Artwork “Ishmael” © by George Klauba   www.georgeklauba.com

Know not my name 

I am alone 

I am a wanderer 

I have no home 

I tire of the land 

I look to the sea 

When these moods take hold of me 

 

I sail the world 

In all the rainbow 

I hear the many voices 

Of its calling 

The pendulum swings 

From soft, gentle breeze to raging storms within me 

 

I tire of the land - I look to the sea 

I look to the waves - they beckon to me 

Call me Ishmael 

How many shades - are there to see? 

Call me Ishmael 

How many truths - are foreign to me? 

 

I see the land - marked by our roads 

I see the boundaries in our souls 

I long for the sea - so unmarked and free - a place to free my soul 

I sail the world to every land 

Searching for the soul of man 

The deeper we look the closer we see - the God within you and me 

 

I tire of the land - I look to the sea 

Call me Ishmael 

I look to the waves - they beckon to me 

Call me Ishmael 

How many shades - are there to see? 

Call me Ishmael 

How many truths - are foreign to me? 

Call me Ishmael 

 

music by Tony Garone © 2010

lyrics by Tony Garone and Steven Garone © 2010

Produced by Anthony Garone and William Brown

recorded at Cow Pilot Studios (AZ) and First Wave Digital (NY) 

 

Tony Garone -vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards

William Brown - electric guitars 

Anthony Garone Jr. - electric guitar and acoustic guitars

PJ Cardinal - piano and strings

Cayce Carney - drums and percussion

 

 

 

What is this song about? 

 

Moby Dick contains perhaps the most famous opening phrase of all time; 

 

"Call me Ishmael." 

 

Not only do we not know who Ishmael is, we don't know who's telling the story! Most scholars believe Ishmael is Melville. Sounds logical to me. I felt it was important to introduce the album from Ishmael's perspective because he, for the most part, is the narrator of the book. It just so happens that I share the same feelings about humanity, so there is an emotional component to this song that makes it special to me. 

 

I requested the assistance of my youngest son, Steven, who is majoring in journalism, to help me pen the lyrics for this song. He managed to take the pomposity out of my original draft while maintaining the open feel to the song.

 

Ishmael is the quintessential outcast. He is a pilgrim searching for meaning in a world of rigid ideologies but finds freedom in the solace of the sea. The ocean cannot be mapped or structured like the land. Just as the individual who does not allow himself/herself to be constrained by rigid thinking is able to entertain and tolerate many perspectives.

 

Ishmael lets himself go, as we all should, to allow the universe to guide him to his destiny. Ahab does not and cannot allow the universe to guide him; he is under the illusion of control and single-mindedness. He is burdened by his “inner crucifixion” of temporal duality. In the book, “Melville’s Later Novels,” Dillingham tells us that Ishmael possessed two qualities that Ahab lacked; a high degree of self understanding and an intellectual/emotional tie to the ordinary world. Ahab, who was self-unaware, hated his other side without realizing what it was. Ishmael is a survivor. He is the artist who scrutinizes society and demonstrates social commentary through his art. He is Number 6; the individual in the Village (any “Prisoner” fans out there?).

 

So what is this song about? It's a song about leaving the prison of the land for the freedom of the sea. It's about being free to think outside the box. It's about recognizing God in all of us and not outside of us. It's about tolerance and compassion for all humanity. Whew! Okay - it's about a great many things. 

 

Ishmael was an orphan and a wanderer (in some ways like Bulkington, a minor but very important character), but unlike Bulkington, who maintained the same “mood” throughout his soul, Ishmael experienced many moods. We know this because Melville tells us: 

 

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." - Moby Dick Chapter 1 - Loomings 

 

Nevertheless, I tried to introduce this album with an upbeat, carefree feel to it, hence the opening song is quite positive and open. Fear not, lovers of doom, the music does take a rather nasty turn as the story unfolds. But for the time being, don't worry - be happy. 

Ishmael and the Sea