An Indelible Mark

by Hazen Nester

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Written for Spintunes #4 - Round 1

"Night Terrors"
Write a song about a childhood nightmare. Include significant use of rubato. (2 minute minimum)

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This is based on an actual nightmare that I dreamed when I was younger (I estimate around 8 years old). The events of the dream are recounted in the lyrics in all their bizarre and, at times, shocking detail. Thankfully, I haven't dreamed it again since, however the powerful image is something I still can remember many years after the fact.

As this was being penned, it quickly evolved into some twisted Lullaby from Hell and part of me wondered if this was really the direction I should go. I decided in favor of it because I felt the cognitive dissonance it would create in the mind of the listener would help ease the blow of the subject matter and lullabies lend themselves more easily to tempo rubato to begin with.

The most difficult part of creating this song, oddly enough, was the title. As the song lacks a refrain or hook that I could easily lift one from, I was at a loss in trying to come up with one. Thankfully, my father suggested "Indelible" and I loved how that rolled off the tongue and how accurately it described the nightmare's effect on me. That in and of itself didn't quite work, but a little expansion led me to a satisfying title.

lyrics

When I was a lad
And playtime had come to an end
I'd sadly go off to bed
I'd feel safe and warm
Not knowing what awaited me
From inside the depths of my head

My dreams start off nice
And often, they would stay that way
But sometimes that's not the case
One nightmare I had
Affected me like nothing else
And shook me from slumber's embrace

A woman's in tears
I hear a voice cut through the air
Like I'm watching some bad local news
It cuts to a lake
And a teddy bear sits by the shore
And a gator slinks off with its food

It somehow gets worse
But somehow I can't look away
As another shot comes into view
The gator leans back
And a living baby's in its jaws
And awkwardly, it starts to chew

Then gunshots ring out
And the gator's eyes bolt open wide
And the bodies jerk from the blows
The baby then slumps
And the gator quickly follows suit
And I wake up from my repose

Occasionally
I still can see it vividly
No matter if dusk or dawn
I'm thankful that I
Have yet to dream that dream again
Though its memories still linger on

credits

released January 30, 2012
Words and music by Hazen Nester

Classical guitar, keyboards, synthesized strings, voice-over, and vocals by Hazen Nester

Gunshots by Logic Express

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Quiet Desperation Michigan

Quiet Desperation is the name of what on-again-off-again musician Hazen Nester releases his original, non-songwriting-competition, music under along with his friend and collaborator Cameron Accola.

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