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Psychedelic Umbrella

The Synchronicity Wavelength.jpg

The Synchronicity Wavelength

Psychedelic UmbrellaEcho Cain
00:00 / 06:04

Genre:
Psychedelic Blues

Instruments Used:

Vocals

Electric Organ

Midi Drums

Electric Guitar

Bass Guitar

Tin Whistle

Alto Saxophone

Djembe

Lyrics:

 

Did they ever really take effect?

Everyone was on drugs up in that weird cabin.

The locals called it the “Neon Handlamp”.

“‘Cause most nights it’s so lit up, looks like an old mining headlamp in the dark!”, they’d espouse readily to those who’d listen.

Hell, the whole damn town was fanatical about the funkified, lit-up, livin’ place.

I stayed for a few days in town, never saw the cabin. 

 

It seemed like nobody’d ever really been to the cabin. They’d approach it, even break up a bender that had gotten a bit too loud, but they never went.

They never voluntarily drove, walked, biked, or so much as dreamed of going to the cabin.

They talked for hours about the thing, but not a single one of those people in the shadow of the mountain could bring themselves to conjure a fruitcake, pumpkin pie, chicken salad, or some other neighborly gift to welcome the headlamp dwellers.

Heh, well, once a year the druggies would make their way down the mountain with long beards, dirty eyes, scratched tongues, and unsteady breath.

And the people absolutely couldn’t stand it;

They were all into their own...thing…

Everyone ignored the coming of the headlamp, beaming down light into that bleak town.

 

[Drums enter with bluesy electric guitar/bass guitar and a transition from one organ part to another]

 

A psychedelic umbrella.

A psychedelic umbrella.

Oh what an odd-lookin’ fella.

A psychedelic umbrella.

And the rain, it screams, a’to me.

 

Altered perception: now I’m starin’.

Altered perception: now I’m starin’.

A’Walls a’movin’ and a’breathin’.

Altered perception: now I’m starin’.

And the world, is alive, to me.

Yeah.

 

[Tin whistle solo]

[Saxophone solo with heavy interaction with the bass guitar]

 

Send my mind down the river.

Send my mind down the river.

My muscles tense’a and a’quiver.

A’send my mind down the river.

And this world, flies away, from me.

 

[Electric guitar compounds with tin whistle and djembe]

 

It’s starting again. (It’s starting again)

It’s starting again. It’s starting again.

(It’s starting again) (It’s starting again)

Let yourself be fulfilled by the waves reverberating in your soul!

 

I always wanted to know you but you didn’t want to know me, so I took my harmonica upon the hill and I played it!

Oh I played it and you complimented me (yeah), yeah.

And you were here for no one but yourself.

And you didn’t seem to ask my name.

You didn’t care; you left it all inside, strung up like a hound.

I did not know you had left me and yet your soul had utterly left my side.

 

[Organ leads us through the outro]

Analysis:

        This “song” is actually composed of three individual songs that could have each stood as their own. The first of these is the poetry piece set above some trembling organ. I tell a brief tale from the perspective of a traveler, a proverbial yeoman, who is visiting a little village beneath a mountain. Once again, we see this juxtaposition of the speaker in the valley with an alternate class of people on the elevated plot of land. In this case, the alternate class are druggies, partying and having crazy benders with seemingly no job. It’s important to note that neither group, druggies nor townsfolk is particularly disparaged by the visitor. There is an otherworldly air to the cabin, which the visitor never sees. The visitor remarks how the townspeople never go to the cabin either. There is a similarity to the townies for the visitor, but there is also a disgust for the townsfolk within the traveler. The folx in the town refuse to act neighborly towards the druggies, which is more off-putting to our speaker than the druggies’ mangy looks. Thus, the traveler fits nowhere. They don’t belong.

        The ending of the poetry marks a shift that initiates a description via lyrics/music of the druggies’ descent upon the town. Midi drums become prominent with a broken, meandering beat. Bass guitar, electric guitar, and saxophone join in with a change in the quality of the organ’s sound.

        This section is best understood by viewing the descent of the druggies from the cabin into the town as a supernatural event. It warps space and time around itself, changing the mind of the visitor. The first verse is a description of a person holding a madly colorful umbrella. Which then leads into the second verse, where the drug-infused descent has somehow effected the visitor, yielding a passage about perceptions changing and walls moving/breathing (a common effect of psychedelic drugs). Then, the tin whistle and saxophone solo, representing a moment of glorious eureka and euphoria in which the visitor sees all sorts of beautiful things. Secrets of the universe are displayed and the essence of the druggies takes full hold. The third verse has an essence of passing on. The lingering effects of the drug-fueled entrance of the cabin dwellers has begun to subside as the visitor talks about sending their mind down the river and how the world is slipping away. This represents the moment from which the druggies leave, taking their supernatural vibe with them. The visitor can’t really remember what happened like the townsfolk before them.

         The third section of the song is opened with an increase in intensity for the electric guitar and bass guitar while a tin whistle and djembe open up this portion of the piece. The lyrics suggest an awareness of the cycle, saying that it is starting again. There is, again, a sense of not being accepted within this verse. The speaker is both rejected and complimented by the society of campus, the “you” in this case. The hill-dwellers don’t ask the name of the speaker, the player of the harmonica, and so they leave the speaker forever. For me, this is a reference to the ways in which I have been left by people that matter dearly to me and how society puts distance between itself and me while congratulating my successes with no real meaning. There is a frustration, when one is a street performer (which I did 4 days a week in my sophomore year of college, even on cold days. I mostly played the saxophone.), that people are unwilling to really see you. Even though people hear you and walk by, there are a relative few who meet your eye, who speak to you. Even those who do rarely ask anything about your music or your musical process; they mostly say, “You sound good!” or, “Keep it up!”. I don’t hate this encouragement; in fact, I like it. However, this distance makes you feel sad over time. You are desperately reaching out musically but nobody answers…

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