Passing Through

PASSING THROUGH – Tom Sanderson | download mp3

Passing Through
lyrics and music by Tom Sanderson

We caught a red-eye flight to MSP
Embraced cold greetings October sleet
Caught the light rail south to Bloomington
to walk in circles, shop and eat
While the gray clouds gathered we stayed warm
Jack Frost sent an early winter storm
on the morning we escaped
from the snow-swept plains of white
and our homebound plane was swallowed by the night

We took a fortnite trip to Amsterdam
I felt the cold rain on my face
The hazy laughter from some college boys
They’re trying to get lost in space
Watched the crowds passing Vondelpark
Winding footpaths had me lost at dark
Saw the pastel colors dance
on the face of the grand canal
To find a place like that, I know I never shall

I’m only passing through
A stranger to this land
I’ve seen sights new to my eyes
You know the time’s been grand
I’m only passing through
I’m weary for my bed
Though the things I’ve seen
sew memories, dreams that echo fondly in my head

One spring I found myself in Arab sands
The Gulf of Persia sparkling blue
Deep in the arid global meetingplace
sweet spices fill the golden souk
Saw expanse from the highest rise
Standing higher than the falcon flies
Took a tunnel under the gulf
to man-made islands in the sea
I still keep a mental postcard here with me

I’m only passing through
A stranger to this land
I’ve seen sights new to my eyes
You know the time’s been grand
I’m only passing through
I’m weary for my bed
Though the things I’ve seen
sew memories, dreams that echo fondly in my head

I was playing with a sample of an electric grand piano (perhaps modeled after the Yamaha CP80 famous in the 1980s) and this sequence came about. It took a long time to complete, as I was participating in another musical project concurrently. I tried to toggle between several synth patches to keep things interesting.

When the basic tracks were completed, it took me a while to figure out what words the music was suggesting to me. It might have been that the music reminded me of cold light rain in a big city and so writing about the experience I had with Lori in Amsterdam seemed natural for a verse (as it was chilly and light rain when we first got there to visit). The other two verses relate to a couple trips we had, and each verse took a separate day to write. I don’t want it to seem like the lyrics are just a travel log – I mean, they could be if you want them to be about that. It feels like it’s about more than just that, possibly something existential. But I am not a huge fan of answering the question: “what do the lyrics mean?” I’d rather the reader/listener draw their own story.

tomasand

2 thoughts on “Passing Through

  1. I have a friend who is trying to GIVE this electric piano away.   It keeps blowing fuses.   No one around our area can seem to fix it.   It is a beautiful baby grand, in very good condition.   Wonder what year it was made?  

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Like

    1. I know enough about electric pianos to know that they are temperamental. My good friend had difficulties with both a tine-based EP and a reed-based EP. The real thing sounds better than synthesizer, for sure

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s