Brighter Day: Ennui and Nostalgia

Can anybody tell me what’s around the next turn?
Is it another lesson that I’ve still got to learn?
It’s been so long since I ran in the sun.
Can you really look me in the eye and tell me I’m the only one?
Each day seems a little bit longer.
Another mountain to climb
And I do believe I’m getting farther behind.
We all had bright eyes and we all had dreams.
Now our lives are tangled with our broken schemes.
We look to the future, but it’s never really clear
And I grow more in doubt of my intended career.
I’m growing more nostalgic with each passing day.
Tomorrow doesn’t seem as bright as yesterday.
I know I must move on, but I still say.
I hope tomorrow’s a brighter day.

This is a song about ennui and nostalgia that I wrote as a Carnegie Mellon engineering freshman…things were not going well. My girlfriend had decided that the mere 20 miles from her home to the campus was too far for us to be able to continue our relationship. In short, I got dumped. I was also in the midst of a major reality check academically with no honorable way out and I was tremendously lonely.

I distinctly remember playing the song in my dorm room on my Crestline Telecaster and Fender Twin Reverb amp although I recorded it in Youngstown, Ohio. This song is so far removed from my consciousness that I couldn’t even remember the chord progression at first although it’s a theme I’ve used over and over in many songs. What makes it interesting to me is the disparity between the mood of the music and the mood of the lyric. It’s also one of the few, real, rock songs I’ve written and the ‘Styx’ synth solo at the end wasn’t intentional, but was so surprising to me that I left it as it was (glaring and overmodulated).

Like Anywhere But Here, the song was recorded in Youngstown, Ohio in the Fall of 1982. I played all the instruments (guitars, synth bass and synth solos) and sang both harmonies.

Originally recorded in 4-track mono. Mixed to stereo cassette (2-track) in 1982. Re-engineered to digital from the stereo mixdown using Cool96 September 1999

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