Lyric of the Week: SOUL IN EXILE (the song)
Well our love ran aground when the passion engine locked
The sudden jolt caused me to bolt and finally take stock
Our house was made of glass and you flung that rock
And I was shattered by the crash
I moved the token of our love from my finger to my pocket
I’d love to take it to the lake and shoot it off like a rocket
Or maybe I’ll just take it downtown and hock it
After all, I could use the cash
I tried walking all over the shards of what we used to be
But in my blindness and oblivion I stepped on them in my bare feet
My soul in exile, trailing my blood in the street
Oh those glass memories cut so deep
Remember what must be like ancient history
How we’d spin up to the cities in search of music and poetry
The little lost sheep poet’s son-in-law would turn his own key
From an old tradition into a song
From the bottom line to the middle east to the castle by the sea
From the funky clubs down the aisle on the way to the canopy
This time it was to be for real, it was to forever be
And you marched on right along
I Love You I Love You I Love You Seven Times Round My Soul went the refrain
And for snail’s pace time I couldn’t put it on for fear of withdrawal pain
My soul in exile, tried crying but no tears came
This time nothing remains
Well our love running aground
It must have been a spectacular sight to see
Considering how it blew up like Independence Day fireworks
In front of the whole community
And speaking of independence
I’m taking my time cherishing my newfound liberty
Time and money are mine to spend
Any which way now that I’m free
I’m doing all the things I couldn’t do with you
And I’m doing them with such glee
You thought I wouldn’t have the guts
But that just shows how well you really knew me
You think I’ll just sit here and rhapsodize
Till I question my sanity
But that won’t happen this time, you see
I’m through with the dirge and elegy.
Well there would have been a time
I’d have loaded up my car with all my past mistakes
And like a stunt in a movie
I’d stick the accelerator to the floor and disconnect the brakes
I’d take her up Edgemont
And with a figure-eight spin I’d ditch her in the lake
As if somehow all that would
Eliminate all the pain and dull all the ache
Well this time I think
I’ll leave all the garbage by the curbside
I’ll set all the flotsam at the waterline
Let it get taken by the high tide
Then I’ll point my car whichever way she’ll go
And hit the road for that long, long ride
But without you as the rider by my side
I have only my faith as a guide
My ship runs adrift when cast off from you
With nowhere to land, no direction, little hope of rescue
My soul is in exile as long as it’s not one with you ...
©2017 The Hesh Inc.
Because I couldn't find any public-domain photo of a soul in exile.
This is the title track from the new album—indeed, the title track for the whole magnum opus. If the preceding track in the album, "Love Runs Aground," is a picture of a marriage running on the rocks, this is a song about what happens afterwards—the withdrawal pains in the wake of an unwanted divorce and the seemingly futile attempts to pick up the pieces.
I wrote the music in early 1990 in Boston, as my life and marriage there were falling apart. I had been quite under the influence of Van Morrison's His Band and Street Choir for much of the preceding year, and the closing track of Side One, "I'll Be Your Lover Too," was very much on my mind, as a plea to my then-wife to remember how much I still loved her. But all such pleas ultimately went nowhere, and in the aftermath of our divorce I moved from Boston to the Jersey Shore, taking the music with me to Interlaken on the outskirts of Asbury Park, where I wrote the words.
The first version of the song, recorded in my basement studio in Ocean Grove and released on my debut album in 2000, had a different bridge. I later rewrote the bridge (in the aftermath of my second divorce; go figure) and gave it a more upbeat, ska-like rhythm, giving a hint of optimism at being able to shake off the blues brought on by the breakup. With the newly refurbished bridge and full-band arrangement, the song was recorded at Retromedia Studios in Red Bank, NJ, and released on Soul In Exile 3: Love Runs Aground in March 2017.
In his review of the album for The Aquarian Weekly, Shoreworld columnist John Pfeiffer writes of the song:
"Soul In Exile" takes the stage next. Slow, laid back and in the pocket, "Soul In Exile" is a slinky, blues-based rocker in the vein of Billy Bob Thornton and his band The Boxmasters. Organs lay hazy trails over solid bass and drums as [guitarist Sparber] chops and back pull across the strings for his country tone. Hesh has a great vocal tone, and it comes across like gangbusters here. The song segues into an upbeat, reggae-styled tempo as horns once again blast across the field of the piece. I should mention the fact that Kieffer is responsible for the brass arrangements on this record and he did a hell of a job there as well. Hesh turns things around in the last section, bringing it back to the country, Nashville meets Jersey-based feel of the first part.
Listen to the song here ...
... and then buy the album:
Meantime, I believe I'll go listen to Billy Bob and the Boxmasters. :)