i wrote this song over a long period of time along with another song as a sort of b-side to this one. the b-side called 'sonnet for a lone dove' is a more tranquil considerably shorter gospel equivalent of this tune. to write a long song over an extended period of time allows form many angles of the same question to appear. the words map both the spiritual rambling of its author as well as a kind of scrambled record of the larger time within which it was imagined and completed. still to paraphrase country legend keith whitley, "this song don't belong inthe top forty radio".
my most lucid memory of working out the last bits of words is strumming the chords on an unplugged telecaster in an endless rotation with its yet to be unheard companion 'sonnet for a lone dove' in an econolodge motel in omaha, nebraska. after having been on the road for weeks and weeks without pause the woman i was traveling with decided to use the much cherished rarity of the motel's newly renovated, and therefore pristine bathroom to take a long hot bath. sitting on one of the beds by the nightstand her voice calls out from the other room. i go and sit beside her on the covered toilet seat leaning against the wall with guitar in hand. i begin strumming again but this time a love song. without looking up she says, "play what you were playing before." i start again on the last verse. the piano rippling in my head. "did you ever dream about some place beyond..." after a minute she starts to hum along softly with the melody. the television in the adjoining room roars from commercials to gunfire and back again as the pitter-patter of water in the bathtub joins the wandering rotation of two voices searching.
did you ever wish you could sail into the sun
or set out on the road alone
anything just to keep you from
the darkness that is coming on
when the lights are all shining and nothing is revealed
and everyone is hiding, and still no one really feels
and the airwaves come crashing, until your soul's paper thin
and the only feeling that is lasting, burns like a sunset within
it won't be long, before the darkness that is coming on.
did you ever wonder about your burning eyes
think maybe its all just a bad disguise
a stacked deck in a house of lies
underneath a black curtain sky
where good men are blinded and the the blind somehow see
and there's no hope in finding, any shelter from the screaming
where the lost souls all ramble, until their dreams lay in earth
where on the hillside they're gathered, as they ghost their last words
with their eyes fixed upon, the darkness that is coming on.
did you ever believe in the masquerade
if only to keep your heart from the pain
of the memory, of the heat and the burning plane
reflected in a lost man's face
who thinks only of violence, and the conquest of space
who condemns any victory, his hands cannot claim
who stands and with a straight face, steals your dignity
while attempting to relate, how you could ever find peace
down the barrel of a gun, in the darkness that is coming on.
did you ever dream about some place beyond
where the lines of color are no longer drawn
and the weak are not enslaved by the strong
in the darkness that is coming on
why so many have not spoken, in the rising of the tide
as the nightmares of the waking, eclipse the visions of the mind
why the idles are not broken, though the brass tongues all lied
as the sacrifice that is offered, wipes a teardrops from its eye
why the mountains are not quaking, under the absurdity of the strain
of the masses of forsaken, left to the wilderness and the rain
why the spirit of the fallen, does not see his shadow and reflect
upon the higher movement calling, him to lay down his foolish threat
i am standing in the bright light, with both feet on the ground
reaching towards a great height, as these words resound
i will not be a pawn, in the darkness that is coming on.
MAKE NOISE, NOT WAR! PEACE ON EARTH!
love & coffee is written, recorded, and performed by aaron berg ©2009
a.b. - vocals, harmonica, guitars, bass, and upright piano
best if listened to on headphones...