Monday, February 25, 2013

Memory of a Future Past

This is a protest song against nuclear proliferation. As children of the Cold War starting school in the 1960s, we remember a time when "Duck and Cover" wasn't funny.

These days, the Cold War is over, but is the world safer? Instead of known enemies who fear us as we fear them, we have unknown enemies who may strike at any time, and are motivated by a fanaticism that leaves no room for fear. At the very least it should give you pause.

This song doesn't attempt to persuade you intellectually, but emotionally, by painting a picture of disaster from the point of view of a person in the future, remembering it. (much as the Dwarves sing retrospectively about the coming of Smaug in The Hobbit.) In this case, that "memory" is a vision of the future. I know, it's a little complicated. Thinking about it is optional.


I saw the city's silhouette
From a distant blinding light
Through the trees and clouds
The flash was seen
For miles throughout the night.

And the snow was almost blinding
With the water still as glass
Reflecting bursts of fire
The smoke was sent on higher
It happened all too fast.

The beauty soon was gone
As the shock waves finally came
The men began to run
From the fury freed from a captive sun
Soon followed by the rain.

The birds refused to sing at all
The streets were filled with death
Survivors soon were late
The earth had passed away
While no one had been blessed.

It had only taken moments
To fill the skies with pain
But now all Time has gone
And life has done the same

Then I awoke to realize
The visions I have seen
Beheld by older eyes
Are memories of how things will have been
For no one escapes disaster
Not the victims, not the master
What's the use, there's no excuse
When the rain has quit can you live?


On a technical note, this is (to the best of my recollection) the first time I've ever tried to play live acoustic bass on a song. My other bass tracks have either been electric piano, sequenced MIDI, or poorly played acoustic guitar. I'm actually pretty happy with the results, despite a little fret buzz... I'm still learning that this thing takes a very light touch.

I felt it needed the "bottom", and once it was in there, I proved myself right. With the acoustic, it gives the song a little "spaghetti Western" feel that invokes a picture of the quiet wasteland I imagine for this story.

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