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B. I Don't Have To Be Any Certain Way (formerly 'Sung To Sol')

Lyrics

I Don't Have To Be Any Certain Way (Sung to Sol)


Verse:

I don't know what you're trying to say to me.

Why can't you, just let me be?

Sometimes I think I will never be free.

You've carved out your claim in my mind.


Bridge:

The same thing happens to me every day,

but I'm not broken by the things you say.

And I don't have to be any certain way.

I won't be captured by the jails you make.


Refrain:

Can't you see that we're all the same?

We don't need these reigns,

      On our hearts.

You bend minds of children,

and never set 'em straight.

Don't you know that this just can't go on?


Verse:

The force is strong but the strong survive.

It's power's weak where there's will inside.

Yes, you can make monsters of men,

but, I'll be no slave to thee!


Bridge:

The same thing happens to me every day,

but I'm not broken by the things you say.

And I don't have to be any certain way.

I won't be captured by the jails you make.


Refrain:

Can't you see that we're all the same?

We don't need these reigns,

      On our hearts.

You bend minds of children,

and never set 'em straight.

Don't you know that this just can't go on?

Storyline Notes

Scene: The valley ringed by hills is a perfect hideaway for the rag-tag band of rebels and misfits.  The moon shines in to give them some light, but all the sound projects upwards as if from a satellite dish. In this way, those outside the valley can't hear a sound.  But as Dax descscends into the valley, he hears quite a commotion...


The rebels air their grievances in a series of songs, and Dax listens intently as he blends in with the many people who are huddled within the apparent safety of the shrouded valley.  Most of the bystanders are wearing long and worn-out looking overcoats, presumably to avoid possible identification. Some are wearing masks or simply hang their heads within their coat lapels to avoid eye contact.


But two of the primary rebels are boldly and loudly singing a song they call 'Sung to SOL'.  'Sol' is perceived as an entity who is the embodiment of a bureaucratic government organization known as 'SOL' - acronym for the 'Script Of Life' bureau. This organization gives each person (while they are quite young) a script that pretty much defines what they will be and what their routines will be thoughout the various stages of their life. The script can be fairly detailed, and gives little room for individuality. But of course it is Enforcable by law. When they move away from their parents (at a very early age) a living quarters is already assigned - kind of a small 'cost effective' people warehousing solution. Of course the people must follow the script in order to keep their meager place of residence, or ... well, lets just say things can get worse.


Dax for example was assigned a role as a 'statistical handler' and was trained for that position from a young age. Now each day he goes to his place of work - a small cubicle in the midst of about 1000 other small cubicles. There he and his coworkers review data that is gathered and processed regarding millions of people. Ironically, much of the statistical work he does indirectly feeds in to the SOL databases which in turn help determine what other people's roles may be. Because of this role, Dax is a bit cautious about opening up to the other's who are gathered in the pit of this hidden valley.


Austrellus and Zarkus are the two main 'unmasked' rebels who are presenting their rant with the most fervor. And they wave their hands into the sky as the complain of the many woes facing the people - all to the tunes of some very loud rock music (a practice also frowned upon by society).  Dax can't help but wonder how many people probably feel the same way.  How many would join this cause if not for fear, or simply perceived hopelessness?  Surely, most people could envision something better?


But Dax begins to observe more closely and critically, and he notices that these rebels are seemingly unarmed and they seem rather loosely organized. Probably harmless in fact. Some of them are quite bizarre in appearance and they would almost certainly be ineffective at mounting a 'global overthrow' of SOL or any of the other mechanistic processes that support SOL. The rebels actually seem more intent on complaining loudly and comiserating rather than really fixing anything.  Dax wonders if most of those gathered are really just here for the show? 


Besides, bad things often happen to rebels who get caught, don't they?  If caught by the Enforcers things would be bad for him, and if the rebels discover his work-script they might find him a threat to their secrecy.


So, while Dax is eager for change, and he knows that a part of the root problem is with society, he also feels that perhaps he might find another answer.  He decides to continue to visit the 'Shroud of the Silent' (a name that describes the cloaked valley hideaway) when he can on moonlit nights. And there he will try to get to know the some of the rebels. Who knows, things might change?  But just in case things don't change - at least in his lifetime - Dax wanted to consider other perhaps more personally achievable alternatives.

Credits

Words and Music written by: David Denton


Recorded by the Band 'Matrix' including:

Female Vocals - Cat Denton

Male Vocals - David Denton

Lead Guitars - David Denton

Rhythm Guitars - Cat Denton, David Denton

Bass - Mary Gunstone (May she RIP)

Drums - Jeff Didas

Commentary - Technical Notes

While I was in many bands over the years, and many of those bands performed original music, most of the songs from 'All Systems Go' were never played by the bands I was in.


I think it was more me than them, but I had a feeling some of my 'rock opera' songs were not 'cool enough' to do in a band. This is especially true since most of the bands I played in were strongly leaning toward hard rock/heavy metal (old school metal).  For example, I couldn't imagine springing a 'touchy feely' song like 'The Moon In the Sea' on them.   And I definitely never had the arrogance (although like most musicians, I certainly have some arrogance) to propose doing my whole 'rock opera' in a band I was in.  


Like many bands I played in, Matrix more or less took turns picking originals from the various members, so Cat, Mary, Jeff and I all introduced several songs and Matrix always worked them up in faithful manner.  Some of the better tunes were mostly built upon collaborations between Cat and Mary.  Anyway, one of my picks was this song, which at the time we just called 'Sung To Sol'


I am really happy with the way this was performed, and in 2017 I digitized and cleaned up the original recording.  The original was recorded on a 4 track cassette recorder in a crappy basement 'home studio' of a rental house. However, we gave lots of TLC to each track until we got it right. Sometimes the pipes of the house would vibrate while we recorded and we'd have to nix a track until we could dampen the noise.  Track mixdown was likewise tedious, and I can't recall if my old friend Lars Osley helped on this but he was involved with a lot of our sound and recording in Matrix. 


The original recording was not bad, but had some high end noise which I was able to remove pretty well using some digital tools.  The original bass part was almost lost in the mix, but somehow I was able to really bring back the bass response in the latter day mastering process.  Mary's bass lines were truly kick-ass and always followed the mood of the song.  


Spot on vocals by Cat and flawless drumming - including difficult time transitions by Jeff - really round out the song.  Mostly I just wrote it.  I was never really proud of my vocals.  And while the rhythm and solo guitar parts are novel, they are not really that difficult to play.


The song structure is again atypical in that it does not have a standard verse chorus pattern, and I feel that it has an interesting combination of energies from slow and ponderous, to energetic and somewhat frenzied.




Next Song: The Moon In The Sea