Masterlist of Lyrics Out of the Ashes page
Out of the Ashes
Slowly as the Lights Go Down
CD Liner Notes
Out of the Ashes (40:39) I. Miracle Mile Pendulum is swinging left to right again warning bell is ringing deep inside my skin déjà vu is daunting taunting us to war Ego and self-righteousness in power, I think I've seen this one somewhere before military mission missionary smile pilgrims of retaliation, won't you walk this miracle mile? chaotic collage of rally cries lifted from every cause I can remember motivation custom made for all except the ones who can see the ones who can truly see who can see oh say, can you see… a forlorn sadness growing as we banish ourselves from Eden burning Eden… voluntarily so where is the noble tradition? & where is the irony worse? where is the real opposition? & who's getting profits and who's getting hurt now we're like the leaders at a poker table holding all the chips we'd like to save greed's philosophy entices us away from being brave horde the newfound bounty, dwell on the average and some jealous future crime. Terrified, we see the risk of a younger man as a farce beyond its time And what's yours and what is mine severs ties and draws the lines Fear the rising of a restless mob and others who might like to share the reign Feed the mass a distraction, join a co-alition, and start an ad campaign as the gap between the poor and hoarding widens people start to pick their teams eating scraps from the nouveau riche and firing up the war machines while what's yours and what is mine severs ties and draws the lines while what's yours and what is mine feeds a cancer of the mind mobilized in action a hell-bent recompense mad pre-taliation dressed up as defense, ego over sense, the dogs have jumped the fence now life it's not so easy living in the jar where everyone can see you but don't know what you are some stare blankly some release a nervous laugh some, their faces red and agitated, they keep banging on the glass, and some just hurry past… but they all leave me in the jar like some exhibit from afar or an illusion popular in scattered circles of those wishing on the stars Held behind the glass as I watch the armies pass A deluded populous will battle for glory While their kings are counting cash I watch a lack of information, insecurity and ego form a trio that entrenches powers so deep, so many tricked into a fight while still they love to hang around the ones who'll play them till there's no blood left to bleed… And call it liberty! or utmost piety. When all it's ever been is the same old fear and greed. Somewhere far behind us lies the time we played the game, with the notion we would smile and meet again But our nature, it would seem, is to divide the world in powers that forever fight a war no one can win. Meanwhile Eden's embers smolder in a heap we've all-but-forgotten as we dash about in search of surety And the only hope stays bottled in the minds so far outnumbered of those buried in the ashes who can see. Of those buried in the ashes, who can see? Back to top II. Battle/Aftermath Battle - Instrumental Aftermath what have we done but once again prove we're the bigger gun I sit alone & scared & looking through the glass, glazed over, stunned. We're on the team that never loses anything And we will reap the benefits of this economy what does this mean? It means catastrophe in Eden we're losing our souls to apathy what does this mean? It means an atrophy of reason to somehow think that this is victory so who can see the politics that lead to misery bloodthirst and greed juxtaposed with the slogan it's the price of being free… it's the price of being free?! what does that mean? It means we're choking on false morals & closing our eyes to everything what does that mean? It means secure, expensive houses while outside everyone's the enemy we're standing tall numb as the irony evolves… Back to top III. Breaking Free Burned in the mind, it only takes time, to make the absurd seem normal too weak to dream soul in decay …keeping appearance formal buried in doubt, fire stamped out numb from the compromising bruised and bereft salvage what's left out of the ashes rising free… once these eyes burned brighter but obstacles I'd seen paralyzed their victim into normalcy two can shape the future those with shiny shoes and the ones possessing nothing left to lose Now it seems I've joined the latter - I'm so tired of being so weak and losing my persona searching for security for so many years I was content to play along but the whisper now has been rising into song oh, you can change the perceptions and make up your mind you can change how the children remember these times change who's called victim, who's righteous, who plunders and alter the names and re-tally the numbers rethink the reasons re-write all the laws or expose using logic as some fatal flaw change what's in fashion influence the youth you can change where the blame falls… but you can't change the Truth! No, you can't change the Truth. It breaks free finally I can see the world through all the static hum truly being not just someone it would seem I have become out of the ashes, Rising… well, the enemy's real and he's keeping us company and lurking much closer than most realize if you're caught off your guard you might catch his reflection if you listen intently you might hear him soliloquize It's one thing to fantasize about dying for a