrics and melody of “Francis” started taking shape, I was integrating those lessons and information into my experience of what I believe is a personal and collective spiritual revolution taking place around us right now.
Francis was known for his humility, but his words and deeds looked more like the product of overwhelming guilt and shame to me. He fervently believed in our unworthiness of God’s love, and he was a pioneer of the self-flagellation practices of the Jesuit priests. He was sainted by the Catholic church, but, to me, it’s clear that he taught from a place of woundedness instead of enlightenment and that he was instrumental in spreading a legacy of spiritual shame and fear.
The song draws an imagined continuum between his life and mine – what if I and/or others have come bearing the karma of his life with the goal of unwinding the toxic legacy of his time. The first verse of the song is meant to paint a parallel between the lives of a young boy and a young girl, having the same experience in two different lives. The second verse brings those two perspectives into the mind of one child feeling helpless and alone in a scary world. The chorus speaks to the promise of a new day, the beginning of a new cycle with the “end of days”, an opportunity to let go of the weight of the past and step into the truth of our divine nature. Francis is a song about holding onto that larger vision and seeing our existence as a never-ending cycle of opportunities to receive grace and find redemption. It’s about hope and faith. And love.