half life

Release Date: 8/09

Album: GO WEST

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

There will be no camera to illuminate
the workings of your soul
Your evolution won't be televised,
nor they recognize your heroic, stoic goal.
For everything you've said or done
There is an audience of one
Who reads the book and tells the true
And be they good or bad reviews
Careless critics will confuse
Credit or blame where none is due

Because you will only be in the half light
And they will only see the half life.

Future generations will not look back and say they finally understand
There will be no heiroglyphics
with which to measure the specifics of your plans

However deeply you confess
There will be motives to second guess
Praise to withhold and to stay unsung
The more you feel, the more you care                                         
The more the choices are unfair
Damned if you do or what have I done

Because you will only be in the half light
And they will only see the half life
Just as misery loves company
Compassion breeds despair
Radiating there in the half life

Those who await pats on the back
Are always first to be attacked
Where hacks and smackdowns rule the waves
Just do the right thing because it's right
And be happy you can sleep
In the room where there sheds no light
Beneath the shadow of the half life

Musicians:

Adam - vocals, electric guitars, keyboards
Evie Sands - guitar, vocals
Teresa Cowles - bass, vocals
Kurt Medlin - drums, percussion

Adam sez:

Another one of the earlier songs written for GO WEST, "Half Life" picks up where the moral lessons of "When I Lied To Everyone" left off and makes the point that no one is ever really going to understand you, and life isn't particularly fair sometimes, so you need to just get over it and just make ethical decisions you can live with for their own sake.

This is an idea that has some personal resonance to me, but it's also a vent about the things the media chooses to focus on...not just celebrity for its own sake, but how people become totally dehumanized when they become famous, lauded or damned for reasons that have little to do with who they really are, what they did, or why they did it. How other people feel about us often has a lot more to do with their needs than our realities. I get really tired sometimes of folks bitching about, say, politicians or something they don't like on TV, when the people complaining have the luxury of not having to do anything themselves. It's much easier to stand on the sidelines and criticize something then consider the point of view and the burdens and responsibilities of the person you're criticizing...or consider your possible complicity in whatever is happening that you don't like.

Musically, this was an exercise in a genre that I don't have much affinity for -- hippie funk (I don't quite remember what motivated me to try it) -- though the band, particularly Kurt, took to the challenge with gusto. It took a lot of work with the tracks, particularly the percussion, to get them right, but thanks to the extra spit and polish and a superbly bold mix by Steve Refling, this is one of the best sounding tracks on the album, and again, superb vocals all around from the band (and perhaps my best lead vocal on the whole album).

People do the right thing all the time -- look no further than the people that bought my stolen gear at a swap meet and then went out of their way to get it back to me. They lost $900 in the process...but they can sleep at night. It's too bad that kind of thing doesn't get celebrated more often, because it does happen every day.

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