The Deadpool movies are known first and foremost for showcasing some brutal, zany humor more than anything else. But Deadpool 2 hit the audience hard with a harsh dose of personal tragedy for Wade Wilson right out the gate. Out of a desire to capture the emotional rawness of the opening scene and the message that it would carry for the entire duration of the film, the song “Ashes” was created, recorded by none other than the Canadian dame Celine Dion herself.

Lyrics courtesy of “Genius“.

What’s left to say?
These prayers ain’t working anymore
Every word shot down in flames
What’s left to do with these broken pieces on the floor?
I’m losing my voice calling on you

‘Cause I’ve been shaking
I’ve been bending backwards till I’m broke
Watching all these dreams go up in smoke

Let beauty come out of ashes
Let beauty come out of ashes
And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?

Can you use these tears to put out the fires in my soul?
‘Cause I need you here, woah

‘Cause I’ve been shaking
I’ve been bending backwards till I’m broke
Watching all these dreams go up in smoke

Let beauty come out of ashes
Let beauty come out of ashes
And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?

Can beauty come out of ashes?

In the context of Deadpool 2, “Ashes” speaks to the core of the main character’s trauma in the aftermath of such horrific loss. This song can easily be interpreted as Wade Wilson’s desperate plea for something good to come out of his grief. In hindsight, “Ashes” also has clever juxtaposition with Avengers: Infinity War;  “Ashes” can be interpreted as the survivors collectively wailing for anything good to come out of the senseless genocide that happens at the end of the movie.

Outside of these movies, Celine Dion’s power ballad can be applied to anybody’s life. We’ve all had times in our lives when we felt broken and desperate to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At our lowest points, we cry out for an end to our suffering, for a break from our pain, for rejuvenation after being crippled for so long. “Ashes” mournfully captures that sentiment and expresses it through Celine Dion’s powerful yet somber vocals.

The Eye of the Storm

I actually discovered this gorgeous song not through Deadpool 2, but from a fan-made music video. A fan of World of Warcraft created an incredibly emotional music video set to the tune of “Ashes” while portraying the story of the game novel Before the Storm. To quickly summarize the plot, at this point in the story of WoW, the two major factions (the Alliance and Horde, backed by the young king Anduin Wrynn and unscrupulous undead elf Sylvanas Windrunner respectively) are coming close to an all-out war. In an attempt to diffuse tensions, Anduin sends an envoy to Sylvanas suggesting that her willing undead Forsaken be allowed to reunite with their still-living relatives, in an event that the novel dubs “The Gathering”. The music video does a tragically well-done job of explaining what happens.

As you can see, “The Gathering” turned into a tragedy, all because Sylvanas Windrunner prioritized her control over her people rather than their lives. At her orders they all perished, all because they wanted to be permanently reunited with their living loved ones.

The final, haunting image in this portrayal of “Ashes” has the lone, resurrected priestess Calia Menethil standing side-by-side with two of her closest allies: Jaina Proudmoore (one of Calia’s closest friends) and King Anduin. The three of them look on mournfully at the desecrated ruins of Calia’s home, the Capital City of Lordaeron, reduced to a plague-filled shell of its former self after Sylvanas ultimately fled from it. This is actually a reference to what happens in the game itself. When the Alliance vengefully attacks Capital City to reclaim it, Sylvanas and her Forsaken flee, but not before the “Banshee Queen” fills the city with a plague to render the it uninhabitable.

Ironically, both “Ashes” and this music video have juxtaposition with an old cinematic from WoW‘s predecessor game, Warcraft 3.  In this scene, it’s revealed that Calia’s younger brother Arthas Menethil, the protagonist of Warcraft 3‘s “Human Campaign” and sovereign prince of Lordaeron, has turned traitor. At the end of this cinematic, he utters a chilling line that offers an unwitting parallel with the final scene of the aforementioned music video.

“This kingdom shall fall, and from the ashes shall arise a new order that will shake the very foundations of the world!” -Arthas Menethil

But even in the ashes of all of the horrors that befell it, hope remains for Lordaeron yet, with the return of Calia to her homeland, a ray of hope in a desolate time. So too do we all have hope no matter what. Because as the game’s newest expansion Battle for Azeroth states and shows numerous times, no matter what happens, hope never truly dies.