Tag Archives: fate

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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Looking for trouble… I’m already in trouble

The rusty little Bug was leaking rain in from the windows and they had to keep their feet forward to keep them out of the murky water that would slosh back and forth from back seat to the front, washing across the shifter linkage hump like the North Sea over a broken dike.

But they were stopped now, with the heater off and the windows streaked through fog, and she was crying long silvery tears that streamed down her cheeks amd fell to the damp wool of her overcoat. Her slim shoulders moved forward convulsively with her sobs and he sat in the driver’s seat, his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his own overcoat.

He alternated between trying to ignore her and stifling the compulsion to reach out and try to comfort her, an urge that cried from so far down in his wintry soul that it seemed like the shade of a feeling from some forgotten movie… some world he’d lived in, once, so long ago that it was spring there.

He tried to burrow down to find that feeling somewhere, lost in a snowdrift at the bottom of his emptiness.

But all he found were his fists balled in his coat pockets and a girl sobbing beside him.

previous versions
Monday, September 26, 2005
Friday, March 03, 2006
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006

lyrics
Looking for Trouble

Some people say
Love is a game
but I’m telling you now that I wasn’t playing
when I fell in love with you

Here I go again
Looking for reasons where there aren’t any reasons
Here I go again
looking for trouble… I’m already in trouble

That day in my car
don’t say you don’t know
You held me so close
begging me to let go
I told myself you were just confused

Here I go again . . .
You always said
that it was fate
I’m telling you now
that I was framed
when I fell in love with you

Here I go again . . .

A dog barks
the wind howls through the night
I whisper your name and
stare in the fire
I can’ keep myself from calling out to you

Here I go again
Looking for reasons where there aren’t any reasons
Here I go again
looking for trouble… I’m already in trouble

Copyright 1981
T.K. Major


(C)2008, TK Major

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On a Monday morning…




You know the old saw about the mechanic driving the smoke-belching, beat up, barely running car… As a database guy in real life, you’d think I’d be more on top of my own IT…

But until recently I’d been using a highly informal matrix of data queries, guesswork, and eyeballing to figure out which of my ~150 songs was most due for a new, improved version — or at least a shot at one — here in AYoS.

But I finally broke down and used some of the handy dandy aggregate query functions that Bill Gates kindly hammered into my local DB manager, Access, and set up a kind of one-stop for quickly spotting songs that had only been done once or twice and/or which had never had a version score high in my idiosyncratic personal rating system (which is currently hidden from your sight, thank you very much).

Without Warning 

more stream & DL options

Even though this song, “Without Warning Blues” goes back at least a few decades, a reasonable performance had so far escaped me. This one just barely clears my rather low bar.

Without Warning 

You came without warning
on a monday morning
the day was all shot through
by shadows from the past
afterimages of the last
time that I was with you

and it didn’t take nothing
to see that I was something
that you just had to do
Well it mighta been right
on a Monday night
to release a little energy with you
— it mighta been right
in the end it came down to you

And I didn’t mean maybe
when I put it to you baby
There’s just time space and nothing more
But instead of pain
we could have pleasure again
just like before you heard about the fall

so when you come come
come come come around me
please take some form
take some from I can see
Well ghosts are fine
but I like some flesh on mine
Ya can’t steal my love
Ya can’t have my love for free

Copyright 1974
T.K. Major

(C)2008, TK Major

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