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Daily Lyric: DON’T TURN YOUR BACK ON YESTERDAY

Well, there’s bands playing on the strip tonight, there’s music to be made

There’s beer to be drunk, people to be danced with, and hell to raise

There’s fast cars on the circuit tonight

But in spite of it all, something’s not right

Because without you, there’s a hole right through my heart

Oh be my lovelady, be my pretty baby

We weren’t meant to be apart.

Don’t turn your back on yesterday

Not everything about it was wrong

Once upon a time it was cool and it was fine

To make some kind of impression with a romantic song

Don’t turn your back on yesterday

Doesn’t mean getting stuck in the past

The present is here, the future’s unclear

So let’s take what we didn’t have and make it last.

Just gimme a couple days wandering and I’ll be mighty fine

And in the shadow of the abandoned rollercoaster covered with vines

There lies the wreckage of yesterday’s rides

It’s only rubble to untrained eyes

But it’s holy relics to the knowing heart

So if it’s me you’re wanting you can find me haunting

The old amusement park.

Don’t turn your back on yesterday …

Well, there’s an impatient driver bopping left to right,

just itching to get out of his lane

Bouncing between the lines like a ping pong ball,

driving everyone around him insane

Is he drunk, is he old, is he just undecided

Or is he overhyped and overexcited

Trying to get to where the party’s at as fast as he can

Well, it’s been a long time since the shore

has heard the sound of a sax

And that beach-grill-fried rock’n’roll oozing up

from between the boardwalk cracks

Hey, put that sweet soul music on

Though its time has come and gone

Tell the DJ to step aside and make room for the band

The last of the true believers

Are caught up in the fever

And tonight they’ll make their final stand

But when the bars close, the streets fill up with desperate guys

Looking to give it one last shot before sunrise

And me, I’m out there too

But don’t count me among that crew

‘Cuz I know better than playing that tough-guy part

Well, maybe with the rising of the new day

Will come the finding of the true way

To your precious heart.

Don’t turn your back on yesterday …

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

"Cruising Seaside" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
But when the bars close, the streets fill up with desperate guys / Looking to give it one last shot before sunrise.

These lyrics had their genesis in 1990, when my wife-at-the-time and I began growing apart. She was taking more and more opportunities to go home to mother, taking our daughter with her, leaving me to do whatever while she was away. I would usually take the opportunity to go down to the Jersey Shore (a four- to five-hour drive from Boston, where we were living at the time) and make exploratory forays to places I had only heard or read about. The first two verses and the several lines in the last verse date back to that time, and they are really a plea to her to remember why we had fallen in love in the first place and that whatever wanderings I was making to the old shore haunts were incomplete without her ... even though she had made clear she wanted no part of them. These verses and fragments remained frozen in place after that marriage ended and just took up room in my notebooks, unfinished, ever since then. (Some of the lines were later tweaked a bit and put into two other songs of mine, "The Sixth Day" and "Blessing of Hope," the latter of which was about and addressed to my older daughter, the same child of that marriage.) Then, in the spring of 2023, amidst the throes of a creeping feeling of my own mortality, I revisited these and other unfinished lyrics; I finished the last verse and added the bridge, but I was stuck for a title/chorus/hook. I mined my library of throwaway lines but nothing captured my imagination. I reached out to several singer-songwriter friends who would be able to appreciate this "Jersey Shore" style of songwriting, but only one came up with the line that became the title ... which, in turn, triggered the writing of the chorus. And as of June 2023, the lyric was complete. The music has yet to be written, but it's fairly certain it will be in that vaunted "Jersey Shore rock'n'roll" style, even though I have begun to move away from it lately.

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