Dark Glass

My song “Dark Glass” is the only track on my “A Broom With A View” album that is not directly from my Halloween Carols™ collection.

I wrote this song before I had conceived the idea of Halloween Carols in 2004. When did I write it … 2001 or 2002 … I can’t remember right now. Starting in the late 1990’s, I wanted to write beautiful Halloween music – most of it about Halloween history – and I was exploring a lot of areas and ideas.

“Dark Glass” is about a dream I had – a mesmerizing dream with surreal Halloween imagery. In my dream, I was in a shower that had an open window to the night sky – no glass. I saw the earth right outside this window. It was huge, spherical, glowing with greens and blues, and rotating while making a sort of sparkling humming sound.

I thought to myself – if that’s the earth, then what planet am I on? I somehow floated outside and up into the atmosphere, observing how the globe, the waters, the sky – how everything was a shade of blue. So beautiful. So vibrant!

I then floated further out where the atmosphere had become a pinkish black color. I have a lot of these dreams, where I’m floating or flying, and I start to go up and up to where I start to panic a little bit that maybe I’m going too far up. Then the atmosphere shattered and fell in big drops of dark glass, shattering and splashing on the ground.

Also in this dream were touches of a Halloween/fall season I experienced back in college – some of the nighttime fog and feelings when I walked with some friends from their apartment to the grocery store to buy some pumpkin ice cream, then walked back to watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Also, some of the scenery and feelings from a Halloween party further out west from where I lived at the time (Provo, Utah) where it’s more rural – black sky, open fields with wheat-ish colors, clear night, cold, a fence by the house – really beautiful autumnal feelings.

When I woke up from this dream, my mind was on fire from all the vibrant, beautiful imagery and surreal experience. It was such a powerful dream, that I had to write it down. That day I had a gig to play organ for a wedding ceremony an hour away, so as I drove, I put a notebook in my lap and wrote down a description of the dream (writing in big, messy letters as my eyes were on the road). The lyrics of “Dark Glass” are almost exactly as I wrote them down then, while driving.

I set these words to music later, trying to capture the feelings in my dream. I think one of my favorite musical lines is the contrabass during the chorus. I scored it to go into a high range, which works because the organ pedals fill in the bass in those moments.

I hope this song “takes you places.”

I saw the earth as a moon-like globe

Outside my window, shower window.

No glass impaired my sight this night

As a vision pulled my ear, “Come out here.”

All the atmosphere had shattered

And fell in fragments

Like dark glass from the sky.

No one can say, none can detail,

Where droplets splashed

And shards rushed maddened.

Chorus:

Everything was a shade of blue,

Round and grand and blue,

So close,

I had to check what planet I was on.

How radiant the sphere appeared.

Glowing water waved a mirror.

Long points of white

Turned the earth with sparkling hums.

The continents seemed a little fuzzy

As they throbbed in their green pattern.

I stretched my arms to their expanse,

So round, so bold,

So feeling and yet small.

Through this night I could fly

Past all wintery fences high,

Alone for miles around.

Am I too far above ground?

The motion pulled, so where’s too far?

Chorus

My elbows leaned on the tile.

I forgot there was tile for a while,

And soaked in absence of time.

The steam gathered dew in mind.

So light and dark spin their fight –

Or agree to what they are –

All at night outside my window.