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One of Us


The challenge: to write a song using only words that begin with 7 different letters. Secondary challenge: do it in 2 days before leaving town for Los Angeles. I guess technically I could have written and recorded in two days, leaving the production work for the road, where I bring my laptop but not my recording equipment. But I'm so much more comfortable writing vertically. I'll write a verse, fully produce it, then move on to writing other verses. I'm to understand other songwriters do not typically work this way. So it made sense to try the whole thing in 2 days. Luckily one of them was a Sunday. 

My letters turned out to be C, F, O, S, T, U, and W. I was on the edge of using G so as to have access to the phrase "gooble gobble", but it wasn't meant to be. In the end, W won the spot on strength of the phrase "wailing wall". 

As for the song...well you know how when you don't have kids, all your friends who do try to convince you to have some? And then when you finally have them, you try to convince all your other childless friends to have some of their own? Yeah, sounds like some kind of freaky zombiesque cult to me too. I just hope no one else chose to write their song on the exact same topic. Boy would that be embarrassing.

Evolution of the vocals and melody was odd. Started out low and bluesy, with little melodic variation, mostly G-B-G-B-G-B-G, C#-E-E-C#-E-G-G. But that got too droning as the basic pattern happens 10 times, broken only by the two -- bridges, for lack of a better word. What kind of structure is this anyway? So I introduced some variety into the melody, and the A-G at the end of each pair of couplets really sounded Depeche Modal to me. In the end though I'm hearing mostly Jim Morrison, which is weird as I'm a fairly high tenor by nature.

Coasting childless through the world,
Spirits free, standing tall
Friendly fire set to stun
Circumscribes the wailing wall
"One of us, one of us"
Sleeping on the weekend,
Causing wakeful wits to fret
Circumstances trigger chimes
Of Cultic tunes to cool the sweat
"One of us, one of us, one of us, one of us"

"Come today, follow with us"
Call the spawning Stepford Freaks
So cliché, so foreseen

Watch them come, come to take us
To the feared suburban wild
Cannot win, cannot fight
The fate conveying us the child
"One of us, one of us, one of us, one of us"

Seize the change, opt surrender
To the countless clutching sires
We're the strange, we're the swarm

The single couple caught within
Our sights can only forecast when
They can't see the skulking us
Until temptation captures them
"One of us, one of us"
Their countenance of cold foreboding
Sparks the urging of our soul
The fearsome creep of tot conversion
Surfacing to swallow whole
"One of us, one of us, one of us, one of us"
"One of us, one of us"