Prey

by Michael McNevin

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about

The story behind the song “Prey”

2020 was a kitchen sink of history and hardship and hope. So much happened, a linear lyric about it all would be 20 minutes long. So, it jumps around with vignettes and symbology. Starting with a reference in the first verse, “Asleep by 8:45, like a one-two punch.” On surface, it is a mention of the working stiff, tired, not making it too easily on the wages. Underneath, it is also a reference to George Floyd’s experience; 8:45 is one second shy of how long George had a knee on his neck.

The BLM message shows up more clearly at the end, with the voice of Rayshard Brooks, who fell asleep in his car at a Wendys drive through in Atlanta. Out on a burger run, killed by police in the parking lot the day before his daughter’s eighth birthday. Part of the song's intent is to remember Rayshard Brooks and his family, and George Floyd too.

The middle verses reference our ingenuity and promise of what we can do, juxtaposed to the pitfalls we create with our industry, us verses the planet. Aspirations of human flight and progress aside, a pterodactyl tree is a long look back to the dinosaurs (and a meteor that killed them), comparing that time to ours, the two-legged animals on top of the food chain. Wars and pandemics (The “Damn Panic”) are two ways to go for us, all tragic. Nobody expects to die during a burger run.

The Wright Brothers, all the tech and industrial talents of the 19th century, got us to the moon with a jar of Tang. That triumph should give a perspective of us back down on the planet. Our gifts being a blessing and a powder keg, mother nature has taken a lot of our abuse, has shown us a long fuse, but she’s at the end of it. Seven billion of us, not handling our business with climate too well, the planet’s life, ocean, species, ecosystems, societal woes, peace.

Time on a houseboat, screwing around with a potato gun, is something fun to look forward to again. Fireworks in 2021 on July 4th weekend will probably be pretty epic. Young people spinning their cars in sideshows is dangerous as hell, but, hey they’re kids and they’re blowing off steam.

Summer 2021 is coming. The wildfires raging in the West the last few years, were not the main news of 2020 (by a long shot), even here in California. Whatever solace or enlightenment I hope for in 2021, still wrapping my head around 2020.

lyrics

Out to pasture, out to lunch
Asleep by 8:45, like a 1-2 punch
Ya fight 15 rounds for chicken feed
The less it pays, the more you need, the more you bleed 

Live to fight another day, outrun the things that think you’re prey 

Something flew out of the pterodactyl tree
Then something else was afoot, you & me
Found a drill bit, found a wire, found a wrench, found some wind
Put some wings on a scooter and off the cliff we went
Up to the moon & back with a jar full of Tang
And a telescope, to get a better look at everything

Live to fight another day, outrun the things that think you’re prey

This earthly relic has my number, and we usually get along
And if I smell something burnin, I know her fuse is pretty long
But am I sleeping better lately, you might ask
Well, I’m filling up a mattress full of cold hard cash
When a bug and some dam panic brings a world to a stop
Hindsights’ 2020, from the bottom to the top 

Live to fight another day, outrun the things that think you’re prey
Outrun the things that think you’re prey

We have our moments in the sun
With our jet skis, houseboats, and a potato gun
Fireworks & sideshows blowing up the block
Hard to say what’s bent and broken on our floatin flyin rock 

Live to fight another day, outrun the things that think you’re prey
Outrun the things that think you’re prey

We stacked this lousy lottery, for the lucky, for the few
Better off in Baja, skip Brazil, skip Peru
I don’t play the poor man’s bingo and I don’t expect to go
At a Wendys, in a war, or in a meteor show
I’m just on a burger run and now I’m late
For my daughter’s birthday, she’s turning 8
It’s my daughter’s birthday, tomorrow she turns 8

credits

released March 28, 2021
Written & Performed by Michael McNevin
Michael McNevin - vocals and guitars
Michael Romanowski - bass, drums, Hammond organ
Recorded & Mastered by Michael Romanowki at Coast Mastering, Berkeley CA

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Michael McNevin San Francisco, California

Michael McNevin's songs read like short stories, a keen eye for detail for the characters and places in his travels. Shared stages with Johnny Cash & The Carter Family, Donovan, Shawn Colvin, Christine Lavin, Richie Havens. Main-stages at Strawberry, High Sierra, Kerrville, Philly Folk Fest. Kerrville New-Folk winner, “DYI Artist Of The Year” for Performing Songwriter, “Song Of The Year” for WCS. ... more

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