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2020 Vision (single)

by Danny Schmidt



2020 has been a most extraordinary and challenging year. It’s been surreal to live through, in real time, what will almost certainly be the most significant defining event of our generation . . . without the hindsight which always makes historic outcomes appear inevitable. Because while hindsight might, indeed, be 20/20 . . . the year 2020 in real time has felt incredibly blurry, distorted, twisted, and astigmatic.

But even amidst the mayhem, fear, and anxiety of the Great Uncertainty, there’s been something beautiful in witnessing eight billion people regaining their balance and reconstructing their lives all at the same time, and all on the fly. And somehow, sharing the ordeal together has created a remarkable display of resilience, creativity of human spirit, relentlessness of human connection, and given rise to an emergent new culture, self-organized from out of the chaos.

And then there's the loss. The loss of our sense of invincibility, the loss of work, of purpose, of rhythm, of independence. And of course, the actual loss of life. With a little luck and some indefinite wait, we will hopefully regain most of what we've lost when this is all over . . . as most of those things were loaned away willingly in service to protecting the one thing that sadly can never be recovered.

“2020 Vision” is a song of my reflections and impressions on what we’ve lost, what we’ve learned, and what we’ve become collectively, at this point in time, somewhere in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.


2020 VISION (lyrics):

There’s a face in the distance, they’re all distant now
She’s holding her breath and she’s hiding her mouth
We’re walking on opposite sides of the lonely divide
The closer we came the further it felt
Until I crossed the road and then she crossed herself
I waved as we passed and she smiled with the bags of her eyes

Oh 2020, you’re fading away
Your weeks into months and your months into days
As they all blur together like tears on the page
As if the angels were writing it down

A party’s a cocktail we drink all alone
Our friends are a movie we watch on our phone
Our parents are teenagers sneaking around in the night
Our children are monkeys that are tied to our wrists
Our houses are wrecking balls tied to a list
A plan is a guess where the jester insists that he’s right


The shelves are as empty as people are scared
Our hands are as clean as the fear in the air
Our trust is as blind as the packages left on the porch
We’re lucky if somehow we still have some work
Where all that’s required is wearing a shirt
We’re so nonessential, at last we can laugh til it hurts


I think of my grandparents’ time in the war
That it’s never the same as the same was before
If they bomb your cathedral, forever the treasure is gone
At night I hear sirens and songs in the dark
And the roar of propellers like heaves of dry coughs
In the heart of the city, there’s a hole where John Prine still belongs


released April 30, 2020


all rights reserved



Danny Schmidt Austin, Texas

Named to the Chicago Tribune's "50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years," Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt is considered a preeminent writer, an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane, with lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt. ... more


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