Behind The Scenes: Houdini

Harry Houdini was a Hungarian - American escapologist, who lived and worked between the XIX and the XX century. He became rather famous for his shows, when he put himself into lethal traps, being able to escape them brilliantly, without missing a beat (despite many people believing he died in one of his shows, he actually left this world in a hospital bed, because of peritonitis). 

How did he manage to escape such terrifying traps? It is a mystery to common people like us, but perhaps one of the quotes attributed to him can help us solve the quandary: "My brain is the key that sets me free". 

Wow. That's it. Our reasoning skills, but also our fantasy, imagination, dreams can free us from any trap. 

I started contemplating the similarity between Houdini, who built his own traps for his shows, and us, who build prisons for ourselves everyday, maybe because of social approval, security or just because it's easier than not. He then escaped his traps, but what about us? 

It is hard just to be aware of how much freedom we sacrifice everyday, deciding to be a bit less free to gain something else, such as security or the approval of our family, friends and so on. Sometimes freedom is stolen by an external source and it seems there's nothing much we can do about it. 

I thought Houdini could be a great metaphor, not for freedom itself, but for the research of freedom and the struggle to find it. 

In my song, chains are not negative, but the element pushing us to start that research. Other elements in the song are the years going by, which seem to deprive us of possibilities and vitality, other people's judgment and feelings, when lived in an obsessive and uncritical way. 

That's how I wrote Houdini.

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Lyrics:

Chains are not what you expect them to be. 
I looked for the truth to set me free. 
Chains are not what you expect them to be. 
I looked for the truth to set you free, my love. 

Years go by like a prophet in songs, 
they shake your hand and say "don't let us go". 
My body, my mind they can play tricks sometimes 
but I'm a free man, in a world of disguise. 

Take my word and believe what you see. 
I am no pretender and I never surrender. 
Take my word and believe what you feel. 
I am no pretender, I am no pretender. 

Some people are born with a thorn in their side. 
They shake their heads and say: "You won't stay alive". 
Some people are born with a hole in their soul. 
They look at you and you let it go. 

Love's a cure, more often a pain, 
but I can't get enough of this summer rain. 
These chains are breaking but this heart's made of ice 
and I cannot look into your eyes. 

Take my word and believe what you see. 
I am no pretender and I never surrender. 
Take my word and believe what you feel. 
I am no pretender, I am no pretender.

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