Hear Eric perform "The Storm"

Preview the entire song cycle. Listen Now

    About The Storm

    “The Storm: An American Song Cycle” is a political rock musical. It evolved as I witnessed with increasing dismay the past four years in America’s turbulent political history, from the election of Donald Trump, to his first year in office, his impeachment, the coronavirus pandemic, the killing of George Floyd, and culminating in the 2020 campaign. The songs are my attempt to capture the experience of being an American, observing and reacting to what was happening on the national and international stage.

    The music is sung by the characters who have occupied center stage of our attention during this time. Donny is the “self-made man” turned president of the United States. Various citizens appear on stage, responding to events as they are occurring. Ben represents the new hope, a politician of integrity. Kay plays a supporting role in keeping him true to his ideals.

    Note: In this initial release of “The Storm,” I sing each song. But “The Storm” is meant to be performed with actors/singers playing each part.

    –   Eric Douglas, September 2020

    Listen to Eric describe the process of creating “The Storm”

    The Song Cycle

    Act I

    The Storm” takes place mainly in Washington D.C. The time is the present. The story begins with a former businessman and TV personality, Donny,More

    Act I

    The Storm” takes place mainly in Washington D.C. The time is the present. The story begins with a former businessman and TV personality, Donny, presenting himself as a potential candidate for president of the United States (“Self-Made Man”).

    At a campaign stop, Donny asks people to support him (“Vote for Me”). As the rallies grow more raucous, Donny’s supporters flock to him in greater numbers (“He’s the One We Want”). Then it’s election night, and the newly-elected president celebrates his razor-thin victory with his campaign manager, Regina, at a lavish victory party (“Votes Are In”).

    Ben is a U.S. senator, a Black American, and rising political star. Dismayed by the outcome of the election, he wonders what forces have been unleashed (“Who Let the Devil In?). Meanwhile, at the White House, Donny celebrates with Regina (“It’ll Be Okay”). We also hear from a Citzen who wonders how the world got turned upside down (“Crazy Town”).

    At a Florida resort, Donny plots political revenge with his aides (“Payback”). We hear more citizens express their shock and dismay (“The Storm”). As Act I closes, Kay, a veteran political observer, expresses her bewilderment at the direction America has taken and wonders how it came to be (“What’s Happening Here?”).

    Characters

    Donny

    The president-elect

    Regina

    Donny's campaign aide and chief of staff

    Ben

    A U.S. senator and rising political star

    Kay

    A political observer and aide to Ben

    Citizens

    Chorus

    Political aides, supporters
    CLICK ON SONG TO LISTEN

    Self-Made Man

    (Donny)

    I was born with a million dollars, born a self-made man,
    I was raised in an Eton collar, raised a self-made man, my daddy made me.
    A silver spoon was all I needed to be a self-made man,
    I had an ego and it needed feeding, I am a self-made man, my daddy made me.
    My daddy made me a self-made man.

    Chorus:
    He did everything he can, to build me up and make a self-made man.
    It’s easy to deceive, people want to believe, people want to believe in the self-made man.
    Self-made man, I’m a self-made man.

    I don’t need to ask for favors, I don’t need a helping hand,
    All I need is your large donations to get me where I am, a self-made man.
    Election day is coming, I hope you understand,
    Redemption day is coming, you got to get it while you can.
    My daddy made me a self-made man. (chorus)

    Self-Made Man

    Self-Made Man

    Vote For Me

    (Donny)

    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me,
    I am what you need, satisfaction guaranteed,
    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me.
    I am just what I am, a most successful man,
    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me.

    Bridge:
    Everything will be perfect when you elect me,
    I’ll bring back all the jobs you lost and the factories.
    I will, make sure you’re safe at any cost,
    I will, bring back all those things that you lost.

    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me,
    Just imagine what I’ll do, on Pennsylvania Avenue,
    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me.
    I can see it in your eyes, I know you fantasize,
    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me.

    Vote For Me

    Vote For Me

    He’s the One We Want – Votes Are In

    (Supporters, Donny, Regina)

    Oh, he’s the one we want, he’s the one we want,
    We’ve waited a long time, and he’s the one we want.
    Can’t believe he’s come this far, oh happy day,
    He’s like a blazing star, won’t fade away.
    Hear the people scream and shout, and call his name,
    They say it’s a record crowd, it’s a brand, new game.

