Dark In The Park

by Standpipe

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I wrote and recorded this piece between Saturday, 16 August at 10pm and Sunday, 17 August at 9:30pm. And I actually slept for six hours, so it's almost more impressive.

Thanks go out to Mike Lebovitz for telling me about the challenge, Duncan Pflaster for suggesting the album title, and the blackout on 14 August 2003 for inspiring the content of the album.

As this was a bit of a rush job, I've often thought about taking the time to re-record these songs, but that idea usually lasts about twenty minutes when I figure that the album is a moment in time that I should never tamper with.


released August 17, 2003


all rights reserved


Track Name: Lights Out
it looks like
the power is gone
somebody tell me
what's going on

Is it just our office?
I hear the same across the street
Look out the window
there are no lights to see

Lights out
Everybody stay calm
Lights out

We need to leave
please use the stairs
and everybody meet
in the mid-day air

We're going to be okay
no need to worry
but just in case
maybe we should hurry

Lights out
Everybody stay calm
Lights out
Follow me

Lights out
We'll find out what has gone wrong
Lights out
Track Name: Confusion
I want answers
Who is responsible?
I can't believe this happened
How is it possible?

Find a working phone
and report back to me
I have to know
just what is happening


We have to find out
if everybody's alright
We need to plan on
where we're staying tonight

Are we accounted for?
Is anybody not here?


We have to find out
if everybody's alright
We need to plan on
where we're staying tonight

If you stick together
you will feel safe
So find a buddy
and good luck today
Track Name: First Wave
"There's the first wave of people"
"They're trying to get home"

Careful crossing
there are no traffic lights
Cars and people
attempting to get by

On that bus
they look like captives
they're smashed inside
like a jar of olives

Something tells me
I should have left before
Track Name: Left Behind
Everybody headed for Brooklyn
Follow the group that's leaving now

What about me?
Who's going to Jersey?
What about me?
Where is the ferry?

Everybody left behind
Stay or go, make up your mind

Somebody has a car
but you need power
to get where it's parked

I'm willing to bet
that the power will return
within a few hours
so let's just turn
down 8th Avenue and get a drink
before someone else takes our seat

it seems everybody else has the same idea
there's no way we'll get to sit in here

but look, we can get a treat
one strawberry Italian ice for me

We are starting to separate
it's past 8:00 it's getting too late

You start the walk across the bridge
and you shuffle off to find your friend

I guess it's just you and me
let's find a way to New Jersey
Track Name: Making Our Way
How about the ferry can we try that?
We need to find out where it lands
I hear it's at the end of 34th Street
It would be a miracle if we succeed

This is not a line
it's much more like a swarming mob
maybe we can try the other dock

At least there's a line
but it extends for quite a while
six people wide and over a mile

Only fifty people fit in a boat
that's far too few to make me want to go
a thousand can get on the river cruise
but even then the line hardly moves

Power is being restored
but nowhere near here
and the darkness draws near

A helicopter ride is two hundred bucks
but it's the best option open to us

It's not worth that much, yet
besides we don't have that much between us

let's go sit on the steps
maybe there's room at the post office
Track Name: Watching Shadows
Watching shadows
Watching shadows
On the wall of the post office

Watching shadows
I'm watching shadows
They are so hypnotic

People silhouetted by the flashing lights
Most seem to have found a bed for tonight

I would rather not sleep on the steps
Let's find out if the Port Authority's open yet
Track Name: New Dark City
The city is getting darker
it's so surreal to see it unlit
now I'm beginning to wonder
if I can sleep on these concrete steps

Funny how my only fear is
whether I'll get a crick in my back
I feel no need to consider
a threatening criminal attack

Everybody helps each other
it's great to see a community
where everybody comes together
to get through trouble like a family

'This is the best place to be in an emergency'

Surrealism turns to discomfort
As I look down a darkened street
I never thought I'd see Times Square
...or not see it, as the case may be

It's been five hours now
and the buses are still packed
I'm beginning to believe I won't get home
until all the power is back

The bus terminal is still closed off
Thousands stand outside the doors
I stand astounded then I find
around the back there are even more

We seem to have found a single bus
that can help us get back home
amazingly it's almost empty
so we have some time to rest our bones
Track Name: Light At The End
There's not much light
at the end of the tunnel
But it is welcomed anyway

We'll take what we can
after our struggle
the few street lamps are like the light of day

We're okay
We're heading home
We're okay

Heading down Route 9
in South Jersey
To the childhood
home of my friend

I still can't believe
that we are so lucky
We could have been stuck
going to the Meadowlands

We'll still have
a mile and a half
once we set foot on land

we'll get some food
on the way
it's not much but it is a plan

There's not much light
at the end of the tunnel
But it is welcomed anyway

We'll take what we can
after our struggle
the few street lamps are like the light of day

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