Tag Archives: destiny

Scared of the Light [acoustic]

ScaredOfTheLight4

 

A quick rough draft of a song written for the RPM Challenge — on the last day. This is not that version — it was really, really, really bad, we are talking laughably so — but rather  this is an acoustic version I recorded for posting to the Internet Archive (the content home of AYoS). The lyrics are unchanged and the melody, or what passes for it, little so.

Backstory: I jotted down the title for this song while watching the “Swan Song” episode of the old Columbo TV show sometime last year. In it, Johnny Cash plays a gospel singer who is also a murderous sinner. The episode leads off with a rousing ‘live’ version of “I Saw the Light,” his character’s big hit of the moment. Many months later, while I was dragging a song out of a clever potential title on the last day of the RPM Challenge — having completely forgotten the inspiration — I took a break while recording to watch a little TV.

There aren’t a whole lot of the Columbo episodes, which were shot as ‘two hour’ specials for airing a few times a year. I’ve gone through them on Netflix twice now and that day, on the 28th of February, finishing “Scared of the Light,” up came Johnny Cash and I quickly realized that the episode had been the inspiration for the song sometime last year and… well, dang… the circle is unbroken…

Two more versions will follow shortly, each very different. Stay tuned.

Scared of the Light

more download and streaming options at Archive.org

From the very first zero
to the very last one
I can see what has happened
I can see what will come

Like a train in a tunnel
like a mole in a hole
like a bullet in a barrel
I know where to go

From the very first day
to the very last night
I’ve been through the darkness
but I’m scared of the light

From the very first zero
to the very last one
I can see what has happened
and I see what must come

From the very first day
to the very last night
I’ve been through the darkness
but I’m scared of the light

(C)2013, TK Major
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Pass the dust, I’m apparently under the gravely mistaken impression I’m Bowie…

sunrise-2011-09-07-smScared of the Light [Electric Version]

[special hi fi preview stream]

When he awoke, it was dark. His heart was pounding. He felt as though a giant hand was wrapped around him, squeezing the breath out of his lungs. He must have been dreaming but he remembered nothing. He forced air into his lungs, but his breath felt odd and shallow and each breath seemed to take tremendous effort.

He tried to shut out the panic but that seemed to make it more acute. He threw off the covers and turned on the light on the little table next to the bed… but its dim and yellow light seemed, if anything, to make his room just that much more oppressive and claustrophobic.

Steeling his grip on himself, he quickly got out of bed and threw on the clothes he’d been wearing the previous night, a pair of bluejeans and a hooded sweatshirt. Glancing at the clock, he saw the red glow of 4:43 a.m. He pulled on his boots and laced them, grabbed his phone and keys, and walked out into the crisp pre-dawn air.

As he often had decades earlier, running from the all-but-forgotten demons of his youth, he found himself walking toward the ocean through the empty, dark streets.

He walked past the lagoon, the shadowy trees looming above languid, almost black water, along the manicured sands of Mothers’ Beach, finally across the trendy little business strip to the bay. As he walked along the crescent of sand, still moving toward the ocean beyond the little bay, the tiniest sliver of golden sun appeared above the houses and trees across the bay.

Until that moment, he’d just been walking. Not thinking. Trying not to feel. Just trying to get away from whatever unknown fear had gripped him in dream so tightly that he feared it would crush the breath out of him.

He searched inside himself for the sense of relief he thought the sun should bring. But all he found was a veil of vague and uneasy dread, pierced by a slim, rosy crescent.

He walked a few steps down closer to the shore, the shift of perspective returning him to the moment just before sunrise. He surveyed the low line of houses, the mirror-like calm of the water. It was beautiful, he recognized numbly.

So beautiful that it seemed a shame to waste it on this moment of vague and free-floating dread.

He paused, pulled his phone out of his pocket, switched its camera on, held his breath just a moment and heard the simulated sound of a shutter snapping open and closed.

_______________________________

 

From the very first zero
to the very last one
I can see what has happened
I can see what will come

Like a train in a tunnel
like a mole in a hole
like a bullet in a barrel
I know where to go

From the very first day
to the very last night
I’ve been through the darkness
but I’m scared of the light

From the very first zero
to the very last one
I can see what has happened
and I see what must come

From the very first day
to the very last night
I’ve been through the darkness
but I’m scared of the light

(C)2013, TK Major

The third (and final?) version of “Scared of the Light”…

(The title of this post is a light-hearted lift from the late, lamented Black Randy — of infamous LA punk/funk provocateurs, Black Randy and the Metro Squad — whose first album was called, “Pass the Dust, I Think I’m Bowie.”)

I’d written out about three quarters of the lyrics and was settling into the chords and melody when I started roughing out the arrangement… something about the way it was going together really made me think of post-Berlin-era Bowie and, I dunno, I ran with it.

 

 

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I’ve seen that shining light… one too many times

10,000 Years
Weren’t we just talking (however briefly) about Fate?

Once you give causality an inch, it seems, like ice-nine, to take over your whole cosmology.

Anyhow, I’ve always thought dimestore metaphysics makes for great pop music and this song is a gesture in that direction, spun with a little ambiguous pronoun play.

10,000 Years

Up against the wall
the moon was in her eyes
I felt her heart beat
I heard her sigh

I touched her cheek
a tear met my hand
I didn’t know it then
but that tear fell to her plan

10,000 years
is not a day too long
since the world began
I’ve been hangin round here
waiting for you to come along

I have seen that shining light
one too many times
I have heard the angels sing
while I riddled the devil’s rhymes

I have seen your eyes
burn into my soul
I have seen the truth
and I will never again be whole

10,000 years…

I’d do it all again
and still come back for more
I know how it’s all gotta end
but I’ll never know what it’s all for

Until the end of time
there’s not that long to go
I thought I knew heaven’s secrets
what the hell did I know?

10,000 years
is not a day too long
since the world began
I’ve been hangin round here
waiting for you to come along

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10,000 Years

10,000 Years

I don’t exactly believe in reincarnation (the way most people think of it) but I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of lovers tagging each other through eternity. The notion that a reluctant soul (not that I believe in souls the way most people think of them) might be drawn — tricked, even — back to life is an idea I’ve come back to again and again. (Along with half the other hack writers out there.)

I’m afraid this version is a bit on the stiff side. I was really struggling just getting through the darn thing… maybe because I like the song a lot but have always felt that there isn’t that much in the words or the chords and that the song depends a lot on the singer (that would be me, of course) to pull off some melodic and emotional nuances that don’t always get across.

At any rate, the compare-and-contrast crowd will definitely want to check out the ‘produced’ version at the bottom of the download/play links. I’ve always been fond of the recording, myself, because it captures a substantially different aspect of my singing.

AYoS acoustic version:


produced version [soundclick]

10,000 years

Up against the wall
the moon was in her eyes
I felt her heart beat
I heard her sigh

I touched her cheek
a tear met my hand
I didn’t know it then
but that tear fell to her plan

10,000 years
is not a day too long
since the world began
I’ve been hangin round here
waiting for you to come along

I have seen that shining light
one too many times
I have heard the angels sing
while I riddled the devil’s rhymes

“I have seen your eyes
burn into my soul
I have seen the truth
and I will never again be whole”

10,000 years…

I’d do it all again
and still come back for more
I know how it’s all gotta end
but I’ll never know what it’s all for

Until the end of time
there’s not that long to go
I thought I knew heaven’s secrets
what the hell did I know?

10,000 years
is not a day too long
since the world began
I’ve been hangin round here
waiting for you to come along

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