Song of an Unsung Hero

by Joshua Blum

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about

In the novel, "The Thirteenth Hour," Song of an Unsung Hero is the name of the second half of the book. The name comes from a poem featured in the story about a person who has returned from a long and dangerous quest, successful, but battered and weary, and narrates his inner thoughts while he's being honored for his success. However, he doesn't really want accolades. He's lost something precious in the interim, and no honors or medals will exactly fill the void. He also finds himself thinking that people at the celebration ironically seem more excited than he does - they're at the party to eat, drink, and be merry - but the real reason for the gala seems lost on them. He feels a bit bitter, self-absorbed, and self-righteous, thinking that, but can't entirely help it and leaves the celebration alone.

Both the poem and song get at the separation that people sometimes feel after they've done something difficult (e.g. returning home from war or some other traumatic situation) and are dealing with the culture shock of not entirely knowing how to relate to the world they once knew in the same way they did before.

The book touches on this theme tangentially, since the main character, Logan, chooses to deal with these feelings in his own lighthearted way, but writing the music to the song allowed me to delve into it further. I thought the somber, introspective nature of the song would fit an 80s new wave emo-style song, like the kinds done by bands like New Order, Fiction Factory, Anything Box, and Tears for Fears.

lyrics

The song is played in the key of C on the track, so if you'd like to play along on the guitar, capo up 1 to transpose these chords up 1/2 step.

B A
I saw the world today.
B Esus2
A thousand faces laughing through me.
B A
The celebration planned for me,
B Esus2
All forgotten instantly.

C#m
After all I did and gave
B A
I’m still outside in the rain.

B A
Outside, looking in.
B Esus2
Don’t want to leave, can’t bear to stay.
B A
Who am I? Who can I be?
B Esus2
I don’t know; no one to blame.

C#m
So I turned, looked at the ground,
B A
Walking away, without a sound.

C#m A
And the way isn’t lighted, nor are the stars
C#m F#m B A B A
All alone here, here in the dark.

B A
No, I’m not sad.
B Esus2
I realize this was meant to be.
B
But where can I go?
A
And what do I say
B Esus2
To those that helped along the way?

C#m
And I’m turning, looking at the ground,
B A
Walking away, without a sound.
Esus2 C#m
After all I did and gave
B A
I’m still outside in the rain.
Esus2 C#m
And I’m turning, looking at the ground,
B A
Walking away, without a sound.
Esus2 C#m B
Who will speak my name, sing for me?
A A
My song to sing, sing for me,
E A E
My song to sing.

credits

released April 29, 2016
lyrics, keyboards, guitar, vocals, and mixing: Joshua Blum

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about

Joshua Blum Pennsylvania

Author, illustrator, occasional songwriter, and fan of 80s fantasy and scifi movies.

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