Tag Archives: scared

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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Scared of the Gumbo

gumboThis is the second version of my latest song, “Scared of the Light.” Last week I posted the solo acoustic version. This one is dubbed, for lack of a better name, the swamp gumbo version. (You’ll see why.)

Coming next: the full, Pass the Dust, I’m Apparently Under the Profoundly Mistaken Belief I’m Bowie version.

Scared of the Light (swamp gumbo version)

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I hold my hand to the fire…

Scared

He waited.

He didn’t know why he was waiting. He didn’t know what he was waiting for. But he was sure he had to.

One night, after a thousand nights of empty dreams, he dreamt of a girl with dark, glittering eyes and long brown hair who stood very close to him in the darkness of a rooftop, an unknown city’s shadows spreading away in the night.

She stood close, saying nothing and he could feel her breathing as though she were pressed against him.

Half a moon looked through clouds whose fingers glowed and spread across the bleary stars. On the rooftop, in the shadows, nothing moved but the girl and she barely moved.

Just that…

He couldn’t remember anything more from the dream.

Night after night he thought about that dream, hoping, maybe, to find his way back to it.

A thousand more nights of waiting for a dream that might never come again…

Scared

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previous versions
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

lyrics
Scared

don’t know what to do about you
I didn’t know that I could still be scared
empty dreams night after night
afraid that you’ll never be there

I could give myself to love
but love would only break my heart
I could give my world to you
but you would tear that little world apart

One day I looked at myself
and then I began again
I built it up and I tore it down
and I won’t do that again

I could give myself to love…

every time I hear I’m doing all right
I know that I’m living a lie
every time that I feel myself start to slip
I hold my hand to the fire

I could give myself to love
but love would only break my heart
I could give my world to you
but you would tear that little world apart

(C)2007, TK Major

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