Saturday, March 11, 2006

The love I felt for you is like a frozen photograph [Circuit Breaker]

[CIrcuit Breaker]

A day ago -- an hour ago -- he would have given up anything for her. He would have quit his job, broke up his band, dropped out of school, given away his dog... ok, not the dog. But we're talking highest mountain stuff, here.

And yet now here he was staring at her carpet between the toes of his boots, thinking, I don't feel anything.

And he didn't. Or, maybe, really, what he felt was nothing. There seemed to be a whole lot of nothing smack in the middle of his life, a life that only a few hours ago had seemed troubled but full, but now seemed on the verge of imploding.

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Circuit Breaker

Honey there's a circuit breaker
deep inside my heart
late last nite I felt the whole thing blow
I felt all my feelings stop

Isn't it amazing, doll
how fast it all can change
the twitch of a tiny hand
and today is yesterday

The love l felt for you
was like a frozen photograph
where you watch the ghosts appear
baby, step into the past

Isn't it amazing, doll...

Wasnt there forever
at least for a little while
wasnt there a time for us
too bad that's out of style

Isn't it amazing, doll
how fast it all can change
the twitch of a tiny hand
and today is yesterday

Friday, March 10, 2006

Out of the endless depths of time... [Big Nasty World]

Big Nasty World

We might have been drinking in the kitchen of room 7 at the old Hussongs Motel on the beach north of Ensenada. It was stormy outside and waves crashed on the rocky beach. Inside, there was a warmth fueled by liquor.

Empty tequila bottles littered the table and it was at that point of the evening that the conversation turns to the rareified...

Someone asked me if I liked any religious music. I said sure. Everything from Bach to gospel to Sufi trance music.

He wondered what drew me to some of the music I did like.

And I said, Well, I like songs of struggle more than songs of praise -- but sometimes songs of praise are paradoxically transcendant.

At which point my friend passed out and I finished off the bottle.

The song below is about the struggle to maintain faith in a troubled world. It puts that struggle in frank lyrics. (Lyrics I couldn't quite get out correctly this time around.)

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I wake up each morning
and I reach for my bible
I reach for my razor
and I reach for my gun

I reach for the dream
I was dreaming last night
but each single morning
that dream is gone

'cause it's a
big nasty world
a terrible place
It's hard to stay alive
and it's hard to keep the faith

its a rotten world
a grim shabby place
but out of the endless depths of time
you're here today

I'm tired of living
and I'm tired of dying too
I'm tired of tomorrow
and all the shhh that I've been thru
I'm tired of forever
and I'm tired of yesterday
I'm tired of never
and the man the child became

'cause it's a big nasty world...

I used to love ya baby
and you know that's true
I used to love God
and you know that too
I used to myself
It was the hardest of all
I loved the whole GD world
but that was before the Fall

'cause it's a
big nasty world
terrible mean place
It's hard to stay alive
and it's hard to keep the faith

its a rotten world
a grim shabby place
but out of the endless depths of time
honey, you're here today

(C)1992, 2006, TK Major

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Eternity is where parallel lines meet and all lies are true... [Kristin]

Kristin (Was Never Here)

He had it pretty good until he met her.

Neither of them meant for anything to happen. She had kids, a husband. Her husband loved her, took care of her and the kids. And she loved her husband, too, but...

He wish he'd looked down and saw her ring instead of looking straight into her pale, blue eyes that first day. After that, it was too late.

They tried to be just good friends but he could feel the gravitational force between them, pulling so hard it distorted time and space around them.

One day he knew he had to leave.

He wrote her a long letter and put it in the mail the morning he was leaving. But the fates decided to get fancy... the mailman, recognizing the address, delivered the letter directly, at about the same time his clutch blewout in front of his apartment house. He had the car, packed up to move, towed to a local shop and he was sitting on the stoop of his empty apartment when she showed up.

Her eyes were puffy. She sat on the stoop next to him in the early afternoon sun. Her knee bumped awkwardly against his, more gesture than accident.

