Agent Zero

Welcome to another weekly installment of “Free Tune Friday.” To hear last week’s tune and other past entries, click HERE.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good dramatic monologue. I love the idea of conjuring a fictional character through their own words to tell (or at least suggest) a story, all within in a few short lines. Sort of a verse form of the “flash fiction” that’s become so fashionable in recent years. So for the next couple weeks, I’m presenting my own little stabs at the mode in song.

I’m not 100% sure where the inspiration for this week’s tune came from, but I think it came from the Robert Hanssen case–an FBI agent who for years sold secrets to the Russians before finally getting nabbed in 2001–which broke the year I wrote this song. The case involved all kinds of classic spy tropes–from clandestine package drops in parks to secret identities. This tune comes not from the traitor’s perspective, but from the foreign agent on the receiving end. And this story has a different ending. Instead of falling into the hands of the Feds, the betrayer is himself betrayed. All in good fun.

The tune starts off quietly, increasing in guitar layers, rhythmic intensity, and tempo with each additional verse, then breaking out into Weezer-esque glory before finally finishing on a quiet, almost wistful note.


Agent Zero

You’ve been searching for more to live on.
You’ve been dreaming of playing days to come.
I’ve been searching for just this kind of one.
You must not be late. I will not be late.
You must hold the bargain that we’ve made.

I will meet you between the bridges
In the shadows beneath the sycamores.
You just remember to bring the briefcase.
We’ll have lots of fun–I will bring my gun;
You will bring the secrets that you’ve won.

If you’re worried what others may know,
Don’t you worry—I’ve taken steps to know
That nobody is looking into you.
Don’t give in to fear. It descends like tears
And washes all the colors from your dreams.

So you made it—I wasn’t sure you’d come.
Just stay steady, there’s nowhere to run.
Yes, it’s loaded—rely on no one.
Don’t look so surprised. You must realize
I will take your gift and leave you here.

Trust me when I say
You’re better off this way.
You would not be happy with your dreams.

To listen to this tune, click HERE. To download, right-click on the link and select “Save Link As.” For best results, apply headphones. Thanks for listening! Be sure to come back for next Friday’s installment…

(Written, performed, and recorded by David Stahler Jr. All rights reserved.)