Bedroom Demos- Vol. 17

by Terry Scott Taylor

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Mastered by Bruce Neher
Photo by Christian Kuebler

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released October 12, 2018

Vocals, guitar: TST

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Track Name: Chicken Crosses The Road- 2018
Chicken Crosses The Road- 2018
from the TST album "John Wayne"
Words & Music by Terry Taylor
©1998 Shape Of Air Music (BMI)

So you concede
You're on the spot
Find all you need
in what you've got
and run
everybody come
to the other side
It's all right
gonna be all right
We cross the street
by faith and fear
We catch some heat
but we're in the clear
Love
everybody love
and come into the light
where it's all right
it's all right
gonna be all right
Some fall
Some faint
Some give
Some take
Some true
Some fake
Some small
Some great
Some soon
Some late
We crawl
by faith
'til everybody's home....
You will be led
on through the tide
of lost and dead
so deep and wide
So run
everybody come
to the other side
where it's all right
Love
everybody love
Come into the light
where it's all right
it's all right
gonna be all right ('cause everybody's home)
Find all you need
in what you've got......

guitar and vocals: T.S. Taylor

Note:
It’s a fairly simple lyric, easily understood. I simply wanted to offer words of comfort and encouragement to my fellow faith-travelers and “Chicken” was the result. In this version the listener is hearing the tune as it would have sounded in its infancy; the only exception to this is the backing vocals on the turn-around at song's end; I included these since they were the background vocals I was hearing in my head virtually the entire time I was composing the song. I’ve added a bit of reverb to them since we have all learned through movies and television that whenever someone hears a voice in their head, especially their own, it is usually drenched in echo!
Track Name: Jesus Wept- 2018
Jesus Wept- 2018
from the DA album Dig Here Said the Angel
Music by Daniel Amos, Words by T.S. Taylor
©2013 Shape of Air Music, BMI

I found my masterpiece in a discount bin
I pound against the wall of my aging skin
Crying “Let me out”
“Let me out”
Who’ll untie the ropes that restrain my wings
And help me understand when death still stings
I’m crying “Let me out”
You’re saying “No, not yet”
Before he danced Jesus wept
I’m living in the ache of missing you
Sealed in this Lazarus grave
With nothing else to do
But cry “Let me out”
“Let me out”
Another bad guy wins
More good friends die
They mounted up like eagles
Now they’re dropping like flies
I cry “Let me out”
You’re saying “No, not yet”
Before he danced Jesus wept
Before the latter rain
Jesus wept
Before the healing came
Jesus wept
Before he paid in full every debt
Jesus wept
There’s not a holy man who doesn’t know grief well
Or think the road to heaven doesn’t pass through hell
They’ve cried “Let me out”
They’ve heard “No, not yet”
They know before he danced Jesus wept
He cried “It is finished” now
He cried “It is finished” now

Instruments and vocals: T.S. Taylor

Note:
As a young Christian I knew very little about the concept of Christian suffering. This was not exactly a useful tool for evangelism, so we Christians either avoided the subject all together or were just plain ignorant of the concept. “Hey! God’s got a wonderful plan for your life and suffering is going to play a major role in it!! Sounds wonderful dontcha think?”, isn’t exactly a formula for soul winning. We want to be bearers of the good news i.e. “God’s got a wonderful plan for your life,” we told unbelievers and it no doubt is a wonderful plan, the snag is that God achieves his purposes in us through what Paul referred to as “the fellowship of suffering,” or what I call Christianity’s “dirty little secret” even though the new and old testaments are declaring it from the roof tops. We told others that everything would be sweetness and light if they would only give their lives to Christ, but how many of us have turned our backs on The Faith because we were living under this false impression, which is really a self delusion. When things got rough for us we figured God would turn the tide, right the ship, protect us from all the hard stuff, But He didn’t, and He doesn’t, because this is the means by which he forms Christ in us. We are not greater than the Master; Jesus was a man “acquainted with grief” and if we are truly to pick up our cross and follow Him, we will suffer too.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 1 Peter 4:1
And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death….Philippians 3:10
Not only so, but we also glory in His sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Romans 5:3
I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him,, not having a righteousness of my own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death. Philippians 3: 8-120
I have written a number of songs on the subject of suffering, especially in these, the waning years of my life. “Jesus Wept” may be my most personal and direct on the subject. I know a lot about suffering in the body at this juncture! I know next to nothing about suffering that comes by way of persecution, and my heart breaks and my prayers go out to our brothers and sisters around the world who are routinely being imprisoned, tortured, and killed for their faith. By whatever means our suffering comes, whether great or small, we are guaranteed it will come. But I know this as well: “I consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“Jesus Wept” also echoes St. Paul's words concerning his personal dilemma of desiring to continue living on the planet in order to serve his brothers and sisters, juxtaposed to the longing of his heart to depart and be with Christ.
“I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far….” Philippians 1:23
—TST
Track Name: Boltzmann's Brain
Boltzmann’s Brain
words and music: Terry Scott Taylor
©2018 Shape of Air Music, BMI

