This is going to get weird.
“Purgatorio” started as a dream. I can’t remember the dream, but it must have been some kind of trippy, Bosch-esque thing, given all the hellish imagery that is in my rough draft. That draft lay dormant for a year or two before I decided that I needed to finish it, once and for all. The pressing opportunity was a concert I played with Erin De Young, warming up for Rachel Zylstra.
Indeed, here is a recording from said concert: MP3. It is not my finest moment as a performer, but cut me some slack, okay? The song is brand new and it’s not easy to keep that riff going while squishing words on top of it. At least Erin sounds great. If you can’t understand the words, you can read them below. (That’s not to say that you’ll understand them if you read them. I’m still trying to figure it out myself…)
1a. I lost my way on the road to hell.
My intentions were good, but it wasn’t marked very well.
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh no.
I found myself in a life of ease.
My conscience was clear until I tried to sleep.
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh no.
1b. In my dream there was a wishing well.
They tell me I jumped, but I say I fell.
I thought I’d never felt so low
Until the devil charged like a buffalo
C1. Well, I ran like hell, did a four minute mile
But as it turns out the devil can fly.
Stuck his fork into the meat of my thigh
Like a sausage in a pan over a fire.
2. One look around set my mind at ease.
I was surrounded by bigger sinners than me.
There were seven flavors of debauchery
All the heathens were dancing and the sinners were singing
C2. Look around and you’ll see more skin
Than a topless beach in the South of Spain
I could get used to this
If the lake weren’t fire and the sand weren’t burning.
3. The biggest surprise was the animals
That must have been a really bad dog.
They tightened up the collars and led us away
To the lake of fire where a ship was waiting.
C3. I’ve got no idea where we’ve been since then:
No port in the storm, no island on the horizon.
I’m losing my mind from the unnerving silence.
Losing track of time, but it seems unending.
I’d give everything I had if I had anything to give
To turn back my life and live it again
How could I have known that this night would never end
Trapped in a dream from which there’s no waking?
And the only life left is reliving my mistakes, and
Wondering where grace is.
And why the light is fading.
So this is how it ends.
Staring at the ceiling.
It all begins again.
It’s quiet and cold
And sad and slow.