Saturday, April 30, 2005

stories worth a thousand words #12

A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY

1000 WORDS ON…SOME OF MY LYRICS

Written: November 17, 2004 (except the lyrics of course!)

Seeing how it’s my book and everything, I won’t feel so badly about bending my own rules a little bit to allow me to fill a few chapters with the lyrics to the various songs I’ve “written” over the years. I use the quotation marks because the tunes remain locked in my head, and I could only reproduce them by singing and going “ba-ba-ba” for the various instrumental parts! My works can be clearly divided into three phases: “pubescent”, “early-philosophical”, and “post-separation”.

The inspiration for the early stuff can be attributed mainly to one album, the Police’s “Synchronicity” from 1983. This was the first my mother ever bought me and thus was the first to which I listened intently. I was stirred by Sting’s constant references to his own loneliness, though his was rather more justified in that his marriage had just failed and I was just a spotty teenage only child who lived with his grandparents!!!

I probably did around twenty or so songs in this period, if you include all the uncompleted ones. I have picked the best three as examples. “Loneliness” easily speaks for itself. “Thinking…” was the first song I ever actually completed, and is quite catchy if I do say so myself. Yes, of COURSE it’s about masturbation!!!

As it was the 80’s and the height of the Cold War, everyone was doing a song about potential armageddon, so I was moved to write one based on my disbelief that Weapons Of Mass Destruction had really been used in the past by my country of origin. Learning of these events did little to make me believe that the Americans’ and Russians’ respective nuclear arsenals were simply a “deterrent”. U2 had their “Unforgettable Fire” song out around this time, which was based on pictures of the ensuing fallout drawn by Japanese survivors of the attack. Personally I was fascinated by how a series of events could lead to someone actually flying a warplane to launch such a genocidal assault, and thus “The Bomb” was conceived.

LONELINESS (c1986)

Oh you keep it to yourself
You think that no one ever listens
Everybody’s turning away
And when you finally get your chance to speak
It only comes out wrong
And so I sing my song
I sing a song about loneliness

Oh it leaves ya reeling
Not the best of feelings
Knowing you’re your own best friend
You just stand in the rain
As you’re feeling the pain
And you wonder will it ever end
I sing a song about loneliness

But I know that life goes on
I gotta assure myself that it’s gonna get better
And I can only pray
Can’t wait for the day
That I can get up and say
That I’ve found a way
To stop feeling alone

Oh I sing a song about loneliness

THINKING OF YOUR BODY (written early 1985)

I’m thinking of your body
Your figure had me mystified
And when I saw your face I almost died
I was overcome with emotion
And you never knew, I trust,
That when I saw you all dressed up
I got a very very very strange sensation
The window was full of condensation
And ever since that fateful day I’ve been

(chorus)
Thinking of your body
I’m thinking of your body
I’m behavin very oddly
When I’m thinking of your body

In the pouring rain
I could’ve asked your name
Instead I turned away
There was nothing left to say
And though I’d never condone
And entire life alone
One thing I’ll always enjoy is

(chorus)

But although you’ve got me feeling oh so good
I’m wondering if I ever could
Just bring myself to talk to you
Cos I don’t wanna spend the rest of my life just

(chorus)

THE BOMB (completed August 24, 1985)

The scene at Buckingham Palace gate
In London, 1945
The people of England celebrate
They’re all amazed they’re still alive
But cast your eyes to the other side
of the world, where war is still waged
An emperor who can’t swallow his pride
A president who won’t calm his rage

Harry goes into the conference hall
Can he survive through one more day?
In three months he thought he’d seen it all
Till an army commander gets up to say
“Mr President I’m afraid our boys
would die in their thousands if war goes on”
Harry says “Then, we’ve got no choice.
Go ahead and drop the bomb.”

So many people know it was wrong
And our cries are much too late
But the fact that we’ve been fighting for years
Doesn’t mean that there’s no room for change

The man on the radio does his job
The news they’d all been waiting for
He says they’ve built a great new bomb
Its purpose is to end the war
Mother looks up from her knitting and prays
“Maybe our son will be home someday!”
Daddy looks up from his paper and says
“Maybe at last those Japs will pay.”

One man got more power
Than he could ever need
An evil that was born with fear
And driven on by greed
But we can’t just say it’s all his fault
For we all must take the blame
From world wars to family rows
When will we see they’re all the same?

Now the runway’s clear and the engines roar
Enola soars into the sky
Waiting to release her load
She doesn’t care how many humans die
Now what you’re witnessing is the destruction
Of the Land of the Rising Sun
It’s amazing how the lives of millions
Are put into the hands of one

It may be hard for me to complain
Since I wasn’t even there
But it’s not to hard to feel the pain
And I’d be foolish not to care
If it was only there to make the “peace”
Then the killing has just begun
It all happened as a war was won
It all happened on the day they dropped the bomb


© JL Pagano 2004

NEXT, #13 : 1000 WORDS ON…MY MOTHER AND I (years of admiration)

5 comments:

Buffalo said...

Obviously you were greatly affected and were able express it.

-ms jumbled mind- said...

hi there..thanks for visitng my and leaving a comment on my blog :)

-ms jumbled mind- said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BlondeSense Liz said...

Your bomb song is the bomb. Seriously. It's even more pertinent today isn't it?

I believe that the reason that fundamentalism has taken over in the US is because people are petrified. They don't even realize how petrified they are of the nuclear arsenal. They are turning on each other rather than the powers that be.

JL Pagano said...

Thank you everyone.

Liz, what petrifies me most is the fact that "the powers that be" no longer necessarily pertains to those that were elected to govern.