Power Up

Power Up

littlespiral's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

Wrote this for Amanda Palmer's Patreon competition about the power outage in Manhattan.

Original call for entries: https://www.patreon.com/posts/sunday-contest-28370965


In the flash of a spark
Manhattan went dark
Without any clear purpose
And the news reporters
Can only inform us
What goes on at the surface

Batteries just aren't enough
They're saying on Broadway the shows must go off
And power up

Nobody sees
the man 'neath the streets
Who flipped off all our power
He'll teach us to be
without electricity
For more than 9 hours

The guy who climbs telephone poles
Knows all our national security holes
If you want to bring us to our knees
I'll tell you the guy who we'll have to please
To power up

So utility workers
come to the surface
like demons or elves
In order to survive
Strange how we rely
On the things we build for ourselves

They never taught this in school
To find my own power and to use power tools
But days like this make me feel
Like a hamster with a hammer to build her own wheel
Does that make me feel powered up

Somebody knows
How to stop shows
'Neath the streets of Manhattan
He's taking us under
Despite the number of
Hatches we've battened

Now powerlessness becomes more
Than just a poetic metaphor
Nothing to do here instead
But to wait for some rando who works for Con Ed
To power
Power up

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


fresh spotless youth's picture

Love it! Somehow it feels classic and edgy at the same time, like Tom Waits at his finest. Great storytelling. I really like the notion of a hamster having to build her own wheel.

kahlo2013's picture

This is really well written! You capture the time so well with the vivid descriptions. Great cadence too! A wonderful response to the competition!

coolparadiso's picture

one of those songs you cant place exactly - which i like. very good storytelling. Piano holds it throughout. very enjoyable.

barbara's picture

I bet she loved this! I do. Very AFP-esque, to bout! I could easily hear her do a great cover of it. (And a bit Neil Gaiman-ish in the fantastical underground impishness at the innerworkings of the ones in control.) The parable in there -- teaching us to get along with our electricity -- well that's just it, isn't it. I like this: "Strange how we rely / On the things we build for ourselves". Yes, yes, yes! Social commentary for the win! And your piano setting was a great ride,

3tdoan's picture

I love the chords you've chosen for this one. Classic piano stylings with some surprises. Interesting meditation on our reliance on our tools, how helpless we are without them. Love the play on "power". Great entry to the AFP comp!

phoenixash's picture

It feels like the beginning silent movies, but then the chords get a dark dark shade. Incredible, the melody is alluring and again awesome vocal colors, specially with more heady high notes. Very cool