Saturday, November 12, 2005

Time for Another Flood


For a long time now, I've had a couple of extended works in mind. One of them I've mentioned before: the Codename Baby opera. (I just made that name up, just now. Whaddya think? No, I didn't think so, either. Still airballin'.) That work, of course, as envisioned, will cannibalize a bunch of my songs featuring the Baby character, drawing a tragic arc through those existing sets of lyrics. (I mean, it's opera, right? You ever hear of a happy opera? Right.)

Anyhow, while I didn't have it specifically in mind when I wrote this grim jeremiad, another project bouncing from the back burner to the warming tray and back again has been a novel or other work built around a powerful mega-preacher. I've toyed with it as the story of a crisis of faith, a murder mystery, a love story, an end-of-times thriller, a Faustian spinoff... I try to be flexible.

After I wrote this song, I realized it fit the fuzzy extended concept of that project, which eventually became known as the Flood project.

Approach it within whatever context your own mind cares to wrap around it -- including that of a plain ol' mad-as-hell rant against mankind, which, of course, at core, it is. (I get paid by the comma. You knew that, right?)

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Time for Another Flood

People think heaven is behind the sky
People thinking crazy things and not thinking why
They think the answer's going to fall from above
I think the answer is another flood

It's time, time for another flood
It's time, baby, time for another flood

People live in wickedness and dwell in greed
They'll murder their brother to get more than they need
They even rape the Mother and swim in her blood
I call on the Father for another flood

It's time, time for another flood
It's time, baby, time for another flood

All of this truth has all been a lie
Our immortal souls have already died
The time for salvation has come and gone
and all that's coming now is another flood

It's time, time for another flood
It's time, baby, time for another flood

(C)1991, TK Major

Friday, November 11, 2005

Someone Said Something

I'll keep it on the VCR and watch it over and over again...

So you're sitting in your favorite dimly lit cockail lounge in a strip mall not far from where you live and the local Eyewitness News comes on: coroner's men hauling a couple of bodies out the front door of a tiny bungalow.

Someone says, "Hey, Joe, ain't that your house?" And you look again, this time noticing the distinctive, worn-at-the heels cowboy boots sticking out from under a sheet. Your best friend's boots.

And you look at the other body and you don't need anyone to tell you your wife not only slipped back into her old habits but was slipping around when she did it.

Damn junkies, you mutter to yourself and then order a round for the bar.

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Someone Said Something

Someone said something
or I'd have never known
Someone said something
and I never went home

They found you In the arms of another man
the needle still in your vein
You finally transcended
Now you're cheating on a higher plane

Someone said something . . .

What are a few bad habits
between old friends?
You were a junky and a trollop
but I loved you to the end

Someone said something . .

Policemen and photographers
and a local station's mini-cam
I'll keep it on the VCR
and watch it over and over again

Someone said something
or I'd have never known
Someone said something
and I never went home

(C)1984, TK Major

[Updated: I'm just listening to Neil Young's "Words" and realize his use of "someone" and "something" in that song must have been a just-under-the-surface influence on the title phrase of this song. Interesting. I remember trying to figure out that song when I'd only been playing a year or two and being completely flummoxed by the odd time changes in the song. Listening, now, I'm thinking I still might be.]

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Goin' Home

Can you say recurring theme?

OK... can you say self-plagiarism?

I thought you could.

Anyhow, this intentionally vague bit of nonsense falls in with the previous AYoS entry, Angel's Vacation (and even steps off on that post's graphic) only working the alien side of the equation. If someone wanted to think of those songs (and perhaps others that momentarily escape me) as something of an homage to Nicholas Roeg's Man Who Fell to Earth, I wouldn't try to disabuse them of the notion. But they're not related to the rash of late 80s, early 90s angels movies, none of which I've seen.

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Wake up baby
turn your light down low...
I want ta see your pretty face
one more time before I go

They're coming for me in the morning
coming to take me home...
When you see that light in the sky
that's when you know I'm going home


When you see that light in the sky
that's when you know I'm going home...
Don't try to call me baby
cause they ain't got no telephone

(C)1991, TK Major

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

No Fool

No Fool

I wrote this riding my motorcycle home one lunch hour in 1980. Compton to the southern tip of Long Beach in 12 minutes. It wasn't something I did every day but, when you work in a big warehouse in Compton and you ride the bus 3 hours a day when it rains... sometimes it's almost like magic to be able to see the ocean and make a cheese sandwich in your own kitchen on your lunch hour.

I pulled up in front of the shoebox-sized apartment I had at the time on the Alamitos Peninsula, threw the bike up on the center stand and ran upstairs and grabbed a guitar and my notebook. (That's notebook, as in spiral-bound... this was 1980.)

Simple chords underlay the melody I'd had in my head... a modified 12 bar blues. There was another verse in between the current second and third, which I eventually dropped.

At the time, I was writing a lot of dark, cynical, and/or just plain depressing songs (imagine, if you will), many of which ended up performed by Machine Dog, the band some friends and I had formed. By contrast, this seemed almost cheerful, with its vaguely reggae feel and sappy, wait-by-the-telephone protagonist.

