Lyric of the Week: (THEME FROM) REALITY SHOCK
You build up a wall, you live in a shell
Postpone the real issues and then all is well
Sheltered haven’s your life, like blinders on a horse
Deciding not to decide is a matter of course
One day you’re gonna wake up
And get zapped back into the real world
One day your illusions are gonna break up
Reality Shock will have the final word.
You played with less than a full deck, loaded and marked
Poker face joker ace like an old-hand shark
You stacked the odds against me and you dealt it hard
But all you built out of it was a house of cards
One day babe, that righteous wind
Is gonna blow your flimsy creation away
One day babe, it’s gonna do you in
Reality Shock like lightning on a clear blue day.
Shocked by reality! What more can I say
Like the day your child will tell you he or she is gay
Your best friend, the “man’s man,” he loves to wear a dress
He wishes he was born a girl—you never would have guessed.
Wake up in the morning and find your lover is gone
Got big bills to pay but your account is overdrawn
Can’t get no job without a home, can’t get no home without a job
The taxman cometh and he leaveth thee robbed.
Radio says the president has been shot dead
Now the country’s running leaderless like a chicken without a head
The controversial prime minister has just resigned
There’s chaos in the streets like everybody’s lost their mind.
Go on and live your life and go your merry way
Put one foot in front of the other, come whatever may
Delude yourself into thinking things aren’t as bad as they seem
Believing you’ll wake up soon out of this terrible dream.
But one day soon it’ll all hit you at once
And your ship of stability will run aground
You’ll find that all you held dear was just a front
Your unsinkable faith will follow the Titanic down.
One day it’s all gonna blow up in your face
And you’ll be scrambling to find your voice
What you thought was substance is just empty space
Circumstance will leave you with no other choice.
Well one day it’ll all come down like a ton of bricks
You’ll realize you can no longer pretend
Your cheap wooden house will get blown to tindersticks
Reality Shock will get you at the very very end.
©2019 The Hesh Inc.
The original REALITY SHOCK Band (L-R): Emil Leuchter, Yaron Ohrbach, Gedaliah Ben-Israel, Izzy Kieffer, Mark Rosovsky, Akiva Ganz (in DJ booth), and some weird guy on keys; JBR Club, Jerusalem, Israel c. 1982.
"REALITY SHOCK" is, of course, the name of the project that my longtime musical partner, Izzy Kieffer, and I have been carrying on, on and off, since our high school days. But the history goes a bit deeper than that; it is the title of a song written by two members of the original REALITY SHOCK band, saxophonist Gedaliah Ben-Israel and guitarist Emil Leuchter, back during the band's original run in Jerusalem in the 1980s. It was originally written as an instrumental, with a jazz/r&b vibe akin to that of Van Morrison's "Moondance," and when it was performed live, Gedaliah would deliver a fiery sermon during the song's midsection after the band had jammed on the main theme a few times. He would describe being caught by surprise after one's reality had been altered by sudden change in circumstances, blowing a few lines on the sax after each example of such reality shock. In those early days, though, the band went by the decidedly uninspired name of "The Electric Blues Band" and needed something more exciting to interest potential audiences, and while brainstorming on new names during rehearsal, Izzy decided that the song title would make a great band name. The others in the band, including yours truly, liked the idea, and that's how the whole thing started.
The original tune, "Reality Shock," never had any lyrics; it was always performed as an instrumental jam, framing Gedaliah's brimstone and fire. In the early 2000s, when Izzy and I were performing once more under the name REALITY SHOCK but as a duo, joined at times by several other musicians, I decided to write some lyrics to fit the music. I drew upon some of the images from Gedaliah's rap, especially in the third verse, and added my own as well. The "Theme From" was added to the title as a sort of in-joke dating back to "Theme From Rawhide" in The Blues Brothers movie. Oddly enough, though, "(Theme From) Reality Shock" was never recorded or performed ... but that could change soon.