The World Outside

The World Outside

billwhite51's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

while watching a dozen or so productions of swan lake on youtube over the past week, i started to theorize that ballet was an evolutionary step towards an elegant androgyny that went beyond sexualty into pure perfection of form and beauty. i imagined how different humanity would be if we all moved like this. but the kirov was the only company that got it rtight, and the androgynous ideal was corrupted by narcissists such as bowie and jagger.,,,instead of transcending sexuality, they pandered to it. and hermaphroditism eclipsed androgyny. i was writing a lyric to this effect, but kept looking out the window and wishing i could go into the streets and experience this pandemic from the perspective of those it is hittung the hardest, so i kept lacing my thoughts on the ballet with confessions of my own cowardice. i had a few pages of lyrics finished when the event descibed in the final verse occurred and i understood at last what i really wanted to say. so after pruning and cleaning the lyrics i found myself listening to john coltranes version of body and soul. i picked up my guitar and jammed to his reharmonized chord progressions. then i turned on the recorder and jammed with myself for five minutes or so. then i took out my lyrics, put on the headphones, turned the recorder on again and improvised some melodies, singing the lyrics over the guitar part. so the whole thing was two takes with nothing pre arranged. first the guitar, then the vocal. it was a good sign when i finished singing just as the music came to its end. when i put the two tracks together, i knew i couldnt do much better than that so, despite some odd stumblebum moments, it kept it as is.


today another six thousand have died
i have nothing to do with the world outside

each night at precisely ten i cross the street with the garbage, and then
animals tear the bags apart dinner ala cart
inside i change the liners on the cans and wash my hands
start to watch a movie, and then try to fall asleep again

except for this, i havent left the house in half a year
there is nothing of the outside world in here
out there a moment in history im lost inside my own mystery
where the outside world cannot get in, but then

the outside world doesnt walk, it shuffles
fair trade and all those free market hustles
all that is left is a security fence
that seperates the brain from the head

the world outside is most content
i back off from the edge of a lost continent

my wife smells a smell in the room
could be a dead animal or some rotten food
i seach but can find nothing smelly
not even old bread filled wth peanuts and jelly
i havent a clue so i check out my shoes
in the cracks and the cricks and the slits
i find packed in pieces of dog shit
i scoop and i scrape i shovel and pry
all the pieces i brought in from the world outside

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


tjeff's picture

A thought-provoking lyric and song. My first thought was that the song is like a film of the singer's pandemic world. Then I started to wonder whether it was another world altogether. Then I started thinking that we all have our own stark experiences and need to step out of ourselves and see the world through other's eyes. And now I'm still wondering, and maybe I shouldn't stop. Really good stuff.

cindyrella's picture

This is great and reminds me of my dreamworld. Good lyrics and your performance is outstandingly perfect!

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

Love it when you get all weird! Great dog shit metaphor in the last verse, and the overall feeling of being lost in space is perfect. Some beautiful jazzy guitar as well!

Jerry Pettit's picture

Hang in there. I think I read something the other day about things being particularly bad in Peru. They're updating US figures to 300,000 dead by the end of the year--and that's not counting the upcoming civil war...

Very heartfelt--and very universal with my thouhts these days. I'm SO GLAD we have 50/90 to keep us busy at least part of the time, because I'm not leaving the house hardly at all. I'm in that bad demographic.

Great lyrics and your usual heartfelt rendition there. Keep it up!

atitlan's picture

This song is so 2020. Really like the portrayal of the dull, repetitious nature of days during COVID. The way you developed the second half was very well crafted.

katpiercemusic's picture

The lyrics almost read as rap. The music obviously notary. Love the ending. It's like a gut punchline.

coolparadiso's picture

very different. your voice sounds great on this and i love those little guitar flourishes! tough subject! many of those not near the epicentres dont get it!

Fuzzy's picture

Perhaps the greatest Covid song I've heard this summer.
I'm glad you've explained how you put this together; a really interesting process.
You can't lose with Coltrane.
I'm liking your lyrics; hilarious and sad at the same time.
Your vocal delivery reminds me of some of the goofy stuff Zappa did in the mid 70's.
Nice guitar work here lurking around in the background.
I really enjoyed this tune for sure.

dzd's picture

wow man! yeah I agree with Fuzzy......this is probably the best one I've seen that to me really captures my own feelings as well......I'm selfishly enjoying time off work, etc.... not that I haven't been affected, I have probably been just about as affected as any, other than I'm lucky enough to have some family to stay with so not in danger of losing another home..............shit I'm still waiting on my $1200 Trump check......but I digress hahah wah wah wah woe is me ugh.......

all the usual chaos of my own little world seems to of come to a momentary halt, while the outside world seems intent on burning itself down. It really is about perspective

especially love the last verse you really managed to make humorous the tracking in shit from the outside world......that's just lyrically some masterful work
some pretty poignant thoughts stemmed from watching swam lake! I've kind of always felt the same way about bowie and jagger and others...they really could of done something special, the time was ripe, but so were the dollar signs for them personally.........hah! now to listen!

speechless! yup the moon and stars aligned for this one! damn.............

fresh spotless youth's picture

I can see why you put a favorite tag on this one. The lyric gives us so much to ponder, everything, really. And yet it's constructed out of so many prosaic details and slices of your narrow universe. Lovely performance, too

Gwyn Jones's picture

Amazing how you put this together Bill and so masterfully...scraping out just what it is that is happening in this messed up world right now for so's mystifyingly magical how you manage to do this but somehow you good on yer...

Kristi's picture

Good one for the times we find ourselves in. The lyrics provide great details that depict uncertainty and irony. The last verse is a wonderful slow move that is a great metaphor and message. Makes me wonder what we all "bring in" from the world outside. Good delivery.