This is part of my Songbook series…unfinished tracks right out of my songbook, as they’re written, to document the journey from concept to album track in my next CD.
With this tune I wanted to step out of my comfort zone a bit so I decided to do something in a traditional blues 12 bar format. It also had to be in my style so that in case the tune was any good I could include it on the CD and it wouldn’t sound like a blues piece plopped in the middle of a folk CD. My solution…do it in an open tuning and use a folksy groove beat on it. So that’s what happened.
The lyrical content is pretty self explanatory, but it goes back to an idea that I was introduced to while reading several books in preparation for our book club night where we would be discussing Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Namely the idea that all the elements in the universe that are heavier than iron (Fe) are made in the super hot, super dense, core of massive stars. When those stars burn out their fuel they implode, crushing all the matter in their cores, fusing atoms together, which releases a burst of energy known as a supernova…basically it’s when a big star explodes. In the few seconds it takes to do this all these elements are formed and are blown out into space where they eventually accrete into planets, moons and soforth. Our bodies are made of many of these elements, and without them life on Earth would not be possible. So we are, quite literally, made of stardust. Stars are very, very far apart. For matter to travel the distance between them would take an incredibly long time, so it’s likely that all the higher elements in our solar system came from one, or maybe a couple, supernovae. Which means that all of the atoms that make up our bodies were once fused in the same core of a star. We, again literally, were all one. Since then those same atoms have been countless things; rock, liquid, a plant, a dinosaur, a distant ancestor, us…it’s all the same material, just differing configurations. In the light of such a magnificent and glorious shared past it makes the differences between us, that often occupy so much of our time and energy, seem insignificant. So I wrote a song about it. It’s a happy thought, so it’s a happy song. Enjoy!
Here are the lyrics:
If I asked you to define
yourself to me, you might describe
the places you call home or the people you call your own
talk about what you believe or what you have achieved so far
What if I told you all these things
don’t exist beyond imaginings
they’re just lines that we draw to lift us up and knock others around
and when you open your mind you can’t help but redefine yourself
It don’t matter who you are
We’re all made from the same burned out stars
and the illusion is to think
we are anything but one
The difference, it seems to me,
between people is only skin deep
We all got one’s that we love, we all got things we’re not so proud of
and if we take an honest look we’d see we’re pages from the very same book.
Everything on this Earth
was once the same supernovae burst
All our bodies, all our minds, are just each other realigned
and there’s no best way to be arranged, just what’s familiar and what’s strange
there’s no one way to be, just where you’re going and where you’ve been
Everybody’s got a soul , burning bright for all who take the time to know.