I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)
I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)
I can’t talk, I can’t see
That's why this guy is doin’ it for me
I’m a Boltzmann Brain
(Living in the multi-verse)

Wish I was born in your fine-tuned world
And feel the bass from a car pounding on my spine
Drive to IKEA for some furniture and meatballs
Embrace a lover with more than just the hands of my mind

I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)
I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)
Do I have a soul? Is God out there?
It’s the kind of thing you think when you’re self aware
I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)

Oh the things I could do in your fine-tuned world
Look up at the bowl of a summer night’s sky
Read books, play ball, make friends, maybe raise a family
Be moved by poetry and a baby’s cry

Wished that I lived in your fine-tuned world
Had a job and a desk where I could conceive of me
Sail a boat, watch movies, laugh ‘till I was breathless
Get a lump in my throat at the sound of a symphony
I fluctuated into being from a quantum vacuum
In a little patch of order in a chaotic back room
I observe I’m lonely, but not for long
Before I can tell you, I’ve come and gone
I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)
I’m a Boltzmann brain (Living in the multi-verse)
I’m a Boltzmann brain
(Living in the multi-verse)….

vocals and instruments: T.S. Taylor

note:
Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906) postulated the idea of a self-aware entity emerging from random quantum fluctuations in a vacuum. Lost you already, eh? Well, I won’t bog you down with a lot of scientific details, (much of which are difficult for me to fully grasp myself) but there’s a bunch of material out there on this subject and if you’re at all interested it’s a very intriguing idea. It is also the basis of the currently popular “multi-verse” hypothesis, one that is often given as argument against the existence of a Creator. The argument goes that if there are an infinite number of universes out there, then there is bound to be, through chance, at least one world in which conditions exist to produce creatures like ourselves. And here we are! In other words our universe, like any others that may be found in the vast recesses of space, are all self created thus eliminating a need for an Intelligent Designer. There are many fine, intelligent, and viable arguments against this hypothesis, namely that positing a multi-universe theory doesn’t eliminate God, it just kicks the fine-tuned argument further upstairs, since the multi-verse would have to be fine-tuned itself to produce intelligent life. If the multi-verse does exist, how did it come into being? Why, like our universe, does it exist at all? If life did come into being on one of these hypothetical universes, (world ensembles) it is more likely to be that of a single self-aware entity in a small patch of order in the middle of chaos i.e. Boltzmann’s brain! We ourselves ought to be Boltzmann brains, but we’re not. I could go on about how only finely tuned worlds are observable, or Robin Collin’s incredible work on the fine tuning of the world specifically for the purposes of scientific observation itself, or how the multi-verse hypothesis is more viable on the basis of Theism than it is on a Naturalistic world view, etc. I could go on, but I won’t. Like I said, if you’re interested at all there’s plenty of related stuff on the Internet to fill you in and to twist your brain a bit. As to the song you’re about to listen to, (if you haven’t already), it’s not a particularly serious study of the Boltzmann Brain, (as you will quickly learn about four lines in), and by the time you get to the IKEA line you’ll know that my tongue is firmly in my cheek. I just wanted to have a little fun with the concept while making some serious points along the way. I hope you have as much fun hearing it as I did in writing and recording it.
Track Name: Mall All Over The World- 2018
Mall (All Over the World)-2018
from the album DA album "Doppelgänger"
words and music: Terry Scott Taylor
©1983 Shape of Air Music, BMI

Mall all over the world
Mall all over the world...
Moving into the age of leisure
Where east meets west in a maze of pleasure
And why do we feel we can live forever?
Cos' they've piped in music of religious nature...
Mall all over the world
Mall all over the world...
How come you're sad, how come you cry
when golden arches cross your sky?
They're reminders of sweet bye and bye
This could be heaven when we die...
Mall all over the world
Mall all over the world...
Mannequin left! Mannequin right!
Do The Mannequin day and night
Elevator up, Escalate down
It spreads like the blob
It swallows your town
Mall all over the world
Mall all over the world...
Moving into the age of leisure
Where east meets west in a maze of pleasure
And why do we feel we can live forever?
Cos' they've piped in music of religious nature...
Mall all over the world
Mall all over the world...

