Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Entry #13

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Lyrical Conversations of a Starving Artist...

Sad Song
© 2009 Ross Christopher Donaldson

I wonder which will come first
Our lives have only so much time
I can’t imagine a time
Spent without you by my side

Oh I think I need
Oh I think I need
Oh I think I need
I need your word

Thoughts of futures old and weak
Smiles and tears and lonely fears
If ever there was a time
I wouldn’t be alright
(never be alright)

Oh I think I need

Oh I think I need
Oh I think I need
I need your word

I wonder which will come first
Our lives have only so much time

Sad Song is a lullaby I wrote that is very un-lullaby-ish. The subject matter is sad (hints the name), but the instrumentation and melody suggest lullaby. I’ve always loved the abstract chaos a song or art piece can create when you combine something upbeat and light with more dark, intense, and haunting lyrics (or visa versa). So it goes with Sad Song.

Regarding this song, I have no idea what actually sparks thoughts. Perhaps a discussion, a movie, bad burritos; I’m really not sure. But after a few close friends had experienced the loss of family members, I suppose I became introspective towards mine and Kate’s marriage, and out poured this song.

I begin by stating the obvious, “Our lives have only so much time.” That is inevitable. There will come an end to all of us. The unthinkable thought of Kate leaving me someday to sickness or age brings tears to my eyes and I can’t imagine my life separated from her. We’ve grown exponentially closer in marriage. Our dreams and aspirations have strengthened the bond that is our marriage, life, and as individuals.

As the two of us became one, everything changed. With the intermingling of our souls, I have become entranced and dependant on Kate. Not in a pitiful, puppy-needs-his-master way, but rather in a way an artist needs canvas or a musician his instrument. I guess you could conversely say Kate ruined me. Without her, I was not whole. I am now. And I know it. Now there’s leverage. There’s something hanging over me. Thoughts of loss mixed with a cherishing passion.

And I think this is a perfect reflection of our reaction towards God’s love.

We are individuals before we know God. But once we taste the aroma of God and glimpse into his expanse of beauty, we are hexed. We can’t go back. We must progress. We must intertwine. We must love and work that love and better that love. And continually glide the transformative trail that makes us realize our willing and desired dependence with God.

Then at the chorus, I state the point of yearning. “Oh, I think I need (your word).”

There’s a nuance of doubt to the writing, because our humanness is to doubt, but the truth is that the need is carnal. It is completely innate.

The second verse more closely paints the picture of age. It grows more weary in its performance as it slowly decays towards the end.

The instrumentation even adds to the abstract of moods and composition. The persistent marching drum drones towards the end like a celebratory funeral march while the contrasting vocals coo and harmonize in togetherness.

But then at the final note, the cymbals crash, the low tom thunders, the guitars strum, and the vocals decay to a singular note.

One is left.

The sad song was inevitable.

Life happened.


1 comment:

Phil and Lacy said...

This is great. Probably the song that has impacted me the most. Thanks for that. Every now and then I think about stuff like this, and you perfectly put it into words, into a song. Good stuff!