Week Four

So before we get to week four, how’s this format working for you?  I don’t know exactly who’s reading/listening here unless you drop a line every now and then.   Some people comment every week.  Other people, like my Mom, surprised me by admitting they’ve been following along.  Anyway, someone who follows on YouTube mentioned that I should post the lyrics there.  What do you guys think?  Would you rather have the lyrics right away?  Let me know!  (Never mind, I made the executive decision already!)

Now here’s week four:

Week 4: Everything Will Be All Right
By Kim Davidson
(c) 2010

The world has been turned up on its head
And the dreams of your youth all seem to have died
It’s stress, not ambition, keeps you in good stead
And it’s less than three hours since you last cried

And nobody answers the phone anymore
Nobody has any time
As you’re drifting farther and farther from shore
But life sometimes turns on a dime.

And everything will be all right.
Everything will be all right.

The boss has been barking each long sorry day
It’s been seven months since your wife chose to leave
And you’re jealous and bitter ‘cause you had to stay
And raise your two kids while you’re trying to grieve

And nobody offers to help anymore
Nobody has any time
And parenthood’s not s’posed to feel like a chore
But life sometimes turns on a dime.

And everything will be all right.
Everything will be all right.

BRIDGE: And I don’t know about you, my friend
But I keep trying to believe
They’re such simple words we’ve said now and then
But that faith is so hard to achieve

We’re all going under, or that’s how it feels
We’re surrounded by people, but feel so alone
We keep trying to outrun the speed of the wheels
We keep trying to find a place to call home

But nobody knows what they want anymore
Nobody has any time
There’s too much at stake, and who knows what’s in store?
‘Cause life sometimes turns on a dime

But everything will be all right.
Everything will be all right…
Yes everything will be all right.
Everything will be all right.

So a funny thing happened on the way to week four… As usual, I had written a song (which will likely appear at a later date).  It had lyrics and a melody—it was complete in that sense.  It still needed the guitar chords fleshed out, and they weren’t quite as obvious and simple as some tunes can be.  In the interim, I had the flash of an idea for another song, and that song took the lead and ended up being posted first.

I’m not entirely sure what first put the words “everything will be all right” into my head.  I was kind of multi-tasking, goofing around on Facebook, with the TV on in the background (an old episode of “In Plain Sight.”)  It was very late (or very early depending on how you look at it), and the idea just presented itself.  Sometimes when the first impulse for a song hits me, I sing or speak whatever bit I get into my little DVR so I can get back to it later.  This was one of those times where the concept demanded immediate satisfaction, and I dropped everything and started writing.  It was all pretty quick and organic, lyric-wise.  I was going for contrast—between these kind of crazy or painful life events, and the soothing words that I have personally heard a number of times from people with far greater faith than I have ever had.  Somehow it felt like I was writing a lullaby to myself, though I didn’t write about any specific personal experiences.  I feel like it’s the kind of tune you’d hear at the end of a TV show during that wrap-up montage that so many episodic dramas use these days.  Well, I was listening to a TV drama when I wrote it, so maybe that was subconsciously informing me.

The chord progression didn’t come right away.  My first pass was a little too light and airy, and I didn’t feel like that was the right mood.  Once I decided to open the verse with a minor chord it all made sense, and the rest of the music fell into place.  Rhythmically and melodically I felt like I wanted it to sound like maybe a cover of an old Bob Dylan tune.  This is not to say that I in any way claim to have one-tenth the talent that Bob Dylan has in his pinky finger.  But I do think that there’s an essence in there… something that speaks to the spirit of those kinds of tunes.  I made a recording just so I could get a feel for it outside of myself, and that first vocal pass definitely reflected my inner Dylan.  It was pretty funny.  Even so, I found myself playing it over and over and liking it more and more.  That must sound strange.  I’m not sure if it’s in some way bizarre or uncouth to like one’s own songs.  God knows I don’t always.  Some songs I like right away, but then after a few listens I find I’m already losing the feel for it.  Some songs I hate right out of the gate, but then a few months later, once I’ve separated myself from the torture of the birthing process, I find I can appreciate it.  And then every once in a while a song just hits me and I fall in love with it.  In those moments it’s almost as if it was written by somebody else and I am completely outside of any kind of tendency to judge it or pick it apart.  I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, I’m just saying it IS.  And this song was like that.  Is still like that.

I went so far as to debut it a few days early at open mic at TCAN on Monday.  I figured as long as it was within the same week it still counted.

The video for this one was a b*tch!  I think it was seriously 25 takes.  I didn’t count, but there were a lot of takes.  And a lot of outtakes.  What was most frustrating was that I would get almost all the way to the end and then fall apart.  With this kind of performance set-up, there’s really no way to splice different takes together without it being very obvious and disjointed, so it was really annoying that I kept messing up at the end of what was otherwise a great pass.  In the end I actually kind of feel like I lost the dynamics of my guitar in the finished version, simply because I was so DONE by then and just wanting to make it through it at any cost.  My focus became about “finishing” and less about the nuances.  I think it sounds fine, but some of those earlier takes were GREAT.  Isn’t that always the way?

As a side note I have to point out that I do not have any kind of a lisp in daily life.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  There is something about the audio of my camera that leaves my sssssyballantssssss lingering on until I sound like a Drew Barrymore Lash Blast mascara commercial (Hi, Vincent—that was just for you!)

Speaking of shout-outs… I don’t know who reads this thing or watches the videos.  Like, my Mom was a total surprise.  But she’s watched ‘em all.  Now I don’t need to have weekly validation from all of you or anything (though some of you are great about checking in every week), but if you’ve been silently lurking, please do drop me the occasional comment and say hi so I know I’m not just singing to myself.  😉

One last fun tidbit: there are two instances in this song where the note/chord combo sounds like another song.  So that’s two songs I have unwittingly ripped off for a millisecond.  Well, hardly ripped off since I didn’t hear it until after I’d listened for a few times and finally came up with the songs I was being reminded of.  And considering that there are only twelve notes in all the universe, there are bound to be some repetitions.  If there’s one thing I learned from Rob Paravonian, it’s that the same small group of chords can be played in the same order in a numerous list of songs, and yet all those songs sound very different off on their own.  Anyway, if you’re up for a challenge, tell me what two songs you think you hear and on what words/notes.  It will be interesting to see if anyone comes up with anything different than the ones I’m actually talking about.

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