guitar and vocal: T.S. Taylor

note:
When I wrote Mall (All Over The World) back in the day, I was envisioning, (hyperbolically speaking), the rapid sprawl of individual Mall structures eventually linking up to form a single hermetically sealed utopian bubble encompassing the entire globe. This Super Mall would be a kind of Consumer’s Paradise for which MacDonald’s “Golden Arches” would serve as a commonly recognized religious devotional icon, and the Mall’s muzak would be that of “a religious nature.” The Shopping Mall thus becomes mankind’s Universal Church, all of us faithful, glassy-eyed members of the congregation awestruck by its might, dominion, and the power it possesses to induce in us a sense of contentment and well-being — a heightened state of consumer bliss. I could go on and on about the religious overtones evoked by the idea of such a place, but you get the picture. Strangely, Walt Disney’s originally planned version of EPCOT was a Disneyland style self-sufficient bubble-domed (as I recall) community in which residents would live and work in an essentially carefree environment protected from the evils and the unpredictability of the outer world. In some sense, Uncle Walt would be its Creator-god, or at least its Moses leading us to the promised land. Uncle Walt’s original and overly ambitious vision gave way to a more humble design and hence we have todays EPCOT. For the other, let’s say more “unsettling,” side of this type of concept, you might want to consult George Romero’s 2004’s zombie horror movie “Dawn of the Dead.” Anyway, the whole world-wide Mighty Mall thing didn’t happen. Or did it?! (insert ominous musical “dun dun duuuun!”). With the advent of the internet, (world-wide web) we don’t need a brick and mortar pseudo-church encircling the globe. We have technology accomplishing the same thing. Technology is our Mall all over the world. Who’d a thunk it? As far as glassy-eyed parishioners go, have you had a look around you lately? Probably not if you’re one of its clueless cultists. In fact, to “look around” would be, if only temporarily, to sever ties with the divine connection to the omnipresent god who is giving you access to all you hold near and dear. Heresy! Blasphemy! Emoji! I happened to “look around” the other day myself. I was in my car driving down a street crowded with pedestrians and, I exaggerate not, the majority of people I saw there (including children) were either walking along or stopped and gathered in small circles of family or friends with their eyes, not on one another or their surroundings, but glued to tiny screens as their thumbs did the St. Vitus's Dance across minuscule keyboards. Mannequin left, mannequin right, do The Mannequin day and night.
A number of years back while on tour I ran into an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen in years. We sat on a bench outside the hotel we happened to both be staying in and I was glad to get the opportunity to catch up with him. The feeling appeared to be mutual. He held his cell phone in one hand as he filled me in on what he’d been up to since we’d last seen one another, I would listen to him with attentiveness and interest. However, the moment I began to share with him my own journey, he started typing away on his phone, his eyes riveted to the screen. I assure you he wasn’t writing down my every word. This happened not just once, but every time I began to speak. At first I thought he was putting me on but it soon became clear that this was no joke. Finally I decided to stop in mid sentence just to see what his reaction would be. I waited for about half a minute and when he failed to look up or ask me to continue my story, I told him I had to get going. Never taking his eyes away from his little silver and black idol, he muttered a distracted “later” and I left without another word spoken. Maybe texting him during our visit together would have been a more effective means of communication. Anyway, this incident left me somewhat shocked, angry, and sad.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Luddite. There is so much that I truly value in regard to our technological advances, but this kind of disconnect speaks volumes on what we are losing along the way.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s move on. I’ve done an acoustic version of “Mall” here for you fine folks, and made enough changes to call this a “reinterpretation.” I’d go into more detail about the arrangement but someone’s calling me on my iPhone right now and if I don’t pick up this second…well…. I’ll just die!
Track Name: Dancing On Light- 2018
Dancing On Light-2018
from the TST album "Knowledge and Innocence"
Words and Music by Terry Taylor and Rob Watson
©1986 Shape Of Air Music, BMI

Heart, warming in the afterglow
Right here, where I see the world below
Time stands still when the thunder rolls
With a thousand angels singing
And every bell is ringing
I go, I go
Oh oh oh oh Dancing on Light
Oh oh oh oh we'll shatter the night
And you are the One that shines bright
You take me dancing
You take me dancing
You take me dancing
Oh oh dancing on light
Love has really got a hold on me
I know exactly where I want to be
Alive—moved in grace and liberty
Floating lighter than a feather
Knowing this will last forever
I'll be, I'll be
Oh oh oh oh Dancing on Light
Oh oh oh oh we'll shatter the night
And you are the One that shines bright
You take me dancing
You take me dancing
You take me dancing
Oh oh dancing on light
You take me dancing
You've got a hold on me

