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Daily Lyric: THIS IS MY TOWN

Updated: Apr 2

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the streets are knee deep in water

The town’s hunkered down and everything in it is out of order

The sky is storming like a flaming sword threatening to bring the skyline asunder

But I’m gonna walk outside anyway and damn the lightning and the thunder

I fought long and hard to be here, I think I’ve earned the right

To take my place among the spirits breaking out from among the blight

No use explaining to all the folks who can never understand quite why

This is my town and I’ll walk outside here, no matter what’s coming down from the sky.

Three straight days and nights, the rain won’t seem to stop

But there’s a spirit in the rain that’s calling me and so I walk through the big fat drops

And as the water saturates, the spirit penetrates, and somehow I’m washed clean of the past

The demons and dirt are swept away, the weight lifted at last

Armed with a camera, I take to the streets to capture views of a place long forsaken

But these mere echoes only remind me that the greatest pictures cannot be taken

Still, I wander in the rain and survey the scenes with my practiced artist’s eye

This is my town and I’ll walk outside here, no matter what’s falling from the sky.

Now here comes the sun, banishing the clouds and bathing the town with hope

The seekers and tourists come out of their shells, keeping the landmarks in their scopes

They look to touch the dream and get a piece of the mythos and then get way the hell out of town

Back to the safety of their hotels somewhere on the southern shore when the sun goes down

And when the night comes, the would-be successor will take the stage

Transporting the revelers back to a long since forgotten age

I’ll take it all in, get baptized in smoke, and be spun out into the night with a sigh

This is my town and I’ll walk outside here, no matter what’s falling from the sky.

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Berkeley Carteret Hotel in the rain
Look closely and you'll see the rain.

I came back to Asbury Park on a trip by myself in 1989. I had been there a year earlier, eager to show my new wife how great the legendary town was, with a booming music scene, cars riding the Circuit on a Saturday night, and rides and games along the boardwalk—and I was stunned to find it in a state of abject desolation. Prior to that, I had last been in the city some five years before, when the action was still going strong, and so I thought things were still the same—but what I received was a rude awakening. So in the summer of 1989, my wife had gone back to Colorado to visit her family there, and I came down to the Shore to reckon with all the ghosts of the past and understand why everything had turned out the way it did. The first full day I was there, the rain was coming down torrentially, and it really felt that the spirits of departed people whom I knew were present and making their agony known. Rather than seek shelter from the incessant rain, I went out in it, letting myself get soaked to the bone and tramping through the roads-turned-rivers. I needed to immerse myself if it, and the heavens offered me the opportunity to do so—literally.

The song was assembled from several pages of throwaway lines I had written on that trip as well as subsequently. I thought at some point to make it part of the Soul In Exile project, given the subject matter, but decided not to because it didn't tell the story as succinctly as other songs in the canon. Never performed or recorded.

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