Hey Eddie, of course I take your suggestions in the positive spirit in which they are offered. In fact, I'm very grateful that you took the time to make such a long and detailed post. I have a couple of ideas for the chorus melody that I'm going to try out.

Not 100% sure that I'm on-board when it comes to following the classic story-in-the-verses-theme-in-the-chorus structure. That certainly works for the vast majority of songs. It give the listener a break from the story, so that he can return to it refreshed after the chorus. In this particular song, I'm not sure that I want to give him a break from the intensity, as I think it might also break the spell. I'm going to give that some more thought. I've also had someone comment on another forum that I belong to that she found it a little uncomfortable to listen to, especially the first person version. I want people to be moved, of course, but not so sure about "uncomfortable!" BTW, I'm still trying to decide between first and third person.

Thanks so much for commenting in such detail and making such valuable suggestions. I really appreciate it.