vocal and guitar: T.S. Taylor

Note:
I may be wrong about this but in so far as I can determine I’ve only written two songs with the word “dance” in the title. If I’m mistaken I’m sure you fine Patreon folks will let me know.
In “Dance Stop!” (A song written for Daniel Amos's “Vox Humana” album) I tell everyone to cease and desist. “Dancing On Light” however, (in the fine tradition of contradicting myself on occasion), is my “Dance….Go!” number. I’ve never been much of a dancer myself, but in the song I’m describing a particular kind of abandonment I have experienced on rare occasions, one I have encountered while in the palpable presence of The Beloved. It is, in this sense, a kind of “dance” or state of joyful, wreckless surrender, in which self-consciousness is dispelled and self-concerns are supplanted with blissful adoration.
My Granddaughter has a tendency to be very shy when any of us ask her to sing or dance, both of which she does with great aplomb. Aware that we are desperately eager to coax her into PMM (Performing Monkey Mode), she becomes acutely conscious of us and herself. Naturally, as a result, she entirely shuts down and that’s the end of it. But catch her by herself and unaware of our presence, or lure her into song and dance by singing and dancing ourselves, and she is suddenly transformed, becoming extremely animate and even wildly passionate in her performance. It’s as if we are now mere shadows and she has entered another world. Transfixed by what she sees there, like one in the thrall of a vision, she is fully engaged in its music and anxious to join its Dance. These rare moments are a joy to behold and more often than not I am brought to tears because there is something here that speaks of transcendence, of baptism by water and fire, of resurrection and new life. She has surrendered herself to the sublime and the world has fallen away. Although the song was written many years before my Granddaughter's birth, “Dancing On Light” is my attempt to capture some sense of this kind of holy abdication.
Whenever he hears the song, my son Andrew tells me (and anyone else in the room) that “Dancing On Light” should have been a hit. Everyone seems to agree with him, including me! The musical style of the song is a bit dated now, but at the time it’s sonic landscape, iconic structure, and hook laden verse and chorus were, dare I say, a near perfect mix of all the right stuff necessary to create a radio hit, (“secular radio” as they say) at the time. Unfortunately, being an artist in the Christian subculture might get you to the top ten on the KLORD charts in Nebraska (I made that up), but it ain’t gonna get you much further than “This should have been a hit!” To be honest, I wasn’t looking to have a pop smash when I wrote DOL (by then I had long abandoned the idea of attempting to facilitate a successful career in mainstream music), but I was challenging myself; Do I have the chops to write a very very commercial and radio-friendly pop tune? DOL was my attempt to do so. Whether I succeeded or not, you’ll have to ask…..me! My answer would be the same one Curly of The Three Stooges would no doubt give: “Why, certainly!”
This new version is a simple guitar/vocal arrangement and is decidedly not suitable for dancing. In other words, we’ve come full circle: Dance….Stop!
Track Name: Real Country
Real Country
words and music: Terry Scott Taylor
©2018 Shape Of air Music, BMI

We can feel something new coming,
A change seeping through our skin
A metamorphosis into something
We have never been
And a voice saying “Welcome to your real country”
And a voice saying “Welcome to your real country”
Now we see through a glass darkly,
Imagining what is meant
Through analogies, similes, and metaphors,
Symbols, and models, and hints
And a voice says “Welcome to your real country”
(Everything that matters here…)
And a voice says “Welcome to your real country”
(…will be drawn into there)
You’ll see it clear when you're ravished with love
Holy places in dark places, ravished with love
We can feel something new coming,
The change seeping through our skin
(Everything that matters here…)
A metamorphosis into something
We have never been
(…will be drawn into there)
And a voice saying “Welcome to your real country”
(Everything that matters here/when you’re ravished with love)
And a voice saying “Welcome to your real country”
(Will be drawn into there/when you’re ravished with love)
And a voice saying “Welcome to your real country”….

Vocals and instruments: T.S. Taylor

Note:
Some of us imagine heaven as sitting around on a cloud for all eternity and playing a harp. God forbid that the afterlife is a state of negation, i.e. a place where everything we found pleasurable in our earthly life will be mostly gone, replaced by a netherworld where the inhabitants are inflicted with a kind of pious and solemn inertia, consigned to eons of boredom and lethargy, like being trapped in a church service that never ends. C.S. Lewis addressed this issue by maintaining that our present world is but a shadow of the new heaven and earth and that, since words are inadequate and can only take us so far, our idea of the afterlife is severely limited. It is through the use of metaphors, similes, myths, symbols, etc. that we get closer to the true nature of His kingdom. Far from this new heaven and earth being a place with less than what we are leaving behind, it will include not only all that is worth keeping in this life, but it will radiate with a splendor and beauty that transcends our wildest imaginings.
“Everything that matters here will be drawn into there.”
"Real Country" plays with these ideas and is itself, along with metaphors, models, and the like, one more means (song) through which I’ve attempted to get closer to the truth of things.
I’ve set the lyrics in a sonic bed of 60’s Psychedelic Pop, not for any other reason than it is a genre that greatly appeals to me. I hope you find it as “groovy” as I do.

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