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Daily Lyric: 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, 2022 The Hesh Inc.
SIE3, Escherized
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, the first Soul In Exile, 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.

This is the version of the song—remixed, remastered, and definitive—that appears on Soul In Exile Redux, released on January 28, 2022.

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