I have a best friend. He is my best friend in the whole world. Relationships are funny because when one person is having a wonderful day, the other might be feeling two inches tall. Knowing I had a song due, it was a perfect excuse to sit down with love-of-my-life Jonathan Clark to create a song describing how miserable it feels to be…well… miserable. I really wanted him to sing on this track with me, and, though it took some convincing, I’m glad he did. (Those of you who know or who have met Jonathan, I challenge you to guess which lyrics are his…) It was written fairly quickly. Maybe an hour on lyrics total? On one of these installments, I think I will scan my notebook pages as a matter of interest. Looking at them, I think they would tell you a lot about how I’m working the lyrical side of things.
The melody and accompaniment was very instantaneous. And sometimes, it just happens that way.
As song writing usually goes for me, my initial intention often turns into something I hadn’t expected. In this case, we set out to write a song about how sad life can be; this morphed into a song about two people, one feeling happy and one totally lost in his unhappiness. I think it’s even strayed a little to becoming a really, really sad song about loving someone even after they’ve died (?!). Use your best judgment, I guess. What it means to you is what it means.
In any case, there are things I really love about this song and those things are so deeply personal that even if I shared them, they’d just be extraneous info. (And you’ve read enough already for six days.) There are a few technical things I’m pretty unhappy with which I might redo at a later time, but the most important thing for me was the act of creating it with someone I love. I think many of these songs will fall this way as I continue. Even now, I fear posting this because rereading the lyrics has made me insecure, but I want to post it. The lyrics aren’t gold medal winning, and I see its weaknesses, but we had a good time coming up with them together: finding words to describe how it feels to want to be anywhere else or be anything other than what you’re feeling now.
Another little something I learned today: writing a song expressing sadness or struggle is very healing. Even if it doesn’t heal a wound or make it go away; it puts it into a physical form, and you can stand back and say, “Oh, look, here it is…”
Recording: Done live with a totally sweet shiny black violin (with lime green purfling) my dad bought me for $15 on ebay (played with altered tuning). You might be asking yourself: why in the hell don’t you just use a uke?! Well, a) I don’t own one (yet) b) the sound of this instrument just can’t be reproduced! My strumming skillz are a little wanting but working on it. Bells were over-dubbed.
We did a lot of takes, unfortunately. Recording numerous times can be frustrating and at the end you have to just accept that the dog decided to take a huge, one minute, sloshing drink of water right in the middle of it. (Though that was too much for me, and we did it again.)
My favorite parts? The way we ended up singing “days for every song” the first time it appears. It makes me laugh- suddenly it’s a Woody Guthrie song. And I like that whole line: Still I’ll write you days for every song – there will be so many songs for you that I’ll have to create more days to hold them.
(Quiz time: One my favorite movie lines of all time is whispered at the end of the track…)
It’s so hard/Rain does fall/I’m a ghost/Nothin’ matters at all Butterflies and candy canes/Got nothing on me/Where is my little house/Out by the sea? Broken down bicycle/No where to go/I’ve lost everything/Buried by snow I will love you when you’re dead and gone/Still I’ll write you days for every song See here my little one/We’ve waned and we’ve borne/Deep goes our sorrow down/Down to the core You are my sunshine/That comes through the pane/And I would give anything/To see you again I will love you when you’re dead and gone/Still I’ll write you days for every song It’s so hard/Rain does come/Wanting to see your face/Is like needing the sun
You are great, just the way you are. Really. You are.