Thursday, April 2, 2009

Steampunk Songs - Better Days

Inspired in part by Miss Orr's series of Journal entries on the topic (I think I linked to the first one, and the series continued from that point) on what constitutes Steampunk music, I thought I would amuse myself by developing a batch of lyrics for Steampunk songs - that is, topics that might be considered part of a steamy Victorian past.

(It's true that any number of songs already explore such themes, from some of Abney Park, to Rasputina, to, um, my memory fails right now, so I'll leave it at "others." I never said I was original.)

Then I thought: why not embarrass myself by including them in Journal entries! This seemed a spectacularly bad idea, but I lacked sufficient self-control to stop myself. And, let's be frank, one advantage of the semi-anonymity of a character's Journal is that it's freeing. To paraphrase Love Story, "Being anonymous means never having to say you're embarrassed." (Which makes much more sense than the original quote.)

This one is a little too serious, I'll grant (and lacks a third verse that may or may not ever materialize). I was thinking the other day how most neo-Victorian roleplay seems to gloss over the grittier parts of Victorian life: the workhouses, the grime, the uneducated urchins. Everyone is a duchess or a lady. Of course, Victorian life was was often brutish, nasty, and short, and it pays to remember that. (But not dwell on it too much - the next two are funnier.)

Better Days

Walking down cobblestone streets
Past gaslamps and alleyways,
I pass a child by and his dirty face
Looks me in the eye,
His expression blank, face fixed.
What thoughts are trapped inside his head?
But in my mind he's
Hoping for better days.

Walking past the workhouse door,
Press of bodies and odors and heat.
Ladies pressing laundry
Sigh in resignation.
Do they ever ask themselves
When things went so terribly wrong?
Or are they even now
Hoping for better days?

Like seeing in the wretched mud
A rose sprung from the dirt,
Hope blossoms even now
From a world drenched with hurt.
Dreams of robots and airships
Don't seem so far away,
Feet are bound, imagination unchained
Waiting for a better day.

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