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  • Writer's pictureHesh Meister

Lyric of the Week: LOVE RUNS AGROUND

Love runs aground

A wrenching sound

Into the shore like a burning ocean liner

Drifting, smoking, ramming into this town

What happens to a love that couldn’t get much finer



Seven days and seven nights just like a bad dream

Nobody knows if there will be any survivors

Such a senseless end was unforeseen

Straight from the wedding

They were heading

Off to a happy ending

But they caught fire out at sea

They lost power

In the fateful hour

Just what went wrong remains a mystery



The burning hulk beached off the convention hall

Destruction meets destruction and the toll rises higher

Spectators from the city

Come one, come all

Is this conflagration

The sorry culmination

Of a romance everybody said

Showed a sea of promise

Sha la la

It was magic

Now it’s tragic

Fairy tale love gone become a nightmare

Save Our Ship

Save Our Survivors

Save Our Souls

sweet rock’n’roll

It was a class act

Now it's a sad fact

B-movie love affair done gone up in flames

Save Our Ship

Save Our Survivors

Save Our Souls

sweet rock’n’roll

Love runs aground …

©2017, 2022 The Hesh Inc.
Morro Castle beached off Convention Hall
Spectators from the city, come one come all!

This is the "subtitle track" on the album Soul In Exile 3: Love Runs Aground. I started writing it in 1989, when I was going to college at the Art Institute of Boston. I was noodling on the piano in the empty auditorium at the Hillel House on the nearby Boston University campus during a break between classes one afternoon.

What was going on in my life at the time? I was unhappy living in Boston, and I was disillusioned with the idea of pursuing graphic design as a career. My first marriage was on the rocks; my then-wife would use every excuse to go home to mother for the holidays, taking our daughter with her. And I would take advantage of their absence to go down to the Jersey Shore by myself. Somehow, in all of this, the Morro Castle disaster became emblematic of the state of my personal life: ship bearing newlyweds burns while at sea and crashes offshore, right near the building I used as a metaphor in another song for the institution of marriage.

The music I had noodled on at BU Hillel was The Boss' live staple from the early 1970s, "Thundercrack" (which was still only available as a bootleg at the time), turning the major key into a minor. Then lyrically, I thought of Elton John's "Love Lies Bleeding," but tweaked it a bit with the image of the Morro Castle in my mind.

Once my life in Boston crumbled and I moved to the Jersey Shore, I set about the business of forming a band. One of the first songs I introduced was this one. It became a staple of our setlists and pretty much remained in the repertoire ever since. I recorded a demo version of it while taking an electronic music course at Brookdale College and later attempted a band version of it in the studio when recording the previous installment of my magnum opus, but it didn't go anywhere.

But then the time came to record the next installment, and so I made sure it was done right, as close as possible to the way I had heard it in my mind's ear for all these years. As it happens, it is the only song on the album that falls within the typical radio format without being edited.

In his review of the new album, John Pfeiffer wrote in The Aquarian Weekly:

"Love Runs Aground" is up next. Part analogy of the past, a part prophecy of the present situation, "Love Runs Aground" chugs into the players with weight all its own. Hesh talks of past grief and glory and present corporate greed as he spins his tale of the past and ongoing. [Lead guitarist PK] Lavengood growls and chugs over the able ministrations of Sparber, Kieffer, and Lopresto as Hesh squeezes everything he has out of the keyboards. Organs whirl and groan under pianos, bass, drums, and guitars, and it’s a keeper for sure.

The remixed and remastered (and to my ears, definitive) version of the song appears on Soul In Exile Redux, released on January 28, 2022.

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