March 30, 2008

"...the blackberry side of sleep"

Finally! Somebody who pays attention to lyrics!!! : )

Bev asked me last night (while we were all eating pizza after the Burning Peace anniversary show) - what is "the blackberry side of sleep"? I was so excited that someone actually asked about a line from a lyric I wrote, that I think I did a pretty poor job of explaining it. I always think much clearer in text - I guess the typing gives my brain time to think. The old mouth just moves WAY too fast.

So, here are the lyrics (and a link to the mp3: ) to the song in question:



Smiles at me without a face,
Leaves its mark without a trace,
Madly, violently; sweetly, silently;
I dance.

Slipping through the arms of the tree,
Lighting on the blackberry side of sleep,
Falling, flying, running, hiding;
In dance.

Light and dark, and all between,
Twisting, writhing, snaking free,
Then morning steals the memory;
Of dance.


It comes and goes, fades and shines,
Lives a life between the lines,
Spinning, leaping; screaming, weeping;
The dance.


Dark as the bruise and flavor so sweet,
Dancing on the blackberry side of sleep,
Bleeding, dying; laughing, crying;
Come dance.

Spinning, leaping; screaming, weeping;
The dance.
Madly, violently; sweetly, silently;
I dance.

So, to answer the question, I first need to explain that I'm using Dance as a symbol for that place we go when we dream - that other place, the other life we all live when we're asleep. I was taking a Psychology of Dreams class when I wrote this song, so we can blame my homework assignment of having to keep a dream journal for the birth of this one!

I woke up one night with the line "...blackberry side of sleep" running through my head. It seemed quite profound and important in my half-conscious state - so I wrote it down.

In the morning, I read the line and thought, what the hell? But then I remembered having a conversation with my friend the day before, and I remember him saying that they were experimenting with cut-up poetry in his class (where you take random words and make them into a poem) and he was able to use all the words they gave him except for one: blackberry. Aha! So this was how the random berry was planted in my brain!

But the more I thought about the line, the more I liked what it symbolized (to me) in relation to dreams - that's when "dark as the bruise, and flavor so sweet" popped up. I was having quite a few vivid, violent, sexual dreams at the time (Dr. Freud, your analysis please?) so my brain instantly latched onto the "sweet bruise" masochistic symbol - and then I was suddenly reminded of that scene from the movie, Legend, where Mia Sara does this awesome "waltz to the dark side" kind of thing - thus the whole DANCE = DREAM WORLD thing came crashing together in my mind.

The weirdest thing is, when I called Todd and gave him the lyrics - he called back with the first version of the song (a few hours/ the next day? later) and it was - you guessed it - a waltz! I had never even mentioned any of this Mia Sara stuff I was envisioning - he just knew it had to be a waltz. Incredible!

So finally, here's a bit of Burning Peace trivia for you here: the first version of this song was actually played on piano - a far cry from the guitared-up version it's turned into. It's come a long way, but I really love where it's ended up.

Here's a clip of Mia Sara dancing on the dark side:

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