Five Uneasy Pieces Part 3. The Freedom of Mastery


This is the third post in a series on lyric writing, which has been one of my life long passions.
The first piece in this series can be found at:
The second piece can be found at:

There are stages to everything.

In the 1970s the stage I was going through was very much that of an apprentice, both in my professional advertising writing, my screenwriting and my lyric writing.

But if you are a real writer, and by real I mean someone who has a definite passion for the art of it in their soul, the transition from apprentice to ersatz master is something that happens almost without your knowing it.

Your sensory apparatus evolves. Everything you read, everything you see and everything you hear becomes research for whatever project you have going at the time.

For me there was neither rhyme nor reason to the things I wrote. They were as purely stream of consciousness as they could be. And the more I did, the more refined my skills became.

But as I said, I barely noticed. An idea would hit me, and away I would go. It’s been like that to this day, although I have to admit that I am much more selective about what I choose to write.

Concurrent with this emergence out of apprenticeship, I also took up photography and became rather obsessed with it. But it wasn’t the photography that fascinated me, it was the storytelling medium that it represented.

I was learning to create and dream images and the ultimate goal was to make them tell me stories that I could write.

It was a fascinating process, but I have to admit that I never got as good at photography as I felt I was at writing. Maybe I just didn’t have enough bandwidth to master both, and I chose the one that was closest to my heart.

I was good enough to be able to work at photography for several years and got a lot of free travel as as result. Mostly I shot people. Famous people like author Mordecai Richler, poet Leonard Cohen, former Canadian Prime Minister John Chretien, and actor Gordon Pinsent among others.

But the writing was the constant. And remains that way with me. These days I do a lot more bogging than lyric writing. But I still knock off one or two every couple of weeks or so.

This selection are 5 pieces out of the thirty or so I have done most recently, which will bring this series up to date, and close it off. Or maybe not.


Nobody knows
What you’re feeling Inside
Nobody knows
Those emotions you hide
Nobody knows
How long it might take
Til your fragile heart
Begins to break

Nobody knows
The burden you bear
Nobody knows
And hardly anybody cares
You worship some god
That you’ve never known
You take it on faith
That we’re not here alone

(Chorus 1)
But nobody knows
What the future will bring
Nobody’s guess
Really means a thing
So we roll the dice
Trying to beat the bell that tolls
But nobody knows
Nobody knows, nobody knows

Nobody knows
How this all came to be
Nobody knows
What rules you and me
If you’re looking for answers
Start looking inside
Find your own compass
Be your own guide

(Chorus 2)
‘Cause nobody knows
What the future will bring
Nobody’s guess
Really means a thing
Life is a game
You learn how to play
It’s all up to you
It’s always been that way


Hold on to me
With all your might
I will be your strength
I will be your light
I will be your beacon
Through the darkest night
So hold on to me
With all your might

Hold on to me
In the moonlight glow
We will fly together
Through the great unknown
Our love will bind us
Through all the highs and lows
So hold onto me
In the moonlight glow

Hold on to me
Come take my hand
With you I’ve already made it
To the promised land
I will never let you down
I will always be your man
Hold on to me
Come take my hand

Hold on to me
And never let go
I will be your anchor
When the hurricanes blow
So much chaos around us
That we will never know
If you hold on to me
And never let go


All the bridges I have crossed are burned
All the lessons life has taught me I’ve unlearned
The only answer that makes sense is I don’t know
Everybody’s life is touch and go

Everybody wants to be your friend
But is it just another means to their end
So many liquid questions freely flow
Everybody’s life is touch and go

Everybody’s getting out of town
Al the right side up is upside down
Everything is shifting to and fro
Everybody’s life is touch and go

All I want is something to believe
But everybody’s got a trick or two up their sleeve
Makes me all confused about friends and foes
Everybody’s life is touch and go

Nobody hangs around for very long
Nobody ever admits when they are wrong
Everybody’s swimming against the flow
Cause everybody’s life is touch and go


I been searching for salvation
But it’s nowhere down this road
I’ve tried to live an honest life
But the law just don’t agree
I’ve been carrying this burden
And it makes for a heavy load
I guess I’m just a victim
Of my own humanity

There’ve been lovers in my life
Who have come and gone
Gurus and gods
Who’ve tried to show me the way
Alliances and obligations
I could never honour
And decisions I will regret
Till my dyin’ day

But I really can’t remember
What it was that I did wrong
I’ve been hanging on this cross
For way too long

I never knew my father
And he never knew his son
He died with secrets
Tattooed on his soul
And no matter how I tried
I could never be the one
Who could push that stone aside
And let him go

O father won’t you tell me
What it was that I did wrong
I’ve been hanging on this cross
For way too long

But someday soon
I know I will find peace
Here among the ruins
Of life’s many wars
And I will stitch a mighty sail
From all these tattered dreams
And I will sail away
To peaceful shores

And on that day it won’t matter
What it was that I did wrong
But I’ve been hanging on this cross
For way too long


When the ghosts of murders past
Come to you in the night
When it’s hard to recall
Which mistakes were wrong or right
When all you see are lies
And you can’t believe your eyes
As the Idol screams, ‘peasant — kiss my feet’
You can feel your soul sinkin’ down….into the heat

When the strangers appear
With burning bibles in their hands
Preachin’ some whacked out vision
Of the Promised Land
And you can’t really tell
If it’s Heaven or if it’s Hell
But it gets you thinkin’ of
A life somehow incomplete
As you feel your heart meltin’ slowly…into the heat

This is no place to find yourself
After all the work you’ve done
This is no new religion
Just quickly setting sun
They promised you redemption
But there’s nowhere you can run
They got you in advance…got you in retreat
The only place left for you now… is into the heat

When the evil all around you
Tries to do you in
When they find out the hard way
That they can never win
They can chase from dusk to dawn
They can chase till their legs are gone
But you’ve never been one
For the agony of defeat
As you veer off the highway that runs… into the heat

Five Uneasy Pieces Part 3.  The Freedom of Mastery

I am a communications professional, primarily a strategist & writer.I work with B to B clients, large and small, graphic designers, art directors and marketing consultants to create hard working strategically focused communications in all
on and offline media.

If you have a marketing or communications challenge
you would like to discuss, (no obligation),
there are three ways you can contact me:
Direct Line: 416 463-3475  • Email: • Skype: jimbobmur61

Link To My WP Portfolio Page:

Finally, you can download my free ebook,
Small Business Communications For The Real World:

All content copyright Jim Murray, Onwords & Upwords Inc 2016


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