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Tone Poems

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Smoke

Verse 1

Sitting here all night long…writin’ tone poems
Messages in a bottle…on a sea of alone
Sometimes I think…I think too much
Sometimes I think…I think too much
3 a.m. silent time
Chasin’ mystery rhymes
No one there to please
Alone but not lonely
Lookin’ for only
Some kind of redemption and peace
Sometimes the music can get so dark
Sometimes the music can get so…dark
Sometimes the music can get so dark

Verse 2

People say I’m just…killin’ time
I feel so alive breathin’ rhythm and rhyme
Sometimes I feel…I feel too much
Sometimes I feel…I feel too much
Darkness gathers
I’m chasin’ mad hatters
I need a dose of the blues
Gives me a calmin’ down
Brings me back around
Reminds me I got somethin’ to lose
Sometimes the music can get so dark
Sometimes the music can get so…dark
Sometimes the music can get so dark

© Copyright 2019 Stephen Smoke All Rights Reserved Published by Kitmun Music

Story Behind the Song

This is a song about writing songs (tone poems), but also about writing in general.

Recently, I discussed this song and with a friend. She thought the song sounded dark. I can understand that interpretation, but my take on the song is just the opposite. Look at this verse:

Darkness gathers
I’m chasin’ mad hatters
I need a dose of the blues
Gives me a calmin’ down
Brings me back around
Reminds me I got somethin’ to lose

The music (a dose of the blues) calms or “lightens” the darkness. It reminds me of what’s important (reminds me I’ve something to lose).

And this verse:

People say I’m just killin’ time
I feel so alive breathin’ rhythm and rhyme

The writing itself is therapeutic (I feel so alive breathin’ rhythm and rhyme).

And this verse:

3 a.m. silent time
Chasin’ mystery rhymes
No one there to please
Alone but not lonely
Lookin’ for only
Some kind of redemption and peace

I feel connected to something greater than the narrative that is “me” (alone but not lonely), and through the writing I’m looking for “redemption and peace.”

The aggressive nature of the music in the solo and at the end, is not so much anger as it is “release.”

An album consisting of this song and 11 others will be released in the spring of 2024 in support of the novel Parallel. When the album is released it will be available on all major streaming sites.
For more information about the novel, Parallel Back Cover Copy