Chain Lightning

Background and Commentary

In the song, Neil tries to capture the beauty of two natural weather phenomena and also the importance of experiencing something with another.

“I’m a weather fanatic. One night I was watching the weather report and there and there are two incidents in that song that are synchronicity to one weather report, where the weatherman showed a picture of sun dogs, and described them, and they are just two little points of light that appear at sunset, often in the winter when the sky is clear and crystalline, and they are like little prisms, and they sit about ten degrees north and south of the setting sun, and they are just beautiful little diamonds of light, and often times there’s a circle of light – one line, that connects them. So they are a really beautiful natural phenomenon, and I love the name too. ‘Sun dogs’ just has a great sound to it.

“And in that same weather forecast, the weatherman announced a meteor shower that night, and so my daughter and I went out on the lake in the middle of the night and watched this meteor shower. So the whole idea of the song was response and how people respond to things, and it’s a thing I’ve found a lot in traveling around the world, too. It’s not enough just to travel and see things. You have to respond to them—you have to feel them, and a lot of the thrust of that song is how things are transferred, like chain lightning or enthusiasm or energy or love are things that are contagious, and if someone feels them, they are easily transferable to another person, or in the case of watching a meteor shower, it’s made more special if there is someone else there. ‘Reflected in another pair of eyes’ is the idea that it’s a wonderful thing already, just you and the meteor shower, but if there’s someone else there with you to share it, then it multiplies, you know, it becomes exponentially a bigger experience, so response is a theme that recurs in several of the songs and was one of my probably dominant sub-themes in the writing.” (Profiled!)—Neil in Merely Players

Lyrics

Energy is contagious
Enthusiasm spreads
Tides respond to lunar gravitation
Everything turns in synchronous relation

Laughter is infectious
Excitement goes to my head
Winds are stirred by planets in rotation
Sparks ignite and spread new information

Respond, vibrate, feed back, resonate

Sun dogs fire on the horizon
Meteor rain stars across the night
This moment may be brief
But it can be so bright

Hope is epidemic
Optimism spreads
Bitterness breeds irritation
Ignorance breeds imitation

Sun dogs fire on the horizon
Meteor rain stars across the night
This moment may be brief
But it can be so bright
Reflected in another source of light
When the moment dies
The spark still flies
Reflected in another pair of eyes

Dreams are sometimes catching
Desire goes to my head
Love responds to your invitation
Love responds to imagination

Respond, vibrate, feed back, resonate

Tablature (Bass)

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

Q q e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e
+—–8-+——————-+—————–+—————–+
|5:-R—|4:-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3-|-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
|8:—–|4:—————–|—————–|—————–|
+——-+——————-+—————–+—————–+

e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e H e e h Q e H e
+—————–+—————–+—————–+——-+——-+——-+
|-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-|—————–|—————–|—R—|—R—|—R—|
|—————–|-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3-|-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-|——-|—–1-|——-|
+—————–+—————–+—————–+-3—3-+-3—–+-3—3-+

e e+h q e e e e e e e e +e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e
+———+—7-7-7-6-6-6-7-+—-6—6—6-7-6-+—7—7-6-6-6-7-+
|—R—–|-R-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|—-5-R-5-5-5—5-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
|———|—————–|——————|—————–|
+-3—–1-+—————–+——————+—————–+

+e e e e e e q q q e e e e +e q q e e e q e e e e e e +e q q e e e
+—-6—6—6-7-+————-+————–+—————+————–+
|—-5-5-5-5-5-5-|————-|————–|—————|————–|
|—————-|—–4-4—5-|—-4-4-4-4-5-|—5—4—4-5-|—-4-4-4-4-5-|
+—————-+-3-3—–3—+————–+-3—3—3—–+————–+

q q Q e +e e q q e e e e e e e e e e e e e e q e e e e e e e e e e
+———+————–+—————–+—————+—7-7-7-6-6-6-7-+
|-1-1-1-1-|—-1———|—————–|—————|-R-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
|———|——5-3-1-3-|—————–|—3—–1-1-3-|—————–|
+———+————–+-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-0-+-1—1-1——-+—————–+

+e e e e e e q q q e e e e +e q e e e e e q q e e e e +e q e e e q
+—-6—6—6-7-+————-+—————-+————-+————–+
|—-5-5-5-5-5-5-|————-|—————-|————-|————–|
|—————-|—–4-4—5-|—-5-4-4-4-4-5-|—–4—4-5-|—-4-4-4-4-5-|
+—————-+-3-3—–3—+—————-+-3-3—3—–+————–+

q q Q e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e
+———+—————–+—————–+—————–+
|-1-1-1—|-1-1————-|—–3———–|——-3—–1—|
|——-5-|—–5-5-3-3—3-|—————–|-3————-5-|
+———+————-1—+-1-1—1-1-3-1-1-+—1-1—1-1—–+

e e e e e e e e +e e e e e e q q e e h +q e e h +e e e q e e e
+—7-7-7-6-6-6-7-+—-6—6—6-7-+———+—-5-5—+—-7-7—7-7-3-+
|-R-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|—-5-5-5-5-5-5-|-R-5-5-R-|—-3-3-R-|—-5-5-R-5-5-1-|
|—————–|—————-|—3-3—|———-|—————-|
+—————–+—————-+———+———-+—————-+

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.

Tutorials

“Chain Lightning” guitar cover

“Chain Lightning” bass cover

“Chain Lightning” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 9, 2011.

 
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