I’m posting a new song I wrote and recorded called “Vanish Into Air.” It includes the following reminiscence about being a teenager: “Had a dream, I’m back at the old school/ To prove myself again back there/ The only thing I did the first time ’round was vanish into air.” If that seems a little bleak, it’s because I was trying to write a Smiths song, except I hardly know the Smiths apart from The Queen Is Dead, and I couldn’t play and sing like that if I tried. (Everything I write sounds hopelessly mid-’70s.) What appeals to me about the young Morrissey is how happy he seems about being miserable.
Anyway, high school wasn’t as bad as all that. I did, however, feel invisible most of the time—alienated, uncomfortable in my skin, unable to be confident in my own voice (which is partly why the theme of The King’s Speech appealed to me so much). My musical heroes spoke for me, though. They saw the world the way I saw it. They got me, even if no one else did. That’s how I felt, at least—I still do to some extent!
I discovered Dylan in 1985, which changed my life, and his last verse from “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” said it all for me:
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
It seems like my whole life has been, in part, a struggle to “know my song well”—this song of life that God has given me to sing. I don’t think my song is better than most people’s, but at least it’s my own. No one can sing it like me, for better or worse!
I’ll say more about my early interest in music later. In the meantime, enjoy the song. I sang and played all instruments—although I played the drums on a MIDI-keyboard.
(The other original songs I’ve posted on the blog can be found here.)