"I have to go, you know," he said, looking at her Taurus in the street absently.

"I know. I'm sorry."

He could see the child's safety seat and some kid's toys in the back seat.

She reached across and lightly pulled his face toward hers. Before he knew he was kissing her. In public. On his stoop. In broad daylight.

It was a strangely innocent kiss -- but a passionate kiss, too, even in its bittersweet deilcacy.

She got up, didn't say anything, walked to her car, got into it without looking back and then she was gone.

After a few moments his soon-to-be-former-landlady appeared seemingly out of nowhere.

"Wasn't that Kristin from..."


"I coulda sworn..." and she wandered off, making a show of sweeping tiny specks of something or other off the sidewalk and into the street.

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Kristin (Was Never Here)

Kristin was never here
You didn't see her slip in the back way
You didn'st see her float up the stairs
You didn't see her perfect hand on my door
Because Kristin was never here

She loves me twice as much as him
Lord, I know that's true
but she loves those kids 10000 times more
and, man, I know that too

Nothing adds up or works out right
Nothing's gonna make it so
I've run the numbers a million times
at the bottom line I gotta go

Kristin was never here...

one last time I swear we only kissed
for a moment there were only two
eternity is where parallel lines meet
and all lies are true

You didn't see her slip in the back way
You didn'st see her float up the stairs
You didn't see her perfect hand on my door
Because Kristin was never here

(C)1996, TK Major

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The hottest mom on the block... (Somerset's Mom)

Somerset's Mom

What could one say about Somerset's mom?

Somerset's pals would have told you she had class. And she was sexy. Mostly she was sexy.

But not in a, you know, vulgar way, like Eddie's mom, who was nice when you got to know her -- and not really very sexy at all -- but who dressed like a hooker even though her husband was some kind of Wall Street West guy.

No, Somerset's mom was beautiful, like Grace Kelly or Lana Turner. She went to a gym even back when they were kids.

He'd be over at Somerset's house when they were, oh, 12 or 13, and Somerset's mom would come in from the gym or tennis, sweating a little but just glowing. The time she came in from the pool unexpectedly in a filmy one piece that was wet and clinging to her was seared into his memory all the way through grad school.

[A note about this song: What's to say? Sometimes you just get a bonehead idea stuck in your head on an evening when there are no Law & Order reruns and... well, it's a good thing I have cable. PS... if you don't know what a bad pun the title is, that minor ignorance is, in this case, bliss.]

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(I'm in Love with) Somerset's Mom

Ever since Somerset
and me were kids
I've been in love
with that mother of his

All thru hi skool
I was burning up
I tried to tell her
but I wasn't man enough

I'm in love with somerset's mom
I'm in love with somerset's mom

went away to college
as far as I could
dated girls my age but
it didn't do no good

Now I'm back
with a PhD
but I don't even understand
my own psychology

I'm in love with somerset's mom
I'm in love with somerset's mom

3 grown kids and a bad divorce
but she still looks fine
now I'm grown myself -- I'm back
I'm gonna make her mine make her mine

I'm in love with somerset's mom
I'm in love with somerset's mom

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I've seen all your tomorrows... [The Final Score v.2]

The Final Score

He used to live in a funky old high rise on the edge of downtown. He could look out his bedroom window and see the gleaming hotel towers rising far above his 7th floor window. If you squinted between a couple of buildings you could see a flash of ocean through his bathroom window.

Things were a lot better then. He had a good job, money for booze and drugs, a good, usually reliable dealer just a few doors down.

But after his girl dumped him, he let his orbit get a little wobbly.

One weekend, the weekend didn't stop.

He'd just been paid. He hooked up with a new girl down at the Red Room and it turned out she had a bigger hunger than he did... for everything.

He meant to call in sick Monday morning but he was dead out. On Tuesday he called but he already knew what he'd hear. Pick up your check and clean out your locker.

By Wednesday afternoon, he was out of cash and the girl was as gone as the dope.

