This song was written on November 8, 2016 – the day after that year’s presidential election. Like many Americans, I was blindsided by the realization that we had elected a narcissistic demagogue whose campaign was built on lies and fascist rhetoric. And like many others, I was anxious about the direction the country seemed to be headed, and the racially-charged polarization that was about to become more extreme. It seemed like a cloak of darkness had fallen over the land.
This was my headspace as I sat on my front porch that afternoon and watched elementary school kids walking home from school. They were cheerily skipping along just like any other day, oblivious to the social upheaval that would soon permeate our society. I worried for these kids’ future. How would we explain to them that “this is not normal”, and that we would eventually get through this darkness and find our way to a better place?
“Who will teach them not to hate? How will they learn to mediate?
I’m releasing this song on Jan 19, the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration. Many folks who felt devastated by the 2016 election have held on to hope, and many have become motivated and proactive towards social change. And the effects of that motivation made a difference in the 2020 elections. Politics is a complicated beast- there are many opinions and few heroes. No one expects everything to magically get better overnight. But hopefully this country will soon find a way to unite and move forward together.
For the “Darkness In Disguise” video, I didn’t want to feature the orange man himself, so instead I just focused on the musicians, while including footage of a burning campfire.
Thanks to Andrew Hanmer for laying down the drums, and William Tonks for his dobro work. And as always, big thanks to Shelley & Karen from Whisper Kiss :-).
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DARKNESS IN DISGUISE Darkness in disguise Behind the lying eyes There's nothing to believe History received Headaches deep into the night Tearful, twisted and tight Will there be any chance to make it right? We've extinguished all the light We felt this way before So strange to feel it once more Like a bad dream pounding at your door Stinging like an open sore How can we move on When everybody's wrong? We'll never get along Always singing different songs The children walking home from school On a November afternoon So full of hope, they'll learn to cope But they're gonna grow up too soon Who will teach them not to hate? How will they learn to mediate? When they're living in the divided states Of America Fallen from grace Anger in the land Stick it to the man Bullied to the ground Beaten when we're down Where do we go from here? Who will soothe our fear? Falling down the stairs Scatter everywhere We don't mean to resent But we feel misrepresented We've been apprehended And we can't keep pretending That the story has an ending Pinch me so I'll wake Take away this ache Shine the light on me Shine it till we're free