Dorian, original lyric and story

charcoal portrait of a person in dark shadow drawn by Susan Carson

I wrote these lyrics years ago (can it really be more than 20 years already? Geez…). It is based partly on the novel A Portrait of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and partly on a conversation with my 2 best friends about running away from our adult lives and starting over somewhere. This actually turned out to be somewhat a “foreshadowing” for me, as I did just that exact thing 3 years after writing this song. I moved away from Ohio to Connecticut… “new place, new friends…” and discovered the ol’ “wherever you go, there you are” hard lesson. Can we really ever start over? Or are we just having a set and costume change, but playing the same old lines and plots? Who knows?

History of this song

My band, The Susans, in Columbus, Ohio performed this song, and each of the band members wrote their own musical parts. That’s how we did things. I wrote the words and melody. The Susans consists of myself (Susan Carson), Jon Thoms-guitar, Steve Schwier-bass, Susan Davison-drums, and later Ken Lambert-bass. We were a very tight, and tight-knit, rock band, doing mostly original material and a few covers. We rocked the Midwest for 10 years. Maybe those were my “glory days”. One thing is for sure, I loved that time and those people so much – my band mates and all the fans and friends that followed and supported us were like a family to me.

This song is still regularly performed by my new CT based acoustic duo, Me & D, with David DeLallo. It always gets a great response. It’s hard for me to be sure how it sounds really because when I play it, I can still hear the old band playing it in my head. David does it justice, though, respecting the original but adding his own flare and personality to it. I absolutely love singing this song and the words mean a lot to me.

It was funny at the time

On a side note, I used to host a weekly book club at my house in Ohio during the 1990s. We called it Philosophy Group and the point was to read deep philosophical pieces along with some classic literature that we all probably skipped when it was assigned in high school or university and have meaningful discussion. This book club covered A Portrait of Dorian Grey. It was my pick (we rotated picking the books.)

During our discussion, I was lost and confused and came to realize I missed an entire section of the story involving Dorian hanging out in opium dens. Apparently I bought the ABRIDGED version. Dork.

“Wait! WHAT OPIUM DENS?! What are you guys talking about???”

Anyway, here are the lyrics:

Dorian

New name, new friends, new place

Rolls the window down and checks the mirror

Cigarette is burning, no turning back

No time to think about the fear

 

Of what was wrong or right then

It doesn’t matter, he’s just got to get away

To where no one knows his name or

What brings him to say the things he doesn’t want to say

 

            But in the trunk a frame of gold

            A picture of a boy who never will grow old

 

                        Dorian drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                        Dorian drives away

 

Pulls in unnoticed, unimpressed

Looks just like the town he saw before

Amazing how some deals

Have ways of leaving you just feeling like a whore

 

            But in the trunk a frame of gold

            A picture of a boy who never will grow old

 

                        Dorian drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                        Dorian drives away

 

                                    It’s all so grey, where is the sun

                                    Where do you go when you just want to be someone?

                                    What is the point of dreaming now?

 

But things don’t work out like they did in fairy tales

He made a deal for life but bargained straight for hell

And now he drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                        Dorian drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                                    Dorian, Doran drives

                                    Dorian, Doran drives

©2000 Susan A. Carson. All rights Reserved.

Published by CarsonArtMusic

Susan Carson is a singer/songwriter, guitarist and visual artist/painter living in Stamford, Connecticut.

6 thoughts on “Dorian, original lyric and story

  1. I really enjoyed reading the back story to this song and how you had a lot of stories upon stories. Also great seeing the lyrics down on paper lets you have time to really enjoy them. They’re fantastic lyrics.

  2. “….running away from our adult lives and starting over somewhere. ….” “Can we really ever start over? Or are we just having a set and costume change, but playing the same old lines and plots? ”
    Great questions. Yes, I believe we can. It’s what I had to do. Only, I didn’t run away. I stayed where I was because I have two kids and didn’t want to disrupt their lives any more than it had been by the adults around them. The way I was living did not work. The change to make it better had to come from me. Someone had to do it; since I was the unhappiest, it was left to me. It’s worth the effort, the enormous effort. The only challenge to staying in the same place is that the same people expect you to be the same. My head becomes full of cliches; when the pain outweighs the pleasure, you make your move; what others think of me is none of my business; one day at a time. Life is not easy but it is good now. Thanks, Susan!

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