SHADOWS (©Words and Music by Paul F. Cowlan)

Triggered by the neo-nazi burning of a Turkish house in Solingen. Certainly most of us don’t have anything that horrific on our conscience, but other people’s ‘shadows’ are always easier to see than your own, and complacency is a dangerous soporific. ‘A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. They then dwell in the house next door, and at any moment a flame may dart out and set fire to his own house.’ (Carl Jung)


Four-square, conscience clear;
I never did a thing that I need to fear.
There’s evil in the world but it’s not round here,
I’m a paragon of virtue.
And I’ve never seen a trace of an enemy within
but the house next door is burning;
and it could be today or tomorrow they say
that the wind will be turning.

Sleep tight. Close your eyes.
It’ll all be over by the time you rise.
Just a little wound to cauterize
and the dead to be buried.
So dream of a dragon and a knight with a sword
in the times of romance and glory;
though the dragon’s still free and The Old Enemy
is more than a story.

“Out west,” they said, “there’s a new country,
savage and cruel as a land can be.”
Well what you are is what you see,
like an image in the water.
Or a spiteful voice with a critical tone
and just a hint of familiar diction
from a shadow in your head, but whatever is said
you can treat it as a fiction.

If you’ve never heard tell of the enemy within
or detected a smell of burning;
and if you look the other way when you hear them say
that the wind may be turning.

World-wide, airwave-free,
Hear it on the radio or on TV.
I’m shocked to the core by the things I see.
What a pass it’s come to!
And I thought I heard a voice from the cellar last night,
but it must have been imagination.
There’s nobody I know who would sink so low
as that conversation.

And I never heard a word from the enemy within,
though the mirror on the wall is turning.
I’ve got a lighted brand and a clenched right hand;
and a house is burning.