Manic Depressive?

I recently downloaded fifty dollars of music from iTunes, songs I'd marked over the last month or two, and I'm just getting around to listening to all of them, mostly while playing a mindless game called "Big Bang Reaction."

It's a pretty diverse group of songs, including soulful ballads, New-age synthesizers, and reggae. I like to think I have a fairly wide range of tastes when it comes to music. Just how wide, though, doesn't become apparent until I stop and listen carefully to the lyrics, and the music behind the lyrics.

Though I'd really like to include the music, I'm not willing to tempt fate, so I'll just include the lyrics from two of the songs which are found all over the net, including the artists' official sites.

The first lyrics are from Bob Sinclair's Western Dream album:

LOVE GENERATION

From Jamaica to the world
It's just love, It's just love,

Why must the children play in the street?
Broken arms can fade the dreams
Peace on earth to everyone that you meet
Don't you worry, It could be so sweet

Just look to the rainbow you will see,
The sun will shine 'till eternity
I've got so much love in my heart
No one can tear it apart

Feel the love generation
Feel the love generation

Come on, come on, come on,

Feel the Love Generation
Feel the Love Generation

Don't worry about a thing, gonna be all right

Why must the children play in the street?
Broken hearts, faded the dreams
Peace on earth to everyone that you meet
Don't you worry, It could be so sweet

Just look to the rainbow you will see,
The sun will shine 'till eternity
I've got so much love in my heart
No one can tear it apart

The lyrics are actually less cheerful than the reggae music which makes even me feel like getting up and dancing, though I restrain myself and limit my dancing to fingers on the keyboard. It's an uplifting song, reminding me of early years when I loved to go dancing in local bars until the wee late hours, and everything, including the girls, looked more beautiful through those amber glasses.

This mood, however, is counterbalanced by Traci Chapman's album Where You Live, and positively blown away by Bruce Cockburn's album You've Never Seen Everything:

YOU'VE NEVER SEEN EVERYTHING
Nobody's making me say this
I'm talking to you
Been traveling 17 hours
Irradiated by signals, by images
of viruses, of virtues
like everyone
Like exiled angels we swing out of the clouds
Above night city-
Fields of light broken by the curve of dark waterways

On the other side of the world
an unhappy teenage girl sets fire
to herself, her house, her neighbourhood and some that dwell therein
Sorry simulacrum of sad dawn

You've never seen everything

Sleep of the just, sleep of reason, any damn kind of sleep please!
I'm trying to balance on a sloping bed in Naples
or is it Skopje? I forget
Through the thin hotel wall a man groans in his dreams

And on the other side of the world
the drug squad busts a child's birthday party
Puts bullets in the family dog and the blood goes all over the baby
And the Mounties are strip-searching schoolgirls
because they can

And a car crashes and burns on an offramp from the Gardiner
Two dogs in the back seat die, and in the front
a man and his mother
Forensics reveals the lady has pitchfork wounds in her chest -
Pitchfork!
And that the same or a similar instrument has been screwed to the dash
to make sure the driver goes too

You've never seen everything

I see:
A leader of the people with a ring in his nose
And the leaders of business tell him which way to go
With tugs on the golden chain which once led the golden calf
And we're supposed to be impressed with their success
But my mind goes blank before the unbelievable indifference
shown life
spirit
the future
anything green
anything just

Bad pressure coming down
Tears - what we really traffic in
ride the ribbon of shadow
Never feel the light falling all around
Years ago when my brother was in India
A small town baker got a bright idea
He cut his flour with pesticide
and sent a bunch of neighbours on their longest journey
He was just being cheap -trying to make a profit
Didn't even have shareholders to answer to

But it's worth remembering, as we sell off the forest
gene-splice the world's food into an instrument of control
maim and destroy as acts of theatre,
what came next -
That when the survivors looked around
and understood what had been done
they butchered
that baker

Snow swirls in the parking lot light like flour
like pesticide There's a trade war brewing - or at least that's the face they paint on it

But it's only more transnational manipulation
It's all bad magic and gangrene politics
Hormone disruptors and carcinogenetics
Greed twists eternal in the human breast
But the market has no brain
It doesn't love it's not God
All it knows is the price of lunch

Here I sit
Staring at my own shadow
Feeling my blood move
Trying not to have a drink
Trying to find somewhere to put the rage I'm carrying

Bad pressure coming down
Tears - what we really traffic in
ride the ribbon of shadow
Never feel the light falling all around
Never feel the light falling all around
You've never seen everything

Am I manic depressive to find pleasure in both of these songs? Or just idealistic even though I know better?

4 thoughts on “Manic Depressive?

  1. this world is such a mysterious place…beauty exists along side ugliness…but perhaps it has to be that way to see the true beauty…if there is no ugliness there would be no beauty…

What do you think?