The title song, "Running on Gravity" is based on an event that, for years, I had "papered over" in my memory as something sort of funny. In fact, when my compatriot and I had told our friends about the incident as early as the next day, we cast the whole thing as something "cool"--youthful hijinks. Friends laughed. After that, i would trot the story out once in a while, accessing it from the "funny anecdotes" drawer in my brain.
As with every song I've written, the music for Running "appeared" first, and then the lyrics. But that's where the similarity ends. Usually, a lot of time will pass before any lyrics "appear" . . . before I even know what a song is about. Not this time. There was something about driving home on this particular night, coming over that last hill into Boulder and seeing that sea of lights against the ocean of black. By the time my wife, Lael, and I walked into our house, the chords, the melody, and the rhythm were already there--and, they all just kicked ass. It was everything I could do to run in and grab my Taylor before they could all get away. And then something most odd happened: the story/lyrics spilled out as well, almost immediately, and in full blossom. By 3:00 a.m.,the whole thing was a "wrap." I woke Lael up excitedly and played it for her. How cool is that? A song I was REALLY proud of: signed, sealed, and delivered, all in the matter of a few hours.
Or so I thought.
There's this guy inside me--a guy who won't put up with BS if it does violence to something we both "know." He wasn't "done" in the slightest. What followed were several nights of nightmares. Wild animals. Shrieking noises. Terror. Blackness.
And, then, for the first time ever, tears. Tears that had waited patiently, for decades.
I had known several kids who died violently in car crashes. In fact, a full carload of them, all one year my junior, had plowed into an abutment in eastern Colorado within days of high-school graduation. There, but for the grace of God and the sometimes benign laws of physics had gone me and my friend as well.
I re-wrote the song and gave the incident the seriousness it deserved. And the nightmares stopped.
Number One. I'm not in the songwriting business for self therapy. So, for one thing, because Running is a teenage-driving song, it requires the chapter that I was spared: blood and dead teenagers.
Number Two. I'm an Irishman. Even it it's a social disaster to do so, an Irishman can't help but try to make his audience laugh. So, despite the demands of the "guy inside me," there's still a goodly salting of humor in the song
. . . I mean, if one is crashing, hell bent for leather, down a sheer mountainside, he probably wouldn't describe it as "rocking and rolling all the way to town" now, would he?
The description of the song which appears in the "odds and ends" page was provided as background for Running and became part of a feature to be found at the RARWRITER music site.