The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

A Song Whose Time is Now

| 9 Comments

I open the door and wave to the man
Just getting out of his UPS van
A box in his hands and a mask on his face
He comes up the stairs and my steps I retrace

And it’s
Step two three, back two three
Maintain the spread
Don’t get too close or you might become dead
Friend, lover, and neighbor, each one exalts
The social distancing waltz

The grocery store is a dancehall now
Two carts’ distance is what they’ll allow
Mind your feet well, listen for the refrain
As you notch your way up to the checkout lane

And it’s…

It’s a part of me now, and all of my group:
An invisible twelve-foot diameter hoop
Perhaps you’d survive, but why take the chance
You can join complete strangers enjoying the dance

And it’s…

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

9 Comments

  1. Good one.

  2. What tune?

  3. Think this works, had to add a trite 5 words to last line of chorus and 3 outro lyrics to make it fit.

    Fast Blues ~160-170 bpm, Highly Syncopated, Pedal on A

    Intro over Am7-D7

    Am7 D7 Am7 D7
    I |Open the do | or And|wave to the ma | n
    Just getting | out | of his UPS | van
    A box in his | hands and a | mask on his | face
    He comes up the | stairs and my | steps I re | trace

    (Power Chord Segue, beats on top)
    1 2 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    | A5 .. A5 B5 C5| D5 Eb5 D5 C5 A5 -|
    1 2 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
    | A5 .. A5 B5 C5| D5 Eb5 E5 G5 A5 -|
    (repeat 1x)

    Am7
    And it’s |Step two three ba -| ck two three |
    D7
    | . . Maintain the spread | |
    A7 D7
    Don’t get too | close or you might | . become | dead
    A7 D7
    Friend, lover, | and neighbor, | each one ex | alts |
    A7 D7
    The brand new fever | gripping us, the | Social distancing waltz

    (7ths segue, pedal E)
    |E . Em7 . | . . F7 Gb7 | . . G7 . | . . Ab7 A7 |

    Verse 2
    PC segue
    Chorus
    7ths segue

    Solo over Chorus riff
    Solo over |Am7|D7| riff

    Verse 3
    PC segue
    Acoustic Solo Break 8 measures

    Outro Vamp on |Am7|D7| riff. Vox unsyncopated:
    3 4 Am7 D7 3 4 Am7 D7 3 4
    Three Steps | Please | Three Steps | Please | Three Steps ….
    (repeat til end)

    I’ll wait to tomorrow to let people have a chance to guess the setting I used.

    *edit* WordPress apparently turns multiple spaces in a row into one, turning all my work in non-monospaced font to gibberish. Apologies.

  4. Getting a distinct ‘County Joe and the Fish’ vibe.

  5. I have been wondering of late, as the pervasive fear of the Covid Pandemic infects our culture — social distancing, masks, lockdowns — if you ever get the surreal feeling, Mr. Brust, as if we are living in the timeline from your book Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille, when the splinter culture left Earth to get away from a virus (before the cure was found, except of course, hydroxychloroquine is already known to cure it) ??

  6. SO much.

  7. skzb

    Huh. Hadn’t thought of that. I mean, the emotional impact of the Pandemic is powerful, but in an entirely different direction than what I was playing with in that book–there is not the hatred and fear of those who get the disease, which was kind of the point of that book.

  8. Yes, I do remember that distinction, of fear and hatred. But I would challenge your perception of the culture today, because there is hatred today, directed at those who do not comply with the mandates — Mandated Masks, Mandated Lockdowns, Mandated Vaccines. Plenty of anger, even irrational. And further, if you project forward over generations, for a sect that left Earth, that left out of fear, that fear could become hatred even if it was not hatred in the beginning.

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