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"Great grinding guitar rhythms with lead and backing vocals dancing around in different patterns. Energy to spare with plenty of hooks." -- DC Rock Live

Written 2002 in Williamsburg, Virginia, revised 2011.

This fast paced piece pushes limits with frenetic rhythms and Shawna Potter’s outsized vocals that seem ready to break off the track at any time. Touched by Fire is the title of a book by Kay Jamison on the artistic contributions of manic-depressives, and I wrote it with a friend in mind. The song’s unusual rhythm is influenced by post-rock bands like Jawbox. As in “Ring I,” we blend post-rock with pop melodic interests, represented here in the backup vocals and glockenspiel/tremolo guitar.



I said – she is touched by fire, the dead and the divine.
Broken wings across the wire, she’s clipped and then she climbs.
And I’m the idiot-for-hire, saddled at her side.

[I can’t shut the door! I can’t shut it off! I can’t take it off! I can’t take it!]

Touched by fire. Across the wire.

A toolbox, a screw and set of wires, she’ll take apart all time.
She’s got - a chaos theory mind, she’s capital for crime.
We all stand right by her side
And bathe in blinding light.

[I’m taking off! I’m risking all! I’m running all! I’m running!]

She’s touched by fire. We stand beside her.

*Title taken from the book by Kay Jamison on the artistic and scientific contributions of manic depressives.


from A ring around the Atlantic, released December 1, 2011




Peter Maybarduk Washington, D.C.

Peter Maybarduk is a Washington, D.C.-based songwriter and a human rights lawyer with Public Citizen.

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