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Depth Perception

Depth Perception – 4:01 – Sometimes, in the dark, tannin-stained water of the Canadian North, you can’t tell what’s under the surface. There could be a thousand fathoms of frigid emptiness, or a jagged rock waiting a mere 2 inches below, ready to rip a gash in your canoe and place all you have in jeopardy.

This song features no canoes, but is wonderfully rich in metaphor and allusion; where intricate imagery weaves a dreamlike tapestry. (Paul Mills’ favourite line on the whole album may have been, “Do you drive like the devil is at your back, or slow like the devil’s ahead?”


Depth Perception           ©2004 Dave Hadfield

(Dm)        C                             Dm
Dark reflection… light rejection.
C    Am         Dm
Is it water deep, or is it shallow?
C                              Dm
No impression… imperception.
Bb—Am               Dm           [Bb-Am as bar chords]
Will you lead, or will you follow?

Dm                                       C        Dm
Do you dance in the middle of the path ahead,
F                            G
As you seek to find your way?
Dm                                      C                Dm
Take a lot, take a little — there’s enough for all,
F           C        G           [hold]
For you walk it every day.
Dm                                       C             Dm
Do you cross where the river runs fast and deep,
F                                        G
Or the place where the water is wide?
F                          G
Do you falter…. in your stride?
Depth perception.

Do you drive like the devil was at your back,
Or slow like the devil’s ahead?
Is it rough, is it level — like a plain of glass,
Or a wave that breaks instead?
Is the road like an arrow, straight and true
Or does perhaps it curve?
Do you wander…. do you swerve?
Depth perception.

Are you light as a feather in a summer breeze,
Or perhaps as heavy as clay?
Are you free of the tether or harness-broke,
And hardly struggle each day.
Are the joke and the riddle quite clear to all?
Is there laughter in your sleep?
Do you stumble…  do you weep?
Depth perception.