In Code

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“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

-Oscar Wilde

Iv’e been in a writing mode the last week or so – lyrics and melodies running so ramped in my brain that I can’t even listen to other music – sounds like 2 radios playing at once – ugh!  Times like this I’m grateful I splurged and got myself the This American Life app for my iPhone– I listen to episodes back to back to back instead.

If you have not listened to This American Life – I highly recommend it.  It’s a radio show released weekly on NPR and created by WBEZ Chicago with your host, Ira Glass (fan!) I quote the beginning of the show for you: “Each week we choose a theme and then bring you a variety of stories on that theme”

As my friend TM would say, “Gold”.

I listened to the archives of this show endlessly while I was stuck at a desk job which is when I got hooked on it.  Thank God they date all the way back to 1995.  I still haven’t heard them all.  Not for lack of trying.

One episode in particular really got my imagination going – it sounded so much like a short story waiting to happen that I was delightfully distracted for the rest of the day.  The Episode is called “Naming Names” and dates from May of 2002.  Act One: How Britain Nearly Saved America  tells the story of how, in the immediate wake of September 11, reporter Jon Ronson became convinced that a man he’d done a story on was responsible for the Anthrax attacks in America. So he ratted out his source to the FBI – which he’d never done before.

[Jon Ronson, is a regular contributor on This American Life, and among many things also wrote the book Men who Stare at Goats which was later turned into a major motion picture starring Mr. Fancy George Clooney.  I saw it.  It was hysterical.]

I found this whole concept so fascinating, that a song was born out of it.  I listened to the story a few times – initially I thought I would try to write a short story, not typically my thing, but art is art.  In the end it did melt into a song written over one weekend.  And as Mr. Ronson had never turned in a source to the FBI before,  I’ve never written a song about biological warfare before.  So it’s a situation of firsts.

“In Code” is included on our new full length release, Beautiful/Terrible,  due out early next year (just a few weeks!)

In Code

I signed the petition
I got the call
The pre-recorded voice said don’t hang up your phone
We will take back
The lives that they have stole
And you are with us

I got the letter
The envelope was green
I hid it in a drawer
The contents unseen
Now I’m an army
I am a deadly force
And I feel stronger
Than I’ve ever felt before

It’s biological
Neurological
the arsenal is hidden in a multitude of homes
we are brothers
concealed from each other
we are mighty
from many we are one

I know what to do ’cause I heard it on the radio
I know what to do ’cause I heard it on the radio
I know what to do ’cause I heard it on the radio
In Code

I put the mask on
It covered my whole face
I ripped the letter and the powder blew away
I am an army
I am a deadly force
And I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt before

It’s biological
Neurological
the arsenal is hidden in a multitude of homes
we are brothers
concealed from each other
we are mighty
from many we are one

I know what to do ’cause I heard it on the radio
I know what to do ’cause I heard it on the radio
I know what to do ’cause I heard it on the radio
In Code

© 2011 Kat Downs and Sit Kitty Sit

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