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Marty Lowman: Music

Shadow Dancers

(Marty Lowman)
Marty Lowman

If you could go back and change the past, would you?  That was the basic question I was asking when I wrote Shadow Dancers.  The scene was set by comparing life to a voyage and I used a saling analogy.  A sailboat moves slowly, and as you sail out away from the shore you can look back and still see land for quite some time.

Life is like that - we are always moving through time and away from events that happen.  The further we get from a particular event the more shadowy it appears.  Some events can have a strong impact on our lives and they dance in our memories and can sometimes hinder our progress as we move forward.  The image in the chorus of the song asks the question do the memories bid farewell or do they beckon me?  Do the memories push us forward, or are they holding us back?  Sometimes memories of the past hinder my progress forward, but most times I feel free.

The second verse hints at the revolving nature of time and how we are destined to repeat the same mistakes until we effectively deal with some of our issues.  I think this is a universal truth that our personalities, our character, our style of interacting with others sets events into motion.  These events will have a predictible outcome based on the way we respond.  Over time our responses should become mature and effective - if not, we're going through the same cycle over and over again.  The circumstances and the people involved might be the different, but the same basic issues will occur over and over until we can deal with them appropriately and then move on.

The third verse looks at life as a journey - like sailing through the mist.  You can't really see what's ahead, you can only see as far as the searchlight beam shines.  But if you are looking ahead, anticipating what's next and not looking behind, longing for what was, or reproaching yourself for what was, time becomes your friend, and the journey becomes a joy not a burden

Shadow Dancer - ©Words and Music by Marty Lowman 2007

Standing on the quarter deck looking back to where I'm from I see the shadow dancers and hear the sound of drums

I turn and face the other way and it echoes soft and sweet The cadence is strong and stable but it moves to a different beat

Shadows dance behind me all along the quay Tell me, do they bid farewell, or do they beckon me

Shadows dance behind me all along the quay Sometimes I remember, most times I feel free

Time spins in circles it marches round and round The cycles are compressed as it spirals down

The shadows are behind so light is to the bow So I set my sail, let the winds prevail, take me where they allow

Shadows dance behind me all along the quay Tell me, do they bid farewell, or do they beckon me

Shadows dance behind me all along the quay Sometimes I remember, most times I feel free

My searchlight cuts the darkness but I only see so far The fog horn sounds it warning as I move towards the star

The journey is the main thing not the journey's end You may get there before I do - time's has become friend

Shadows dance behind me all along the quay Tell me, do they bid farewell, or do they beckon me

Shadows dance behind me all along the quay Sometimes I remember, most times I feel free