cause... it's another thing trying to live day after day after day. Maybe it's time to re-think who the heroes are instead of just dwelling on holding the unknown at bay Eking our lives out throughout this confusion It's become a wonder we hear any truth at all. with downplayed repair and advertised retribution It's a wonder when anyone catches the call to Break Free Finally see the world through all the static hum Truly Being more than just who it would seem we have become out of the masses, rising… Break free, Finally! as the longest nighttime meets the sun Truly Being Everything that we could yet become No longer numb So where is the victory? - it's not in some grand finale; not in the battles we abide alive in the hearts and minds of souls of a different kind; a rising of truth against the tide & every day someone sees is one small victory. Where is the victory - it's not somewhere overseas; it's not in the wars that we can wage Alive in the hearts and minds of souls truly open wide, surviving to lead us to the age where there's no apathy; escape from our history, and life is protected all around Changing toward a time when finally we've grown more kind regardless of creed or native ground and every day someone sees is one small victory and today we can be! Eyes open wide here in our time calming the storm around us Being the peace as those before whose truth has finally found us Free Spirit and reality as one finally fleeting Out of the Ashes into sun… One. Back to top Slowly as the Lights Go Down (5:06) Solitary smile stirs the fluttering heart out the window Brilliant little while caught in seconds before the scene passes in time, all of this will fade like the sunset ray Slowly as the lights go down. Safety for a while in my arms, the whole world was you, breathing Everything in style and what's a story without the scene tragic? And soon time will come to say "...must be on our way..." Slowly as the lights go down. As the orchestra rages and scenery changes the audience stages its willful entwine Caught in the motion as finally emotion begins to break free from the chains that would bind And haven't we all seen by now it's intrinsic to every play... It's just being more human to lose all we've made Solitary smile stirs the stuttering heart back to wonder Brilliantly defiled acted out with more passion than meaning as life follows, in its course, patterns of divorce Slowly as the lights go down. Back to top Violin/Drumkit Solo - Instrumental (recorded to 2 ambient mics at a Psynapsis gig) Back to topCD Liner Notes
Albums get made for all sorts of reasons. For the sound of a violin played on the D string. To provide a showcase for virtuosic playing. Money. Fans. All sorts of reasons.
This, my 5th solo album, has a strong enough bite that I felt the need to examine its origins. The lyrics are quite political, and I was warned that might put off some listeners. The instrumental texture - particularly in the 2nd track - can become rather harsh, and I've also been warned that it may come as a shock to those who know my previous albums well. As if that weren't enough, the content aspires at such lofty goals that the album's probably in danger of being written off as pretentious. But despite it all, I relentlessly pushed this album to completion - obsessing over it even more than any previous release. So, why do I have such an attachment to this album, and why am I drawn to release such an incorrigible, personal, piece of music - which by its nature is wide open to criticism for its lyrics, tone, and ambition?
I guess it's because if I am to remain honest in my music, I don't have a choice. The truth is I'm angry, and anger seeks expression. I'm angry that people fly planes into buildings. I'm angry at the violence-begets-violence response of the victims' representatives. I'm angry that "being an American" brands me a target. I'm angry that "being an American" additionally brands me responsible for bodies shredded in response to that target status. I'm angry that on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2004, as I write these liner notes, his vision of approaching problems non-violently is publicly celebrated while simultaneously discarded in practice.
And I'm sad. I'm sad that human nature seems to gravitate toward a continuing cycle of variations on the rise-and-fall story of ages past - in private, and en masse. And I'm searching. This cycle of violence and fear has the capacity to wither us away, either by physical force, withheld freedoms, or psychological petrification. I'm searching for a lifeline to which I can cling - a whisper; a thought; a reassurance that we've not all gone mad. This is my hope.
I suppose I pushed this album to completion because it's a pretty good representation of my current lot, and I'd like to think that's valid - at least to some degree, and to some people. That lot is to be angry, sad, and searching - each subsiding to another, alternating like the peaks of waves in an ocean. In the end, no single interpretation prevails - but each is made aware of the others' presence. And that, to me, is the sweet part: as long as there remains someone to bear the torch of idealism for a while, others will have a reminder of the kind world we could build. "Being the peace," as Thich Nhat Hanh said.
So, here's my little attempt at torch-bearing. Here's to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.