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Double Lives Second Chances


There's an anthem in the air
And fresh snow on the ground

I've been here before
I've seen her before

She perfumes sophistication
Her elegance shuns bourgeois sentiments

Our other lives link us together
But happenstance keeps us momentarily apart

And in the end, there is no end
For the first time, we will meet again

Double lives
And second chances


Alex's Notes: pending..

Nick's Notes: The 6th song I've composed lyrics for, completed in June 2013. The song is an homage to one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Krzysztof Kieslowski, drawing images and symbolism from his movies "Three Colours: Red" and "The Double Life of Veronique", with nods to "Three Colours: Blue", "No End", and "Thee Colours: White". "Three Colours: Red" alternates with Lar Von Trier's "Europa", as my favourite movie, and I felt I should do such an important movie - not just to me, but to film canon period - some sort of additional honour.

The composition of these lyrics was extremely erratic, and had been in the process of being worked on for many weeks. Unlike other songs were I was able to get a broad narrative and then scale it back to fit a song (such as "The Turk", "A Sign in Space" and "Fortuna y Gloria"), I had no such framework. Instead what I did was kept writing phrases, memories, images, feelings, and ideas that related to Kieslowski's movies onto my iPhone. Even if it was just a fleeting, barely workable concept, I jotted it down. My intent was if enough ideas and possible lyrics and images came to me, I would be able to pick and choose, and then re-configure into a song, and that's exactly what I did.

So reading the lyrics, you don't see a narrative like in other songs, but it's still quite visual imagery. In fact I actually had alot of other images that I felt were too blunt that I wound up exercising from the song - lines about sugar cubes absorbing coffee, lines about blue chandeliers and catching buses and trains. However, these lines were too concrete, and were detracting from an ethereal feeling I was getting from the song's lyrics, which turned out to be a blessing since some of Kieslowski's work is quite ethereal. 

The anthem is a reference to the composers in "Three Colours: Blue". The snow is a reference to "Three Colours: White".

"I've been here before / I've seen here before" is a broad lyric that touches upon almost all of Kieslowski's work. The relationship between the Judge and Valetine has occured before in the past (between the Judge and his lover) and soon in the future (between the young judge and his cheating girl, and that Valentine will wound up with this young judge, a fate that eluded the older judge). It also could be references to "The Double Life of Veronique" where the 2 women almost meet, but not quite, but are more or less the same person. 

The third verse is all about Irene Jacobs and her character in "Three Colours: Red".

"Our other lives link us together.." the other lyrics that touch upon Kieslowski's work. In his movies, we are all connected and eventually paths will cross. "Three Colours: Red" shows this overtly: Valentine practically is neighbors with the young judge, and they share many shots via mise-en-scene, but they never meet until the very end of the movie. Movies inspired by Kieslowski's work, such as "Run Lola Run" also illustrate how connected we are, that our actions butterfly effect through everyone.

"And in the end / there is no end". The line takes words from the title of Kieslowski's movie "No End", but it also shows the cyclical nature of some of his work. The story of the judge is passed on to the young judge for instance. Julie in "Three Colours: Blue" tries to kill her self, but decide not to, and her end doesn't come and instead she has an impact on many other people as shown in the montage at the end of the movie when she is making love with Olivier. 

"For the first time we will meet again" another statement in regards to the relationship of Valentine and the young judge. Even though they officially meet for the first time at the end of the movie, the shared mise-en-scene along with the young judge being a proxy for the older judge she has befriended - she has in essence met this new person already.

"Double lives / Second chances" - a statement that sums up all of Kieslowski's work, lifted from the Annette Insdorf book of the same name. 

I submitted the lyrics to Alex whom I think was a bit flummoxed by them at first. However he wound up composing some awesome, ritzy music. I can almost see the champagne, bubbles, well dressed women and men with the music, and I think it fits with the lyrics perfectly. Most of the characters on the Kieslowski films of the 90ies definitely run in affluent circles, and carry a more dignified aura to them, and I believe Alex's music captured that essence perfectly. 


The song "Double Lives Second Chances" can be found on the following releases:
Ceremong of Innocence - City Lights