Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Standing on the Edge

I talk a lot about SpinTunes, but I haven't talked much about Song Fight or Nur Ein. I really haven't been moved to participate in Song Fight, but Nur Ein is a bit more the sort of thing I'm used to. Nevertheless, I didn't plan to take part at all this time as I don't like to take on too much stuff at once, and usually at this time of year I'm rehearsing for a play.

Well, I am rehearsing for a play, and I still don't plan to take part, but friends of mine entered a "Round 0" entry, and it inspired me to do this. The prompt (which should be used) is the title, "Standing on the Edge". The non-optional challenge is to include your own name in the lyrics. Duck soup.

Standing on the Edge
Dr. Lindyke - 04/22/2015

[intro - beat and bass]

I’m standing on the edge
On the ledge outside my window
In reflective contemplation
Of the troubles I’ve been into
I don’t need a conversation
To try to talk me down
Soon Dr. Lindyke ain’t gonna be around.

I don’t get no inspiration
From reporters on TV
I didn’t start the conflagration
And it won’t end with me
Like Hamlet’s slings and arrows
Misfortune’s stalking me
And all who choose to see or not to see


If I had a sense of purpose
Aimed at cleaning up the street
Would I have a bigger impact
With my face or on my feet?
I think that we all know the answer
And so I dust my hands
And leave the ledge to fly to better lands


If history repeats,
We’re gonna play this scene again
With the lemmings queued behind me
Pretending to be men
Overcoming minds divided
By those who'd drive a wedge
They’ll take their places standing on the edge

[instrumental outro]

Lyrical Notes

This means whatever you want it to mean. Honestly, it started out as nonsense words using the thump... thump... thump... beat of I Am The Walrus, but as I was driving to work (and it's a long drive!) the lyrics gradually got replaced with these. There are obvious references to Billy Joel's We Didn't Start The Fire and Shakespeare's Hamlet, but other than that, the final polish was just to make sure it was vaguely political-sounding while arguably aligning with the politics of the listener, no matter who that might be.

Sometimes you write something that surprises you. My personal favorite line was a surprise to me at the moment I first sang it: "Would I have a bigger impact / With my face or on my feet?" It could be about how he lands; it could easily be a bigger choice of jumping in resignation and walking the streets making a difference. It could mean something else entirely.

The bit about "and leave the ledge to fly to better lands" is deliberately ambiguous. In some Libertarian refusal to play by the "rules" did he take a third choice and literally fly away like a bird from the ledge? Did he "fly" to a better land (Heaven) by way of the pavement? Did he walk away and buy an airline ticket? Is it just figurative?

Is this even about suicide? Or is it about the inevitability of death, leaving an endless chain of people with the same thoughts; an endless cycle of oppression and rebellion?

I honestly don't know.

Musical Notes

I guess I should point out that this song, arrangement, recording, et cetera, was completed in a couple of hours at the behest of Tom Giarosso. That's probably why the opening sounds a little like "Fraggle Rock", and it also explains the rough garage band sound of it. I just sat down and banged it out on the piano over an existing Jim Dooley drum track without too much thought. This recording is live take 2. I just went behind it and added the rough vocals (take 1) and a keyboard bass track.