This is a song about the end of something. This is a song about the Lake Michigan shore line.

It is very much a Chicago song.

It’s a song I still pull out and play live on occasion. And I play it for myself quite often.

Interestingly, I now play it with some slightly altered chord changes. I really hadn’t noticed that it had evolved or changed until I remastered this recording.

I also notice I have come to terms with the high e string going just a tad out of tune on the last verse. That’s the fun of trying to keep things live, I suppose.

This is Channel Lights from the collection Songs 2004, recorded in Albany Park, Chicago in, well, 2004, I guess.

This makes a nice juxtaposition with Shoot the Moon and the rest of We Got Our Paint At… – the collection that was recorded just before this. This is very loose and live and a bit sloppy and, really, how I think I prefer my recordings, honestly.

The sound has been a bit of a touchstone to the new recordings I have been working on.

That probably means it will make a re-recorded re-appearance one of these days (with slightly altered chords).

I have looked back through the small collection of photos I took while in Chicago, looking for a shot of the lakeshore. Just one pic. Nothing.

So the mouth of the river will have to do. Not sure if I took this or my mom did.

It’s amazing how cell phones have changed our documentation of the world. Then: not a single picture of the lake in over five years; Now: about a hundred pictures a day of the baby geese along the canal in front of our building.

If the video is slow to load you can find it on youtube HERE.

Channel Lights

So, I’m waiting on the freeze
Get the sense it’s time to leave
Kick the remnants of the autumn on the grass.

So we’re waiting on the train
In the chill and with the rain
And I tell myself that nothing really lasts.

Till we’re staring at the lights
In the waters, in the night
The waves distort the wisps and wills of pasts.

And the shadows fill the scene
Of the ever brown and green
With the long and shifting shapes that they will cast.

Well I know all Your dreams
Rubbed them down in gasoline
And I’ll burn them all tomorrow if they last.

But perhaps I never would
Even if I think I should
Because I’ve already tied this to the past.

To feel the love in sorrow you’d do anything.
Beg, steal or borrow, your finger rung in string
Remember tomorrow when you sit in the sun
To remember tomorrow when it’s done.

So we find another day
Like two burnt out runaways
Through the time washed old Victorians in lines.

And the streets feel just the same
As my minds sounds out your name
But I just can’t seem to find my voice this time.

Well you’re staring at the lake,
Know there’s not much more to take
And I mumble “Tomorrow never lasts.”

And sardonically you smile
Try and take it all with style
As the channel lights fade for you as they pass.