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Yellow Mud

You Come From the Lake

3.1 & 2.4

You Come From the LakeiTunes | Amazon | Google | Spotify Previous | Next
Written by Max in 1993 and newly arranged for the album Promised Land.

"The year I lived alone in my desert mountain wilderness, when I needed nails or rope I drove three hours to the middle of a flat valley where they were rapidly depleting the water table for agriculture and other purposes. Once, on a gravel back road, I passed a long raised levee lined with trees, which I was told protected a private lake.

"One night of the following year I was in a motel near the Pacific Ocean, with my girlfriend who was about to break up with me, while a storm was raging outside. I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I got to the door I saw in the darkness before me the sparkling surface of a lake, with figures emerging from below, breaking the surface, shining briefly before plunging back into the depths. Those figures were everyone and everything from both my past and my future.

"I recognized in that moment that time is like a lake, and the surface of the lake is our consciousness, our awareness. And I immediately associated it with that hidden lake in the desert.

"Later, I learned that some Native American traditions also use this metaphor for time and consciousness.

"It turns out that the lake in the desert is maintained, with great destruction to the ancient aquifer, for water-skiing practice and competitions.

"After the breakup, homeless, I rented a studio in one of those horrible buildings where you're surrounded by aspiring heavy metal bands, with no sound-proofing, and I somehow produced this song. The music was inspired by the Yoruba apala genre. It was performed by Wickiup 1993-1995."


you come from the lake
the lake that's always been there
surrounded by trees
so nobody can see it
nobody be tempted
by deep cool water
you come from the lake
but you must go back in
surface for a moment
shine for a moment
then you must go back in
you must go back in
you come from the lake
thick with bodies
slippery like fishes
big ones swimmin'
round the little ones
dark ones swimmin'
round the pale
they look so fine
but they must go back in
they look so fine
but they must go back in

Copyright © Max Carmichael 1989, 2007, 2009, 2010.

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