    Bridge:
    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me.
    Don’t you see me as I am, I’m a most successful man,
    I need you to vote for me; I need you to vote for me.
    It’s going to be so sweet to pick the cabinet,
    And pack the court with all those judges that we love.
    I’ll build humongous factories,
    And I’ll build the biggest wall you’ve ever seen,
    I need you to vote for me, I need you to vote for me.

    I’m the one they want, I am the one they want,
    All the votes are in, I am the one they want.
    I’ve got to savor my victory, and take my bow,
    Everybody is looking at me, it’s my turn now.
    I can see the tables turning, it’s a brand, new day,
    I can see the past it’s burning, get out of the way.

    Bridge:
    Republicans and Democrats, people are all the same,
    I’m going to do things different, I’m going to change the game,
    One by one I can see the trend, history repeats itself again,
    Votes are in, the votes are in.

    I’m the one they want, yes, I am the one they want,
    I can feel it everywhere, I am the one they want.
    See the people stop and stare, and call my name,
    These crowds are everywhere, it’s just insane.
    I don’t know my left from right, or my up from down,
    I don’t know what’s wrong or right, it’s a crazy town.

    I’m the one they want, yes, I am the one they want,
    All of the votes are in, and I am the one they want.

    He’s the One We Want/All the Votes Are In

    He’s the One We Want/All the Votes Are In

    Who Let the Devil In?

    (Ben)

    Everybody’s wondering, everyone wants to know,
    Didn’t anybody see the signs, how did we get lost on this road?
    Everybody’s wondering, they’re all watching the sky,
    Could the weather ever get much worse, could it freeze on the 4th of July? 

    Chorus:
    Oh, I wonder, I wonder where the devil has been,
    Cause it sure looks to me like the devil just walked right in.   

    Everybody’s wondering, who’s behind it all?
    Is there some kind of puppeteer hiding behind that wall?
    Everybody’s wondering, is this as bad as it gets?
    Guess I’ll turn on the evening news, they know what is best. (chorus)

    Everybody’s wondering, is this as bad as it seems?
    Can things really get much worse, what’s happening to all our dreams?
    Everybody’s wondering, they all want to know,
    How could the wicked messenger fly right beneath our nose? (chorus)

    Who Let the Devil In

    Who Let the Devil In

    It’ll Be Okay

    (Donny, Regina)

    What are you going to say, what are you going to do?
    When all the lights are shining on you?
    Don’t worry what people say, I know it’s going to be okay.

    Chorus:
    Yes, it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay, nobody’s going to take this away,
    Hey, hey, hey, (pause) hey, hey; no one will take this away.

    It’s a big game, big lights,
    Big fellow you’ve been up all night,
    Don’t worry what people say, I know it’s going to be okay. (chorus)

    Bridge:
    I remember when the devil came, and looked me in the eye.
    He said I needed to play the game,
    If I wanted to make things right, if I wanted to get things right.

    Everybody is watching me,
    Everyone wants something to see,
    I don’t worry what the people say, I know it’s going to be okay. (chorus) 

    It’ll Be Okay

    It’ll Be Okay

    Crazy Town

    (A Citizen)

    Chorus:
    I don’t know why we’re fighting this way,
    Everything seems upside down.
    We’re acting funny, acting insane,
    Oh, it’s a crazy town, yeah, it’s crazy town. 

    Verse:
    Oh, when I awoke this morning, there was something in my eyes,
    I couldn’t imagine why, and I didn’t know what to say.
    So, I got out of bed this morning, and I put a pot of coffee on,
    I brought it to you warm, but I didn’t know what to say. (chorus)

    Bridge:
    Crazy town, in the village square there are people dancing there,
    Crazy town, they believe they’ve found their king.
    And they’ll believe most anything, blind to the pain it can bring,
    Blind to the pain that it brings; blind to the pain it can bring.

    I drove to work this morning, and we talked about it some,
    I felt we were as one, but I, I didn’t know what to say.
    Later on that morning, you looked me in the eye,
    We both started to cry, and I, I didn’t know what to say. (chorus)

    Crazy Town

    Crazy Town

    Payback

    (Donny)

    They’re attacking – everything I do, they’re dividing me from you,
    I’m going to get payback, it’s on my mind, got to get payback, for every time,
    I’m getting a little older, I’m getting a little wiser every day.

