There is a mysterious, mystic part of the creative process that is outside the individual artist. It’s what makes creating so intoxicating, and why one can get lost for hours in the process. You look up and wonder two things: where the time went and where did that line come from.
I also believe artists, without intention, reflect not just their experience and beliefs, but those of their surroundings, such as the fears of some or the desires of others. That belief is supported by my experience, which I have mentioned before, that I don’t write songs so much as I catch them. Many other songwriters express it similarly.
“Hiding Out in Paradise Lost,” not the subtlest of titles, falls squarely in the ranks of the protest songs that speak more to an emotional response to a changing world rather than a specific political topic. While I am no conspiracy theorist, I am not immune to the sense of an increasing disconnect in the public square. And I’m not even talking about the obvious, literal current events. That sense was evident to me long before the first candidate declared, and even longer before they caucused in Iowa.
While such disenfranchisement has been reflected in earlier songs (“Old Men,” “No Flood This Time,” for example), this one is as explicit and direct as can be.
The above is just me and my guitar.
Hiding Out in Paradise Lost
Here they come they’re riding those horses
Here they come they’re driving those tanks
Here they come they’re flying those drones
everybody knows they’ve emptied the banks x2
They took our jobs and they took our land
Somebody’s needs to draw a line in the sand
Otherwise we’re all just double-crossed
Hanging out in paradise lost
Hiding out in paradise lost
First they preach law and order
Next thing you know they’ve burn down the church
Then the holy-rollers hoot and holler
Just like sharks with blood in the water x2
We’ve been warned and we’ve been told
The longer you live the longer you’re old
Now they’re saying that’s all wrong
They can’t afford you, the money’s all gone
Nobody loves you when the money’s gone
Nobody knows how long this’ll last
Everyone’s waiting on the next newscast
In the meantime, we’re saying our prayers
Cause heaven only knows if God even cares x2
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