Hi friends - I'm excited to share a new song with you based on the latest book selection for my songwriter book club. The book was Slade House by David Mitchell. This was my first pseudo-spooky read. I'm not normally into things that go bump in the night, but I think my songwriting shield helped protect me from getting too spooked!
I drew a majority of inspiration from the novel's surrealism, paired with the antagonists’ pragmatic approach to survival via deception. One particular line stuck out to me in the first chapter, when the first victim – a lonely, socially abnormal young boy – is unwittingly lured into the trap by a new playmate. “Maybe this is like having a friend.” It was a moving line that reminded me how willing, even desperate, we are to put our trust and faith in the promise of a meaningful relationship, sometimes against our own better judgement. Victim after victim, this theme was reinforced in the story and it resonated with my own experiences with suffering and survival. How many times have I made a logical decision for my own survival that caused an innocent person pain? How many times have the roles been reversed and I was the one who felt the blows? One scenario seems unfortunate but necessary; the other seems cruel and unfair. I have been both soul-sucker, and the sucked-soul.
This song is written from both perspectives…a purposely muddled narrative culminating in a final question…what do you give or give up in order to get or get through?
1. Sit still, don't breathe
This is how you leave - you have been deceived
Nostrils flare, scare eyes
You can't event cry - you are paralyzed
The fleeting fox, the hunting hound
Chase each other around
Was it real, or just pretend?
Tell me this isn't all there is to being a friend
2. Deceased, you feast
Tell me how I taste at least
Pursed lips, time drips - what a winning waste of a losing grip
3. Detect, report
Truth and lies distort - where's my life support
This is how you flee - showing no mercy
image credit: Darci Fontenot