    It’s going to get nasty; it’s going to be fun; I’m going to undo all the things they’ve done,
    I’m going to get payback, it’s on my mind, going to get payback, for every time,
    I’m getting a little older, getting a little wiser every day.

    Bridge:
    In the course of one man’s lifetime, in the course of one man’s day,
    It all adds up to one decision, who are you going to trust at the break of day?

    They’re trying to impeach me, get my taxes too; they’re taking a look at, everything I do,
    I’m going to get payback, it’s on my mind, I’ve got to get payback, for every time,
    I’m getting a little older, getting a little wiser every day.

    Payback

    Payback

    The Storm

    (Citizens, Kay)

    Introduction: (Citizens)
    The storm coming here brings rain,
    Let the rain fall down on me, let the rain fall down on me, let it rain.

    Chorus:
    In a driving storm, people form lines around the walls,
    Tell your friends and everyone, it’s up to one and all.
    Fill your bags and cupboards, lay in your supplies,
    It’s going to be a long one, it’s all on the line.

    Verse: (Kay)
    Can somebody tell me, what’s happening here, I don’t understand it, how did we get to here?
    How did we get to here?
    They chant his name and they worship every line, a magic spell’s been woven into their minds,
    Woven into their minds. 

    Chorus:
    I don’t understand it, I don’t understand what’s happening here,
    What’s happening here, makes me want to cry.
    It’s some kind of madness, I can’t understand it, oh how can they (we) be so blind,
    Cause when he’s breaking the law, fooling us all, it’s time to speak your mind.

    The news and the headlines, I read them every day, people are angry, it seems we’re all drifting away.
    Seems we’re all drifting away.
    What’s happening here, I can’t believe my eyes, people are telling me they believe all his lies,
    They believe all his lies. (chorus) 

    I thought we’d resolved this, I thought we were done, thought we held these truths: We all are as one,
    Oh, we all are as one.
    What’s happening here has no reason or rhyme, I can’t make sense of things and I’m wondering why,
    Oh, I’m wondering why. (chorus) 

    The Storm

    The Storm

    What’s Happening Here?

    (Citizens, Kay)

    Introduction: (Citizens)
    The storm coming here brings rain,
    Let the rain fall down on me, let the rain fall down on me, let it rain.

    Chorus:
    In a driving storm, people form lines around the walls,
    Tell your friends and everyone, it’s up to one and all.
    Fill your bags and cupboards, lay in your supplies,
    It’s going to be a long one, it’s all on the line.

    Verse: (Kay)
    Can somebody tell me, what’s happening here, I don’t understand it, how did we get to here?
    How did we get to here?
    They chant his name and they worship every line, a magic spell’s been woven into their minds,
    Woven into their minds.

    Chorus:
    I don’t understand it, I don’t understand what’s happening here,
    What’s happening here, makes me want to cry.
    It’s some kind of madness, I can’t understand it, oh how can they (we) be so blind,
    Cause when he’s breaking the law, fooling us all, it’s time to speak your mind.

    The news and the headlines, I read them every day, people are angry, it seems we’re all drifting away.
    Seems we’re all drifting away.
    What’s happening here, I can’t believe my eyes, people are telling me they believe all his lies,
    They believe all his lies. (chorus)

    I thought we’d resolved this, I thought we were done, thought we held these truths: We all are as one,
    Oh, we all are as one.
    What’s happening here has no reason or rhyme, I can’t make sense of things and I’m wondering why,
    Oh, I’m wondering why. (chorus)

    What’s Happening Here?

    What’s Happening Here?

    Act II

    Ben realizes that he needs to take a strong stand condemning the president’s actions (“What Kind of Man?”). Donny stalks the hallways of the WhiteMore

    Act II

    Ben realizes that he needs to take a strong stand condemning the president’s actions (“What Kind of Man?”). Donny stalks the hallways of the White House, worrying about what people are saying about him (“All About Me”).

    Kay challenges Ben to take up the mantle and run for president (“Where Are the Heroes?”). In the Oval Office, Donny acknowledges the dark forces he has unleashed and challenges the nation to deal with him (“What You Gonna Do About Me?”).

