Week 33 – Dance, Dance, Dance

Please bear with me for this longish post, I just thought I’d devote more time to the inspiration behind this song 🙂

Lately, I’ve been reading a few books by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, described as one of the world’s greatest living novelists. His books have been translated into many languages, and sold all over the world.

The first of his books I picked up was Sputnik Sweetheart, which got me hooked. Then I read Dance, Dance, Dance, which inspired me to write this song, but I’ll go into that later…

At this very moment, I’m trying to read The Elephant Vanishes and Kafka On The Shore at the same time (because I have to return both books to the library soon!)

Not that I’m rushing through them; I’m reading the books slowly, paying attention to the wonderful way he describes everyday objects.

Take, for example, his description of an unused alley behind the protagonist’s house in The Elephant Vanishes. He ventures inside in search of his missing cat:

“Oh, well, I think, might as well look for that cat. Leave later developments for later. Anyway, it’s a damn sight better to be out and about than to be cooped up indoors waiting for the telephone to ring.

The spring sun cuts clean and crisp through the ceiling of overhanging branches, scattering patches of shadow across the ground. With no wind, the shadows stay glued in place like fateful stains. Telltale stains sure to cling to the earth as it goes around and around the sun for millennia to come.

Shadows flit over my shirt as I pass under the branches, then return to the ground. All is still. You can almost hear each blade of grass respiring in the sunlight. A few small clouds float in the sky, vivid and well formed, straight out of a medieval engraving. Everything stands out with such clarity that I feel buoyant, as if somehow my body went on forever. That, and it’s terribly hot.”

Amazing isn’t it? Anyway, back to Dance, Dance, Dance, the novel.

I won’t go much into the story, but anyone who’s read this book will remember the mysterious Sheep Man, a being who lives somewhere between worlds and who’s task it is to help the book’s protagonist, who’s completely and utterly lost in his search for answers, get connected. This is what the Sheep Man tells him to do, and by the way, this is exactly how he talks:

“Dance,” said the Sheep Man. “Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays. Yougota dance. Don’teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, yourfeetstop. Yourfeetstop,wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, gottakeepthestep. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou’retired, tiredandscared. Happensoeveryone, okay? Justdon’tletyourfeetstop….Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays.”

Yup, when you get stuck, you gotta dance. Dance like your life depended on it.

Dance, Dance, Dance
Inspired by a novel of the same name by Haruki Murakami
© Marcel Lee Pereira, 17 December 2010

I get lost sometimes
Walking down the street with a blindfold on
Confused by the things that have come and gone

I think I think too much
Staring at shoelaces come undone
Tripping me up when I want to run

I gotta tie it together
I’ve got nothing to lose

So I’ll dance, dance, dance (x 2)
As long as the music’s playing
Stepping to my own beat, swaying
Dancing like my life depended on it

You see I won’t ask why
I’ll just keep my body moving
I won’t stop till my world is grooving

Round and round I go
Spinning like a ball of clay
To find my shape on the potter’s tray

Wishing’s not gonna do it
I’m gonna get to it

So I’ll dance, dance, dance (x 2)
As long as the music’s playing
Stepping to my own beat, swaying
Dancing like my life depended on it

Dancing to my music
Dancing to my own beat
Dancing to my music
Dancing to my own beat



  1. Redmond · December 21, 2010

    This is my favorite one so far! Coincidentally I love reading Murakami. I have to read Dance, Dance Dance – I just read ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’. Best wishes!

    • marcelpereira · December 22, 2010

      Thanks! Glad you like it 🙂 Hope the songwriting’s coming along well for you!

  2. Jeremy · December 30, 2010

    This is a really good song. I like it.

    You’ve also got me started on Murakami. I recently went out to buy a few of his books after reading your post. He’s a great writer!

    • marcelpereira · January 3, 2011

      Thanks, Jeremy! Which one are you reading now? 🙂

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