Arcade Fire - Abraham's Daughter, Hunger Games

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Martial beat with girl-choir. Defiance and survival.

Arcade Fire - Abraham's Daughter Buy at amazon

A song from the ending credit in the movie The Hunger Games (2012). The song is by Arcade Fire, a band from Montreal, Canada. This song is called Abraham's Daughter . Sung by Arcade Fire member Régine Chassagne.

Rolling Stones described the song perfectly. Quote:

Count on Arcade Fire to throw a funeral at the multiplex. Their haunting, cathedral-huge battle hymn for “Hunger Games” updates a Civil War-era song about volunteers giving their lives for the Union, adding a ghost-children chorale led by Régine Chassagne, a martial pulse and lyrics about “angels crying for the slaughter.” It's some of the starkest, and creepiest, music the band has ever made -- chamber rock strewn with black bunting and dipped in goth war paint.

[Rolling Stone Reviews: Arcade Fire “Abraham's Daughter” By Jon Dolan. At , accessed on 2012-08-21 ]


etymology of bunting

“light woolen stuff loosely woven, flag-material,” 1742, of uncertain origin; perhaps from a dialectal survival of Middle English bonting “sifting,” verbal noun from bonten “to sift,” because cloth was used for sifting grain. The Middle English verb is via Old French, from Vulgar Latin *bonitare “to make good,” from Latin bonus “good” (see bonus).

[2020-06-08 from]

Here's the lyrics.

Abraham's Daughter

Abraham took Isaac's hand
And led him to the lonesome hill
While his daughter hid and watched, she dare not breathe.
She was so still.
Just as an angel cried for the slaughter,
Abraham's daughter raised her voice.
Then the angel 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 with his sword upraised for the slaughter.
Abraham's daughter raised her bow.
How darest you child defy your Father?
You better let young Isaac go.

Abraham was Israel's founding father; his story is told in chapters 11-25 of the Book of Genesis, and he plays a prominent role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (together known as Abrahamic religions)

At some point in Isaac's youth, Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son up as a sacrifice in the land of Moriah. The patriarch traveled three days until he came to the mount that God told him of. He commanded the servants to remain while he and Isaac proceeded alone into the mount. Isaac carried the wood upon which he would be sacrificed. Along the way, Isaac asked his father where the animal for the burnt offering was, to which Abraham replied “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering”. Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, he was interrupted by “the angel of the LORD”, and he saw behind him a ram “caught in a thicket by his horns”, which he sacrificed instead of his son. For his obedience he received another promise of numerous descendants and abundant prosperity. After this event, Abraham went to Beersheba. (Genesis 22:1–19)

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 035
Rembrandt, Sacrifice of Isaac, 1635.
hunger games katniss peeta
A scene in “Hunger Games”. Katniss Everdeen (by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (by Josh Hutcherson) Hunger Games

For another song inspired from Bible, see: Portishead ♪ Wandering Stars.

Operatic Fantasy