As anti-government protests rage in Bahrain, the mood of its citizens is “triumphant” and “warlike,” if the music they are listening to is any indication.
The most popular song in Bahrain within the past hour or so according to Last.fm is Fates Warning’s “The Ivory Gate of Dreams pt. 3,” a heavy metal song that appears quite indicative of the mood in that country (lyrics and full track playback below).
Lastmood.fm, a tool developed at Music Hack Day New York, ascertains the mood of all of the countries in the world in near-real-time, based on the most popular song there using Last.fm’s popular audioscrobbler, which monitors what users are listening to in their media players, devices, and on-demand music services.
After determining the most popular song in Bahrain, Lastmood.fm checked The Echo Nest’s API (TEN publishes Evolver.fm) to determine its mood based on its key signature. “The Ivory Gate of Dreams pt. 3″ is in D-Major, which means that in addition to the song’s aggressive tone and revolutionary lyrics, the song is in the most “triumphant” key signature according to music researchers and scholars.
The German poet Christian Schubart described that key as “the key of triumph, of Hallelujahs, of war-cries, of victory-rejoicing; [t]hus the inviting symphonies, the marches, holiday songs and heaven-rejoicing choruses are set in this key.” Marc-Antoine Charpentier characterized it as “joyous and very warlike,” while Sir John Hawkins wrote that it was wrought with “martial ardor.”
The lyrics to the most popular song in Bahrain within the last hour are also quite telling:
Daylight dreamers awaken on
Deserts of desperation
Lonely lives learn to live on
islands of isolation
Surrounded by violent oceans
of hate and hopeless sorrows
Daylight dreamers envision
tranquil seas in safe tomorrows
Dreaming through the darkened day
Along tempest torn strands
Desperately grasping the grains
of hope that flit through our hands
As they fall we tighten our hold
While the waves claim the final few
taken without ceremony
They drift out of view
Washed away with the tides of time
Slipped through our fingers as dreams do