He managed to squeak by for another few weeks, selling his stereo and his motorcycle, his leather jacket. He made the rounds looking for work but he could have picked a better time... there was nothing. And when he finally got a nibble, the first thing they did was check his refs...

Eventually he came home to find a padlock on the door. He rousted the manager -- it was one in the morning -- who came to the door with a gun in his hand.

"Oh. I should have known," he said, not lowering the little automatic by more than a few degrees. "You're outta here. Your shit's stacked up in a corner of the garage, by the laundry room."

"You can't just put me out! What about..."

"F---ing sue me," he said and closed the door.

Now, a couple years later, he had a spot under a thick growth of shrubs near the loop that cut out around the convention center and auditorium. When he stepped out of his hidey hole -- cautiously, since they were always looking for people camping in the bushes near the beach -- he could see his old apartment window, catching a glint of sunlight and shining it like a blinding message straight into his brain.

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The Final Score

From the junkies in the Cooper Arms
to the whores of this old shore
I've seen the winners
I've seen the losers
and I've seen the Final Score....

I've seen all your tomorrows
and then a couple more
Ive seen the future, I've seen the past
I don't wanna see no more

I've seen the fear across their faces
I've heard their anguished cries
I've felt the void explode within
after the dream dies

I know what's gonna happen
yet I'll never know what for
but I'll bet the game begins again
after the Final Score

(C) 1997, 2006 TK Major

Monday, March 06, 2006

Every alien, every angel... [Going Home v.2]

Going Home

Every alien, every angel, every crown prince in disguise, every escapee, every condemned man on the lose -- or, for that matter, every soon-to-be-ascended avatar -- must go through that moment of realization, a moment when he knows just what he's leaving behind when he's called home. (In my songs, often as not, it's a moment of realization that comes in a rundown, roadside motel.)

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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

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I don't know what's become of me
[Someone Was Watching v.2]

Someone Was Watching

I like to get out in front of trends. This first-person but happily not autobiographical song about the confusion and sense of displacement and loss of self some Alzheimer disease victims experience was written when I was about 42.

I live in my head, pretty much -- or maybe on the internet.

A disease of the mind -- I mean, beyond what already besets me, of course -- scares the daylights out of me.

I saw my grandfather succumb to the disease -- before it had aquired its current name -- and it was, as I would have told you then, really f----- up. He was an extraordinarily smart man for over 80 years and then it all fell apart. He disguised the symptoms as long as he could -- which is maybe why, when it hit us what was going on, it was so surprising. In retrospect, I know the disease had been chipping away at the foundation of his life for some years.

Throughout his retirement he had worked hard to keep his mind active, taking up new hobbies and enthusiasms, keeping up with advances in his professional field, chemistry, even taking Spanish language lessons because he said, when he lived in Pennsylvania's "Dutch country" he spoke German, and when he moved to California around around 1919 with his wife and two young children, he decided he should learn to speak Spanish. I remember the day, perhaps around 5 years before he died, when he said something like, I think senility is taking over my brain faster than I can learn new things. In past years, I used to learn a few new words of Spanish every week. Now, even though I take classes, I can feel my vocabulary shrinking, slipping away...

And there was a far away look in his eyes.

But it's not always like that. As I wrote when I posted an earlier version of this song, I became reaquainted a few years ago with a gentleman from my old neighborhood when I was a little kid. He was always an easygoing guy when I knew him and he was aproaching his disease with the same equanimity.

Maybe it was because he didn't fight it, I don't know.

But I think I know that, all too likely, I'll be like my grandfather, dragged screaming and fighting into the final dark tunnel.

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someone was watching
I dont care what they saw
this terrible truth is a
secret all over the block

someone has fallen
someone can not get up
someone forgets what
someone was thinking of

now I don't know what's become of me
now I don't know what's become of me

toys sparkle in the sunshine
sixty-five years ago
I reach out and touch them
but it's not like I dont know

whatever was just happening
its all just like a dream
but this time I cant wake up
this time -- I can't even scream

now I don't know what's become of me
now I don't know what's become of me

(C) 1993,2006, TK Major