Have You Ever Stared Into the Void?

Have You Ever Stared Into the Void?

JūS's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

I've been away from home for a couple days, again, visiting my dad. It's been nice being here in the sticks (Northern Michigan). It's quiet, the lake is closeby, and a couple trees are even changing already. I heard coyotes last night. A good environment for writing lyrics.

But there's no electric guitaring here. I have to make due with one acoustic guitar and a tambourine.

I'll post the music when I have a moment alone to do a "guy with a guitar" demo.

edit: Song is up. I was so excited to sing without interrupting everyone's cartoons downstate. I had my tambourine and handclaps ready too but lo, now I have these pet birds to contend with. Oh well, they're in the mix because I don't have the fancy plug-in that EQ's pet noises off your track.


I go to the well where the water is sweet
the path is worn down in the grass under my feet
give it my troubles pour a pale of clear blue sky
throw my money in the hole, say, "Goodbye"

I get higher than a hippie smoking trail mix
I am lower than the Ed Fitzgerald
I'll drink the Great Lakes dry just trying to
find myself in the rye

have you ever stared into the void?

heard a song brewing up from a hole in the ground
said, "Drink up while you can, boy
because soon you'll be hell-bound"
I said, "You ain't gotta tell me, Lord,
just as sure as I'm your child
I will flood my whole world live in exile"

higher than a monkey in Sandusky
lonely as an only child
I sink down to bottom
try to leave it all behind

have you ever stared into the void?

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


cts's picture

I'll definitely be back for the demo. Just let me know when it's ready. However, I must comment on a few things: the hippie line - cracked me up. I know a few hippies (old schoolers, not just the modern hipster hippies) who get blazed up pretty good and speak of "the void". And for some reason (could be I just saw two of his films recently) this comes across to me as if Oliver Reed is talking to himself. He died while filming Gladiator...lore is that he went full throttle at a pub on spirits and carousing and had a massive heart attack. He died doing what he loved. Not saying this is what you're conveying here, but simply it evoked some thoughts around how one gets to the point of looking into the void.

Sunfire's picture

I think this is great and I think most people today are so wired that they're afraid to stare into the void and maybe don't know how.
Great ideas for a song!

cts's picture

Alright - coming around for the demo. Now, I like the rather pensive feel the demo has. A quiet calm of sorts. I never thought of a void as being the antithesis of chaos, but it seems like it is represented as such here. I like the back porch, bonfire ambience this lends itself to and when the tambourine and handclaps come in...gold! Solid work on this one, my man.

Fuzzy's picture

Props for the "Ed Fitzgerald" reference.
Even though that may be the most annoying song ever written.
Not yours, I mean Gordo's.
A really fine tune here, and a wonderful vocal delivery.
The birds just add that extra charm.
Nicely done.

billwhite51's picture

the only good thing about lightfoots song us the song bobby Sands wrote off the same melody, Back Home in Derry. "I am lower than the Ed Fitzgerald" is one of the best lines I have heard this 50 90, and i guess that gives lightfoots song another justifucation for its existance.

cleanshoes's picture

Love the stripped down feel of this song. The tambourine and handclaps are just the right amount of extra. The Ed Fitzgerald line is great, as is the third verse. Had to listen a few times!

As an aside, I actually like The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but only Tony Rice's version. He improved it exponentially.

fresh spotless youth's picture

Man, you do have a way with melody. This is a good one. I love the gentle swing of it and the way you pick that guitar. I listened once without reading, trying to be surprised by lines as they came. I would think, Did he say, "find myself in the rye"? Yes he did. Great lyric. You capture a feeling here for sure

dzd's picture

ohhhhhhh Smile I'll have to come back and listen/edit this, my ears are beat and sleepy! already sure I'll love it just from title and a quick read of liner notes haha

dzd's picture

Yup Yup! knew I'd love it.....the birds got some pretty good timing themselves Smile

This is an amazing write that really resonates...great melody/that guitar riff is tasty too......good luck reproducing this performance if you want a "better" recording hahah, this is probably my favorite vox delivery(they're all good) that I've heard of yours so far. Higher than a hippie smoking trail mix gave me a pretty good chuckle I really appreciated the little slices of humor in a deadly serious tune, really well done! I hope this is one you go back and listen and keep around, even if you're able to pull it off "better" I know all musicians are a different breed and "knowing how the sausage gets made" tends to make us look at other aspects, but I think this is great no matter your ears....Personally I wouldn't touch it unless you decide for some unknown reason to change any lyrics...can always just dub in any other instruments you want, or if you do happen to purchase that nopets plug in sometime, but I was fond of the birdies hahah

ductapeguy's picture

Oh my goodness. This is a classic acoustic Dead jam. The guitar runs are fabulous and the hippy cryptic lyrics are first rate. I was imagining harmony vocals all over this.

nancyrost's picture

I like the quiet acoustic. The spots where you pick in parallel with the vocal are a really nice touch. Especially love those higher/lower comparisons, serious but funny.

ayeahmur's picture

Dude you are on fire right now. This is wonderful. The match of melody to lyric, plaintive and contemplative, and picked out on the solo guitar, is just perfect. I love this to bits.

Tim Fatchen's picture

Lovely. And the acoustic is just right for this delivery. And I'm all for tams, an under-rated instrument. I have those sorts of arguments with God too; I think a lot of people do but won't admit it, and it's as refreshing as clean well water to see it out in open.

phoenixash's picture

This is a candy filled with a spicy/sour/bitter goo. The melody and vocals are very contemplative and light but when you reach the words, or rather when they reach you, you get suddenly aware of the horror of the normal, of the regular, how beautiful landscapes are hell for some and how the lives some people live are simply no life for us. Sweet, touching, deep.

Donna Devine's picture

Wonderful - and highly relatable - song. The title drew me in, since staring into the void seems to be my pastime at the moment. Fine, well-crafted lyric - I especially enjoyed the two references in the second verse. Lovely music & melody, and a moving performance.