Tag Archives: fear

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…

Scared of the Light [Electric Version]


Electric Acoustic

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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Superstition is where you find it…

Bold & Rational Men

The search for cause and effect has not always been carried out with a rigorous methodology carefully crafted to return reliable results.

Sometimes, folks make cognitive leaps that are breathtaking in their intuitive scope but are still just plain wack.

Many supposedly scientific westerners have elaborate personal systems of superstition which they keep separate from both their secular science and whatever formal religion they may choose to practice.

The supposedly hard-headed Chinese Communist ruling oligarchy picked the suposedly supremely lucky western calendar date of August 8, 2008 (8-8-8) to kick off the olympics. (8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the it sounds like the word for prosper — not to mention that the characters for a double 8 resemble the popular shuang xi “double joy” design.)

Now, today’s date really had little or nothing to do with my picking this song for today’s post; I’ll admit it. If anything, I was thinking about an ongoing dialog I’ve been tentatively participating in regarding unfair prejudice against the religious.

Sometimes how one comes in on a contentious dialog depends on who has already staked out what position — and in what fashion — even if one’s own beliefs are all but immutable.

Normally I find myself lining up with those who profess to exalt rationalism and a scientific approach.

But all too often in some sectors these days, one finds those who claim adherence to scientific principles making irrational or unsupportable, often absolutist claims, flying far from the surly bonds of logic and fact.

Maybe, like beat dogs, some of us who’ve been subjected to one too many proselytic haranguement simply go nuts at the mention of religion; folks whose abreaction to repeated attempts to convert them to some religion or another have metastasized into a generalized scorn for anyone who dares entertain the idea that there might be something beyond this universe or something which transcends or perhaps informs our physical reality.

Even as science peels back layer after layer of how this universe works — revealing increasingly that the more we know, the more profound and strange the next questions become — some of these individuals cling to the notion that they know with absolute certainty that there is nothing beyond what we now see and think we know.

previous versions
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Friday, August 10, 2007

lyrics
Bold & Rational Men
Bold and Rational Men

Come now y’ bold and rational men
and march y’ straight ahead
y’ fear not the fire of the dragon
nor the carrious teeth of death

And come now, lad
fear not the gods
you’ve often said we’re all alone
d’n’cha see your where your path must lie
straight into the unknowable
good speed now
you’re on your own

But wait now put your hand on the earth
and see where your life flows from
this good dark earth
is the mother of us all
y’know you are her son

and come and gaze into the sky
see how dark and deep
you are the prodigal lost in time
lost in a dream kept sleep

(C)1973, TK Major
(C)2008, TK Major

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Fear not the gods…

Bold & Rational Men

Bold & Rational Men

more stream & DL options

previous versions
Thursday, January 05, 2006
later versions
June 13, 2008
July 6, 2008

 

lyrics
Bold & Rational Men

Bold and Rational Men

Come now y’ bold and rational men
and march y’ straight ahead
y’ fear not the fire of the dragon
nor the carious teeth of death

And come now, lad
fear not the gods
you’ve often said we’re all alone
d’n’cha see your where your path must lie
straight into the unknowable
good speed now
you’re on your own

But wait now put your hand on the earth
and see where your life flows from
this good dark earth
is the mother of us all
y’know you are her son

and come and gaze into the sky
see how dark and deep
you are the prodigal lost in time
lost in a dream kept sleep

(C)1973, TK Major

(C)2007, TK Major

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