    As the primary season begins, Ben determines to run for president (“Set Things Right”). Donny, who feels increasingly isolated, stuns Regina and other aides by announcing he plans to resign (“Better Days”). At a series of rallies, Ben’s supporters join him in hoping for a new day (“Long Way Home”). The musical concludes as citizens proclaim that the country’s future is all on the line (“The Storm Finale”).

     
    CLICK ON SONG TO LISTEN

    What Kind of Man?

    (Ben)

    What kind of man would lock children in cages?
    What kind of man, what kind of man?
    What kind of man would take us to these darker places?
    What kind of man, what kind of man? 

    Chorus:
    I look around and ask the reason why,
    I look around and see the stars go by,
    But no one makes a sound,
    Is anybody else around? 

    I see you on the screen, I see you in every scene,
    I see you lie to me; I can see you.
    I see how you play the game, you’ll spoil the country’s name,
    And lead us all to shame, I can see you.

    Bridge:
    What kind of man is he, ignoring suffering, what kind of man is he?
    What kind of man is he, to pretend he doesn’t see, what kind of man is he? 

    I can see you hiding there, I see you behind the stare,
    I can see you everywhere, I can see you.
    Can you see me watching you? I see everything you do,
    I know it frightens you, that I can see you. (bridge)

    What kind of man would turn people against each other?
    What kind of man, what kind of man?
    What kind of man would wave the flag and then run for cover?
    What kind of man, what kind of man? (chorus)

    What Kind of Man?

    What Kind of Man?

    All About Me

    (Donny)

    I don’t know what people are saying about me,
    What people are saying about me.
    I don’t know what people are saying about me,
    What people are saying about me.
    I can fake it for a while, I can fool them with a smile,
    But I don’t know what people are saying about me,
    What people are saying about me.

    Chorus:
    Oh, it’s confrontation, disinformation, and ruination (manipulation) of reputation,
    I don’t know what people are saying about me (what’s going on about me),
    What people are saying about me.

    People are saying lots of things about me,
    Lots of things about me.
    I don’t know what’s going on around me,
    Going on about me.
    Leaks are happening everywhere, sharks are circling to get their share,
    I don’t know what’s going on about me,
    Going on about me. (chorus) 

    All About Me

    All About Me

    Where Are the Heroes?

    (Kay)

    Where are the heroes, where are the writers, where are the warriors, where are the fighters?
    Where are the rebels, ready for battle, where are the ones who won’t take it anymore?
    Where are the ones who won’t take it anymore? 

    They’re gone forever, they’ve gone away, they’re of another lifetime, of another day.
    They don’t want to see us, don’t want to witness, they don’t want to look us in the eyes anymore.
    They don’t want to look us in the eyes anymore.

    Transition:
    I don’t really want to fight now; you say you don’t want to fight?
    I don’t really want to fight now; you say you don’t want to fight?

    Chorus:
    So, who is with us now, who knows what’s right, who’ll go out in the night?
    Who’ll show us what is right, who’ll lead us through the night,
    Who’ll lead us through the night?

    What’s your story? What are you made of? What’s your heart say? What are you afraid of?
    What do you live for? Willing to die for? Let me ask: Would you put it on the line?
    Let me ask: Would you put it on the line?

    You’ve got to be a hero, got to be a beacon, got to be a candle, that everyone can see in.
    You’ve got to be a rebel, you’ve got to stand up, you’ve got to say: I won’t take it anymore.
    You’ve got to say: I won’t take it anymore. (transition, chorus)

    Where Are the Heroes?

    Where Are the Heroes?

    What You Gonna Do About Me?

    (Donny)

    The proof is in the pudding now, I’ve divided all the country now,
    No one can communicate, everyone is filled with hate.

    Chorus:
    What you going to do about me, what you going to do about me?
    What you going to do about me, what you going to do about me?

    The fuse is in the cannon now, everyone is fighting now,
    I’ve taken all their hopes away, paranoia wins the day. (chorus)

    The internet is buzzing now, we’re stirring up the crazies now,
    If no one can communicate, then everything disintegrates. (chorus)

    What You Gonna Do About Me?

    What You Gonna Do About Me?

    Set Things Right

    (Ben)

    All the fields are frozen, moon’s at bay,
    All the parents are keeping the children, far away.
    Far away, from this crazy rotten town,
    Everybody’s wondering will the whole damn ship go down.

