Hella Gems | Original Music Blog

The Lion is Dead

July 8th, 2009 by

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After Michael Jackson died, my inclination was to do the same sort of thing that Bill did, which is to record either an MJ cover or a dance song in that sort of vein. As usual, my braggart inclinations gave way instead to introspection, so I started tinkling on the piano instead. Eventually I remembered this song, which is one that I had written two years ago for a concept album that was never finished.

The subject matter of the album was the rise and fall of a boxer, and this song was going to be the last song of the cycle, chronicling the end of his career, as the fans have gone away and his body is no longer capable of the fears needed to regain them. With both the positive and negative lights being shone about as bright as they can on Michael Jackson, doing this song seemed appropriate.

In any case, I had many of the elements of this arrangement lying in my head for quite a long time, and their recording was almost accidental, since I recorded the initial piano and vocal without a click, hence the floating drums and other instruments not quite being in time with one another.

There is actually 60% actual lyrics in this song, mostly the 1st verse and the chorus/bridge bits. Everything else was a first take piled upon another first take:

Piano/Vocal -> Drums -> Bass -> Strings -> Backing Vocal on the Bridge

Thanks to Bill for nudging me to post this as is.

The title came from seeing this memorial at Oakland Cemetery:


At first I thought the lion was only sleeping, but no, the lion was dead.

2 Responses to “The Lion is Dead”

  1. Graham

    It makes me happy to finally hear this.

  2. erf

    Excellent, glad to hear it. A better version of this and the Boxer Song will come eventually…

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