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Sitting all alone
by my telephone
Waited all day
but that's okay
I could wait all night
and that would be all right
for a woman like you
I would wait all my life

Sometimes I pull myself together
and I go downtown
I'm all dressed up
and I wander around
and I feel like a fool
I can't stop thinking of you
When you're all alone
this city's so cruel

I walk along the river
until the stars come out
I sit by myself alone in the dark
and I wonder
Oh yes I wonder
I'm just like a child
but I am no fool
I know it's over

(C)1980, TK Major

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tell It to Me in a Language That I'll Understand

Tell it to me in a language that I'll understand...

Not quite written on a bet, this song was an 'assignment' in a songwriter's workshop some pals and I had going for a few meetings.

And it probably shows some wrenchmarks... lacking any emotional inspiration, whatsoever, I fell back on the eternal pop music subject, lust. What I lacked in emotional investment, I probably tried to compensate for with attempted cleverness. And, as any man of the world knows, cleverness and lust are problematic collaborators.

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Tell It to Me in a Language That I'll Understand

Tell it to me baby
in a language that I'll understand
I don't speak french italian
hollandaise or hindustan
you look like a straight talkin' woman
why don't ya give it to me like a man

don't put it between the lines
I won't get the inference
don't get into that dialectical material
let's just split the difference
Why don't ya come right out and say it
and then let's see the evidence

I know ya got something to say to me doll
don't bother putting it in words
I think I know what you're thinking
only I think I thought of it first
I guess the question is
Can we fall in love right now
or do we gotta talk all night first?

(C)1990, TK Major

Monday, November 07, 2005

2 Dazed 2 Care

2 Dazed 2 Care

When I was writing this and when I originally recorded it, it was called "Poland" because I was so impressed with the crushing situation faced by Polish democrats in the face of the Russian-backed Polish Communist government's repressive tactics and inability to provide food and basic necessities to the Polish people.

But that was more a distancing metaphor for my own darker feelings. The giddy euphoria I had felt getting out of the hospital after 2 months after my motorcycle wreck quickly evaporated when I hit the bricks in my walker. While I soon exchanged the walker for a pair of crutches, and six months later a single cane -- I was, without my knowledge, walking on a broken leg. And from that point on, for several years, my leg didn't improve, but rather got worse.

(Second opinion, people. Get a real one -- not from the other docs in the group, no matter how "top flight" they supposedly are. I didn't sue but, for the sake of the community, I probably should have. Several years later, my doctor, a very nice man who I suspect had serious problems reintegrating into civilian life after training as a battlefield orthopedist in Vietnam, paralyzed a young man in a "routine" vertebrae fusion. The story was that he'd wanted to make sure the young man would be able to go back to his warehouse job. Very similar to my own story with the good doc -- he asked me if I wanted him to fuse my broken hip rather than reconstruct it as a functioning hip -- since the fused hip would be better for carrying heavy loads -- I, too, was a warehouseman at the time -- of course, with a fused hip, one would never be able to walk with anything even approaching a normal gait. Psycho. But a nice guy. He let me drink in the hospital -- even when I was on injections of morphine and demerol. Talk about yer warm and fuzzies. Then again, it wasn't any fun at all when I went straight from warm and fuzzy pain meds in the hospital to beer and whatever I could find around my girlfriend's place when I first got sprung. I kept reaching for that nurse call button...)

Anyhow, where was I... ah yeah, my leg was broken and aching all the time, almost a year and a half after the wreck. Throw that together with a stretch of destructive storms that seemed to go on all winter, compounding my physical misery, a disintegrating relationship with the girl I'd been seeing, and world political malaise -- and ya get this cheery little ditty...

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original 1982 dark new wave recording [soundclick page]


Turn down this street
back down that alley
there is no escape and there is no stalling

The future is here
and it's more of the past
All I remember
is falling and falling

Leave me alone
just let me be
with wounds this deep
they just have to bleed

Desperation is short supply
I used up my panic in the crises last year
It's hard to worry, it's hard to care
when you're so tired of anger
and you're so tired of fear

No point in crying, laughing or dreaming
no point in love, no % in fear
desperation is in short supply
so tired of anger
2 dazed 2 care

Copyright 1981
T.K. Major

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another Dead Soldier (in My War on Alcohol)

My war on alcohol

Okay... as promised, here's a song that recombines verses from yesterday's Blue Recollection with a similarly themed set of lyrics.

(And there's yet another song that incorporates some of the lyrics from this song -- but it won't likely be in AYoS because of a significant f-word problem -- it's in the title, it's in the chorus. Mumbling won't help. But, anyhow, that one's a love song.)

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Woke up this morning
wondering about last night
kinda think I coulda took some drink
but my memory just don't serve me right

Now the last thing I remember
You were walking out the door
My hand reached for the bottle
and then there ain't no more

Just another dead soldier
in the war on alcohol
put him with his brothers
line 'em up against the wall

Just another dead soldier
in my war on alcohol
I won't be satisfied
til I've killed them all

I lay awake at night, baby
but it ain't because of you
I'm just listening to the plaster crack
and the clock tick in the next guy's room

You're just a blue recollection
but that ain't nothing new
I'm gonna drown than memory
it'll be the last thing I do

Copyright 1982, T.K. Major