    I’ve been praying, most every night,
    I’ve been praying we get the whole thing right,
    Get it right, because we’ve got to find the way,
    It better happen soon, because we don’t have all day.

    Chorus:
    We’ve got to get it right, we’ve got to set things straight,
    We need to apologize; we need to get some grace.
    We need some understanding, we need to see the light,
    As god is my companion, we’ve got to set things right.

    I hear you saying, it’s just a waste of time,
    No one’s going to pay for this, not one thin dime.
    One thin dime, but I never hear you ask,
    If they don’t pay for it this time, will this time be the last?

    We’re caught in a nightmare, and I don’t know why,
    Caught in a nightmare, and we’re playing with fire.
    Playing with fire, and who’s the one who knows,
    Who’s the one who said to us, you’ll reap just what you sow. (chorus)

    Set Things Right

    Set Things Right

    Better Days

    (Donny)

    I remember the days before, I was knocking on all those doors,
    And if I could turn back time, I’d go back to when my life was mine.
    No one said it was 9 to 5; man, this job just eats you alive,
    Everyone’s got something to say, no way to get decisions made.  

    Chorus:
    Better days, oh, I want better days;
    I want some better days; I need some better days.

    I’ve got to keep this party in line, no way that this party is mine,
    Dogs are nipping at the door; everybody wants a little more.
    I said I’d find a better way, I promised people a better day,
    Don’t make promises you can’t keep; this job is too much for me. (chorus)

    I want to go back to where I’m from, want to spend some time in the sun,
    Take you in my arms again, just like when we first met.
    I want to spend some time with you, give the job to someone new,
    Time has come for me at last, to find the courage I need to ask for:

    Better days; I need some better days; I’m giving it up, giving it up, giving it all up, for better days.

    Better Days

    Better Days

    Long Way Home

    (Ben)

    Hello, how are you, hope you’re feeling fine,
    It’s nice to be here in your town and spend a bit of time.
    I’ve got some things I want to say, I’ll take your questions, too,
    It’s really nice to be here and spend some time with you.

    Chorus:
    It’s a long way home, a long way home,
    Let’s all join hands, it’s a long way home.

    Hello there, people, it’s nice to see your face,
    It’s such a lovely town, it’s such a lovely day.
    Hello there, people, I hope you’re feeling fine,
    It’s been a long four years, and we’ve got to set things right.  (chorus)

    We’re on the way home, we’re on our way home – yeah. (repeat)

    Bridge:
    Think about the difference that a morning makes.
    Think about the courage that a first step takes.
    And I know we can’t go back; and I know we cannot hide.
    Something deep inside pulls us on.

    Hello, how are you, I’ve got some things to say,
    We’ve got to turn this thing around; things are going to change.
    I can see the future, I see it looking fine,
    Together we can make a difference; together we can make it right. (chorus)

    We’re on the way home, we’re on our way home – yeah. 

    Long Way Home

    Long Way Home

    The Storm Finale

    (Citizens and chorus)

    The storm is drawing close, I can feel it near,
    Waves breaking on the coast, the storm is coming here.
    I can see the danger signs, they’re building barricades,
    Crowds assembling on the street, the storm is on its way, the storm is on its way.

    Storm coming here brings rain, let the rain fall down on me, let the rain fall down on me,
    Let it rain.

    Chorus:
    In a driving storm, people form lines around the walls,
    Tell your friends and everyone, it’s up to one and all.
    Fill your bags and cupboards, lay in your supplies,
    It’s going to be a long one, it’s all on the line;
    It’s all on the line, it’s all on the line, it’s all on the line, it’s all on the line. (repeat chorus)

    The Storm Finale

    The Storm Finale

    The Creative Team

    Eric Douglas

    About the composer

    Eric Douglas is a singer-songwriter who has been writing and recording songs since the late 1960s. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Susanna. He has four children and five grandchildren. He is also an author and the founder of a consulting company. He has collaborated with Tommy Dunbar on two previous albums.

    Tommy Dunbar

    About the arranger

    Tommy Dunbar is a co-founder of The Rubinoos, who have released more than 15 albums over the last four decades. Tommy has worked with Eric on two prior albums, “Keys to the Heart” and “Something to Say.” In addition to arranging the songs, Tommy plays guitars, keyboard, and sings background vocals. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Brenda and their three cats.