Here We Go Again

from by Derek Brink

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References: "Timequake," Humanism.

In my mind, this song is sung by Kilgore Trout. Trout is a character Vonnegut developed that is basically his way of inserting himself into a story. That takes a few forms. Sometimes Trout is clearly meant to represent Vonnegut. Sometimes Vonnegut goes one step further and also inserts a character named Kurt Vonnegut into the story, who inevitably chats with Trout at some point. Vonnegut is the Deus in Trout's Ex Machina.

Trout features prominently in the novel "Timequake," which is essentially a story where every human on earth has to relive a 10 year period, doing exactly the same thing they did the first time, unable to change it, but aware that it was happening. This incident became known as the "Timequake" and the novel takes place after it has ended at a great clambake thrown by Trout who is one of the only people who was basically okay with the whole thing.

I was fascinated with that idea. I wrote this song. And while in my head it's in the character of Kilgore Trout, that's probably somewhat unfair since Trout was upbeat about the whole thing...but it worked for me, anyway.

The whole thing builds to a concept that Vonnegut suggested early in the book, and also elsewhere in his other works. Vonnegut frequently encouraged his readers to try to recognize when they're happy and when they notice it, to take a moment to say or just whisper to themselves the phrase, "If this isn't nice, then I don't know what is." As a person who lives with depression, that thought means a lot to me. I often don't realize that I'm happy until it's in hindsight and then it goes immediately into being sad that it's over. Vonnegut's recommendation is a good one...when you're happy, be happy, and be happy that you're happy.  I like that.


I feel like an actor
only acting to react.
Powerless to change it
but knowing what comes next.
To begin at the beginning
is too far to walk things back.
I was sick so long,
now there’s work to do
forever I expect.

What’s done is done
until you do it all again.
Lay your burdens down.
You may as well be original
if you’re going to sin.

I feel like a writer
with a deadline overhead.
Out of ink, or so I think.
Or maybe the printer’s dead.
A copy of a copy
of another treatment read.
I’ve been gone so long
that it all feels wrong
and I want to go to bed.

So take your time
and be careful of what you
pretend to be.
What’s gone is gone.
Just having the will
doesn’t make the will free.

We are here to celebrate
all that’s been left up to fate.
Thank God it’s not too late.
It would be a shame
to go it alone.
We’re here to
help each other out.
To turn a whisper to a shout.
Who knows what life is all about.
We’re all just
thumbing our way home.

You can’t change the past.
When it becomes the present, you’ve just got to forgive.
So speak these words:
“If this isn’t nice,
then I don’t know what is.”


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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