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Dark Country

Words and Music: © 1998 by Tom Smith
It is a sad truth that actor Gary Cole is best known as dad Mike Brady in the Brady Bunch movies. He played Captain Matthew Gideon on Babylon 5: Crusade, and frankly didn't have much to do. Some fans will remember him on Midnight Caller. He's been in numerous movies, and on numerous TV shows. But the real reason you should know him is Shaun Cassidy's American Gothic, the incredible horror TV series that CBS killed before it even had a chance. The writing was superlative, the acting was amazing, and the whole thing was held together by Cole as Sheriff Lucas Buck, smooth, suave, oh so helpful when you're down on your luck, and quite possibly the most evil character in literary history. (That is not hyperbole. Watch a few episodes, if you can find 'em, and your jaw will drop at some of the stuff this guy does to people's lives.) This song is about the fierce, inexorable relationship of Buck ("with a B, darlin'") and Gail Emory (portrayed by the delectable Paige Turco).

So here we are, alone at last,
And on my own home ground,
The lady and the tiger,
Or perhaps the fox and hound.
Don't look at me like this is something
You weren't leading to,
You're here because you want to be,
I'm here because of you.

How many years you've had to wait,
I bet you fantasized,
About standing here before my gate,
To look me in the eyes,
But the more that you investigate,
The less that you despise,
So ask yourself how much your hate
Was founded on the lies.

Nothing is... as simple as it seems,
What some folks call reality, others disregard as dreams,
And, in the dark, can anyone determine if the screams
Are of terror, or of love, or of pain?

You thought I killed your family,
Murdered one by one,
There's only one boy left, and he
Turns out to be my son.
I can't blame you for loathing me,
But now that passion's turned,
The raiment that you're clothing me in
Shows you haven't learned.

The bead of sweat above your lips,
The tousle of your hair,
The tremor in your fingertips,
The way that we both stare,
The way your breast is heaving,
Like you can't resist my charms,
Now what's this talk of leaving,
When you're circled in my arms?

No one... is ever really changed,
Free will is an illusion, and the willful are deranged,
And, in the dark, can anyone determine what is strange,
What is terror, what is love, what is pain?

In days gone by, the fashion
Was to speak of flames of passion,
That would live and die from spark to flare to glow,
But the spasm of desire
Is like lightning on a wire,
So forget the past, and let the current flow.

And now you wonder what you've lost,
Compared to what you've won,
And wondering if the final cost
Will matter when it's done.
The one you wanted most to die,
To pay for all his sin,
Is the only one who can satisfy
And fill your depths within.

And I can feel you watching me,
And wondering, Why this?
There's more here than an enemy
Converted with a kiss.

Well, I like having all my pawns
Convenient at my hands,
For Judgement Day is coming on,
And, darlin', I've got plans.

Know this... it's always been a game,
From order there comes chaos, but each one's just a name,
And, in the dark, I'll show to you that everything's the same,
That your terror is your love is your pain.

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