M*A*S*H*: Theme song still resonates with youth

Still relevant
M*A*S*H* continues to affect hearts today.

Licensed for reuse under Wikimedia Commons.

Still relevant M*A*S*H* continues to affect hearts today.

Hannah Uranich, Columnist

I recently came across some reruns of the classic M*A*S*H. After watching more than a few episodes, I was hooked, and the show’s theme song—“Suicide is Painless,” written by fourteen-year-old Mike Altman—was stuck in my head.

The lyrics illustrate a sorrowful disposition to life. For many people that are in pain or who are depressed, death seems to be an option for them that will relieve them of their suffering.

The title of the song seems to coincide with this idea. It reinforces the thought that suicide is an option for ending the pain.

I believe that this song is an analogy for how people who contemplate suicide feel. They put on a brave face each and every day and maybe do not seek out help or try to talk to someone about what they are feeling.

This represents the instrumental of the song: it is happy, catchy, and upbeat. However, it hides the deep sadness and seriousness of the lyrics.
The lyrics represent how a true a person who is contemplating suicide feels and how they hide the darkness they feel within themselves, shielding it from the outside world.

In the song Altman writes, “The game of life is hard to play / I’m gonna lose it anyway” again refers to hopeless feeling of the situation those who are in torment go through—the dejected sense of not being able to change themselves or anything in their lives.

The song is the perfect fit for the television series as both have cheery overtones with an underlying feeling of despair. Amidst all the pranks that the characters play on each other, the seriousness of the war and the constant possibility of death break up the good times.

The lesson that can be learned is that despite the title of the song, suicide is not painless and it certainly does “bring on many changes,” like the song says. It changes everything and everyone.

What needs to be remembered is that no matter how bad things seem, one has to find the little joys and laughs throughout life.

That every single person is important and has a purpose.