Derivakat’s album Songs of the SMP brings both emotion and clarification

Derivakat's

In February, Derivakat released a series of songs in connection with the Dream SMP storyline; each song has specific beats and lyrics referring to various members of the SMP which is a survival multiplayer Minecraft world.

One song might be referred to as dark and eerie, while another may be bright and cheerful, fitting with the Minecraft streamer or YouTuber it is about. I first began to notice the music on TikTok—like most of the music that I find. A particular song from the series, “Turn Back Time,” caught my attention instantaneously while scrolling through the “For You Page.”

Because I listened to “Turn Back Time” on repeat, I eventually became interested in discovering more songs from this project. There are eight songs in the series, all of which I have heard and loved. 

The first song was “Ain’t No Crying.” The piece is symbolic of the war between nations, both Manburg and Pogtopia. As I look back on the stream that I previously watched regarding the war, I find that the song’s words perfectly match the plot. In verse one, she sings, “What am I fighting for, whose side am I on?” This clearly states the choosing of sides between the two nations of the Dream SMP.

The lyrics also explain the hardships and disasters of reclaiming a nation. The chorus, “ain’t no crying ‘till the war’s done,” resembles pushing all emotions aside until the damage has been done. Overall, “Ain’t No Crying” had a melancholy and overall mournful nature.

Wake up drowning, waiting for recovery, all the ghosts, have left me in my misery.”

— Derivakat

The second song that was in the mix was “Syndicate.” This song resembles two characters on the Dream SMP, Technoblade and Philza, trying to recruit new members for their anarchist syndicate. Technoblade and Philza also play characters that hate the government and are trying to stop its corruption. In the lyrics, Technoblade tries persuading members of the SMP to join his side. The singer notes this by writing, “But if you join the Syndicate, life could get a little more fun.” The song didn’t strike me as much at first, but “Syndicate” had powerful words that summarize the two anarchists’ story for not being relatively short. I also admired the beat and the singing in the song; the rhythm was persuasive and mysterious, and Derivakat’s voice was drawn-out and alluring.

“Welcome Home” is the name of the next song sang by Derivakat. This song had to be the most meaningful to me. The lyrics resemble a time when a character from the SMP, Tommyinnit, was exiled. This was the most significant to me because I have watched every single stream while Tommy was in exile. The beginning starts with “wake up drowning, waiting for recovery, all the ghosts, have left me in my misery.”

These words reminded me of when Tommy would start each stream with him drowning in the ocean near the Island of Exile, feeling trapped and heartbroken.

“Welcome Home” made me emotional to the point where I sensed sadness. The words resembling a period of darkness for someone I have watched for a while and spent my time grieving for made me feel somewhat the same way Tommy would feel alone in exile. Besides the hopelessness, the song was additionally uplifting and powerful. It is perceived as a hope longing for home. 

The fourth song I gave attention to was “Blue.” At this very moment, I comprehended that harmony would prevail in Wilbur’s story. Wilbur Soot—also a member of the Dream SMP—has a close connection with the color blue. Wilbur’s famous lines are “have some blue, calm yourself,” which is also included in the chorus. The song is essentially about a blue sheep that he names Friend, the same sheep eventually dying in the war.   

The song was appropriately brief, but it brought much emotion to my mindset, mainly because Wilbur is one of my favorite role-play characters on the SMP. I understand that Friend brought an abundance of joy, as the sheep was the sole character who helped him as a ghost. The music was highly uplifting—more so than the previous songs I have listened to. However, it has a dark side by perceiving that Friend had died. 

“In My Head,” another song on the track, explains the relationship between Dream and Ranboo. Derivakat claims that Ranboo hears Dream’s voice inside his head, deciphering that Ranboo is the traitor, but Ranboo tries to fight the voices and block them out. The lyric “It’s all in my head now, but it’s all just the same” states that Ranboo’s character believes Dream’s voice is nothing more than just an apparition. It does seem to affect him in any way, however. This is because Ranboo keeps telling himself that everything will be fine, while underneath it all, he understands that it won’t be.

The melody reminds me of Halloween, knowing that the album’s cover is filled with ghosts. The ghosts on the cover must be portraying Dream’s voices filling Ranboo’s listening mind. All in all, this song was not my top pick. I believe this is because Ranboo is not my favorite role-play character, but I still find acceptance towards the meaning and what the theme is conveying.  

“Kiss Your Dreams Goodbye” left me satisfied, for the lyrics had a literal meaning connected to all components of the roleplay. Two of the song’s utmost lines are “they’re calling me heartless, but I don’t care anymore,” regarding the fact that Dream doesn’t dismay affection for any of his “friends” and the objects that make them happy. “Keep you in the dark” refers to Tommy’s exile and keeping him away from what he adores most: his friends and his home. 

This song rang full of death and disloyalty towards the people that you once loved. It gave me a rush of adrenaline as the rhythm kept moving faster with each verse. It moreover made me feel powerful, as though I was singing as Dream makes his last move. 

Then the song that I had been waiting for all along, “Turn Back Time.” At first, I had no clue what the lyrics meant, but I finally understood once I listened to it unitedly. The song illustrates a time traveler, Karl Jacobs, as he progresses through the SMP and meets new people, making new memories along the way. The chorus, “all these memories, discoveries, these fantasies, they stay with me,” represents that, once he discovers a unique place in the SMP, it might lead him to misery or, conversely, a happy ending. This will stay with him as he travels further. Hearing the song again reminded me of the bubbly, lively feeling that it gave to me. When the music was playing, I wasn’t paying too much attention because I was singing instead of tuning in.  The harmonizing was blocked out, but I could still hear the Outerspace-like music in the back, the kind of tunes you could imagine on a UFO.     

The final song, “4 AM,” was the one I related to most. It was a song sung for people like me who constantly watch streamers. The theme was somewhat simple but had meaning. To close it off, Dreviakat topped it with a song all Dream SMP watchers could relate to, whether you stay up until 4 AM observing your favorite streamers or just watching during the day. Not only could I connect to this song, but it tied together with the significance of the entire collection.