Greetings From Far Away

from by Derek Brink

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References: "Sirens of Titan" and "Breakfast of Champions."

This is the Rush/Dream Theater song on the album. The recurring chord that you hear throughout in-between the major segments is known to guitarists as the "Alex Lifeson Chord."  (Alex Lifeson is the guitarist in Rush.) I'll cop to that.

I like the instrumental sections a lot. It's one of the heavier things I've written. At one point I'd named the individual pieces with references to the above named novels.  The sections were called:

I. Midland 1973
II. Salo's Message
III. Kilgore Awakened
IV. Midland, Later That Same Day

It doesn't help to know that. But I did it, dammit!

The title is in reference to the message carried by the alien Salo in the "Sirens of Titan" novel. Salo goes to great trouble, watches wars, loses his grip on who made him who he was...etc... All to carry a single message across the galaxy from his people to the people of Earth. When the message is opened, it's a single dot, which in Salo's language means "Greetings."

The third section means a lot to me. It's once again voiced by Kilgore Trout in my mind. (It's important that for what I'm about to describe you remember that Kilgore Trout is Kurt's author-avatar.) At the end of "Breakfast of Champions" (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) Kilgore is given sentience by Kurt Vonnegut, who also appears in the book. Mirroring similar events elsewhere in the novel, Kurt tells Trout that he is a character in a book, but he now is able to know that, understand what that means, and live for himself. Kilgore asks--or more like BEGS--Vonnegut, "Make me young, make me young, make me young!" Then the book ends with a full-page drawing of Kurt Vonnegut, crying.

I think that's as close as I can come to explaining this song.


I don’t know how I got here,
but I know where to go.
And I think I know everything
that I need to know.
If you’re looking for answers,
I have none and I’ll tell you so.
I’ve just been going
along with the flow.

I know how this must look.
I know how I must sound.
I swear that I’m not crazy.
I’ve just been around.
I’ve seen a lot of worry
and unhappiness abound.
I wish everybody could have
the complacency I’ve found.

Greetings from far away.
You’re lucky to be here today.
You don’t have long to stay.
Everything ends, come what may.
All around you is chaos.
Look around at what you’ve lost.
Only you can carry your cross.
Only you know the cost.

No need to act so deliriously.
I meant nothing mysteriously.
If it all goes wrong,
don’t go blaming me.
When the real problem is
you took me to seriously.


Where has this freedom
been all of my life?
It feels like this moment
should be paradise.
But I just want
to be young again.
Why should that make me cry?
Shouldn’t I just be happy
to be alive?


from * (Asterisk), released November 11, 2018


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Derek Brink St Louis, Missouri

Derek Brink is a musician from St. Louis, MO. He offers all of his music for the low cost of absolutely FREE. Just put $0.00 in the box after clicking "Buy." For those who are generous, you may pay any amount you wish with Derek's thanks--but you are not obligated to do so. Thanks, and come back for more, any time! ... more

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