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Updated: Apr 2

Summer vacation rolled in quietly

But it was a day I’d always remember

I was finishing my third year of high school

And I’d be a senior when I’d come back in September

School was out, no place to find a job

Looking like a real bummer

But was I in for a surprise

It was not just another summer

Long August days get so damn hot and lazy

Especially when there’s nothing to do

So I took bus four three four to Jerusalem

Holy city blue

It was morning at the start of the two-hour ride

I got off in the noonday heat

It was night by the time I reached the crossroads

And was halfway across the street

I heard a voice calling out my name

I turned around and I saw you there

I walked you up to your dorm on the hill

But when we reached the place where it was supposed to be

It just wasn’t there

We turned the corner and found ourselves in Long Beach

That place where I lived for so long

We went up to the boardwalk and I showed you the view

But when the light rose in the west I knew something went wrong

I saw the Rockaways go under, I saw the Playland drop below

I went through the cloudless storm and saw the breakers grow

The lights on the Highlands blacked out in the night

They never lived to see the morning light

The waves swelled up to thirty feet and smashed into the shore

Tearing up the boardwalk with a shattering roar

I ran for refuge in the Promenade Hotel

Flying down five floors pursued

But the waters of hell

I grabbed you by the hand and ran twenty stories down

The wild Atlantic chasing us just wanting us to drown

We made it to the bottom and bolted the steel door

To try and stop the flood before it reached the bottom floor

I felt the wave’s impact and my heart took a fall

But then we found ourselves in this strange meeting hall

Where the Prophet Of The Night got up on this day

And spoke his last words—I thought I heard him say

Tonight in the City and all across the Island

From Point Pleasant on up to Atlantic Highlands

The darkness will come down and be with us forever

The streets will light eternally and become the land of never

The highways will be jammed with lonely young ones

Driving on to a morning that never comes

It’ll seem like paradise at first but that feeling will be lost

The tables will be turned and you will pay the cost

Lovers will wrestle but will never win

Lost souls wait for their ship but it won’t come in

This world is sick and it’s long past due

To pay for the sins

Thousands are missing, still more have died

With the passing of the last thirty-foot tide

There’ll be nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide

When the wave storm will subside

And the trains keep on rolling in the middle of the night

Trying to get their long run done before the morning light

The motormen will never know, they’ll never see the dawn

The daylight is forever gone

I know there’s a place we can go

Away from this cruel world

Where darkness is darkness, and light is light

Where I’ll be your guy, you’ll be my girl

And I know that a time will come

When we get to that place

We’ll live together forever in peace

And only the good life will show its face

It’s night in the City, the Island, the Shore

Although it’s daylight here it don’t shine there no more

The people still living there live in fear

But nothing in the world can make us

Want to leave here

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

"Not Just Another Summer" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.

One morning in late October 2012, several days after Hurricane Sandy pummeled and pulverized the part of the world that I consider my creative element, I woke up with some music I wrote long ago playing vaguely in the back of my mind. As I stared at myself in the mirror while washing up, the words to that music resurfaced in my memory with a lurch. And I felt an electric jolt course through my nerves.

I wrote this song in 1984—over two decades before Sandy. Growing up at the beach, near the ocean with its awesome power, had a strong effect on my subconscious, and the resulting dreams could become very frightening. This song was based on those dreams, especially one involving a violent storm.

"It was supposed to be science fiction," Billy Joel said when he introduced his song "Miami 2017" at a benefit for New York City after 9/11. He had no idea it was ever going to become real. Likewise, I never thought that the images that I remember so vividly from the dreams I had as a child and teenager would turn into something so real and devastating.

Musically, this is an epic, combining elements of The Who, Jim Steinman, Toto, and Springsteen. I banged this out on the piano numerous times but never actually performed it for an audience or recorded it.

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