Groundhog Eve (and more about Turn Out The Lights)

Well, it is, right? February 1st. Therefore, Groundhog Eve. I hope you remembered to hang your stockings up and gather with friends and family to sing those classic, heartwarming groundhog carols on this fine winter evening. "Shall We Gather By The Burrow" is one of my favorites!

Ahem. So I thought I'd use this week's post to share a little more about the new single that came out the other day, Turn Out The Lights. (You can hear it on the Music page, and I'll be putting up a couple more songs from the new album there soon.) Turn Out The Lights was the first song written specifically for the new album. A thought I had in mind at the time was that the first album didn't have anything with a 6/8 kind of groove, and I like a lot of songs with that groove (think "Black Friday" by Steely Dan, or "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears for Fears, or...well, many others), so I should write a tune that uses it. I'm not usually that calculating when I start on a song idea, but anyway...I had the main riff and the chorus together on piano fairly quickly, nothing too complicated yet. Maybe a week or two later, I was playing around with a few lyric lines for a different song idea and decided to try them on this one - those became the chorus ("So you don't have to tell me twice/I think I'll call it an early night/would the last one to leave the party turn out the lights"). 

Really, though, I didn't have a strong idea of what those lyrics would mean within the song yet - they could be describing a lot of different situations. Why does this person want to leave? I'm often fascinated by characters who find themselves trapped one way or another, and I started thinking about conspiracy theorists locking themselves away and going further and further down rabbit holes on the Internet, pursuing their pet theories. Each day getting more isolated, becoming more convinced that everyone's crazy and only they see the truth...well, this guy COULD be a cockamamie conspiracy buff. But I'm also fascinated by stories where someone actually stumbled on an amazing breakthrough, only to have everyone disbelieve it. (Alfred Wegener, who came up with what we now know as tectonic plate theory, had this happen to him - it wasn't until well after his death that scientists could verify he had been right all along.) Maybe THAT's this guy.

The song never tells you which one it is, but the paranoia is steadily closing in either way. Someone who heard the song and read the lyrics early on wondered if it was about suicide. I wouldn't say I had that in mind, though I'll leave it open for interpretation - I wasn't going for anything that specific, just more of a vibe, someone's misshapen world closing in on them too fast. 

 

 

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