Take This Noise Away

Sometimes I wish I could heed my own advice. Last night I was performing with Dani Bell and the Tarantist and during the song Hired Hands she sung the lyric “Turn the news down / it’s killing me / how much sorrow can you see / how much sorrow can there be?” It’s the fragility with which she handles those words that made me feel so much last night. 

I glue my eyes to the glow of tragedies, searching for a “why” that never carries any kind of weight. I don’t know if it’s a quest to stay informed or an obsession with the bleakness unfolding, but it captures me. I’m reintroduced to myself daily. Some news cycles hit tough skin and roll off, the redundancy of it all, just another Wednesday in America. And then other moments make my emotions feel like a slug, headlines are a cruel child pouring salt and the writhing is uncontrollable. I was driving towards the gig, listening to NPR as the details were unfolding and the newscaster said “we’ll have the latest on the shooting” and I was struck with this devastating déjà vu, on this exact road, on a similar time of day, the sun touched my skin through the same open window and I had heard that exact newscaster say those exact words with the identical defeated tone owning his voice. “We’ll have the latest on the shooting.” I can’t recall a time when so much joy and sadness occupied the same moments. Music my celebration with the ones I love and at the same time it’s a mirror held up to the struggle we all partake in, the quest for understanding, something utterly unobtainable in the face of this. Birdy, Dillon and I were working on a song a few weeks ago, probably after a different mass shooting, I can’t even retrace the silhouette of this malevolent muse anymore, but the words seemed relevant and I long for the day when they don’t. Lately every post I write just feels like I’m plugging some past reflection into a thesaurus and throwing the same stale questions at a mute and indifferent God.

Take This Noise Away

Captive audience
Captured by the glow
And the phantom rings
Of a lifeless phone
It's a napalm dawn
And a bloodshot sky
When your favorite song's a
Broken lullaby
Give me open road
Give me setting sun
(Be)fore I overdose
Rhetoric and guns
I can't take the weight
Of another word
Though I'll wait for you
Like a dream that's been deferred

Will you save me from
All you can think of
Will you show me some
Something strong as love
Maybe just distract
Me from all the print
If the papers bleed
Will you let me squint
I'm so tired of
New distopia
And I'm fired up
And I hope you just
Cool and calm me down
Tame my flame and crown
Put this fire out
But don't let me drown

Just take this noise away
Take this noise away

History repeats
Like a lunatic
Running through the streets
Shouting at the bricks
And they pray for change
Yet they act the same
Sit and watch and wait
Lightening strikes again
So if this is it
If we're going down
On a sinking ship
With corroded crowns
Will you hold me close
Watch the sun catch fire
And remind me why
It was worth a fight