Week Six

HAVEN’T SLEPT IN DAYS
By Kim Davidson
(c) 2010

All that I can see is you walkin’ out
And I don’t even remember now what we were fighting about
You punched a hole in the wall, I broke all our dishes
But that’s no surprise, our fights have always been vicious

CHORUS: Like the circle we’re in, where the anger keeps comin’ around
And we swear every time that it doesn’t mean that we are breaking down
But you’ve been gone since you walked out the door, I’ve been sweeping the glass off the floor
And it feels like the notes of our song have started to fade
Oh and I haven’t bothered to call, and you haven’t bothered to come back home
And my mind is so blown, I haven’t slept in days…

Money has always been tight, but the lovin’ was good
We’ve tried to live with our differences, but we both feel misunderstood
We yell and scream far too much for my likin’, baby

And I’m starting to see that you’re not gonna be the one who saves me
CHORUS: In this circle we’re in, where the anger keeps comin’ around
And we swear every time that it doesn’t mean that we are breaking down
But you’ve been gone since you walked out the door, I’ve been sweeping the glass off the floor
And it feels like the notes of our song have started to fade
Oh and I haven’t bothered to call, and you haven’t bothered to come back home
And my mind is so blown, I haven’t slept in days…

BRIDGE:
I’m still not ready for you to walk away
But you’ve clearly decided that you don’t wanna stay

CHORUS: In this circle we’re in, where the anger keeps comin’ around
And we swear every time that it doesn’t mean that we are breaking down
But you’ve been gone since you walked out the door, I’ve been sweeping the glass off the floor
And it feels like the notes of our song have started to fade
Oh and I haven’t bothered to call, and you haven’t bothered to come back home
And my mind is so blown, I haven’t slept in days…

Well, as I mentioned in last week’s write-up, I’d already had the idea for this song at that point, I just hadn’t had a chance to chase it down.  What came to me first was the title, and the melody that went with that line in the song.  I wasn’t entirely sure if it was going to be a mid-tempo piece or a ballad, but it had a basic shape and it was enough to get the inspiration going further.  A lot of different ideas for it popped into my head during the week.  The one constant was that it was screaming to me that it was about a dysfunctional couple.  Two people who clearly were not quite right together, and whatever it was that was going to happen in the song would illustrate that and leave somebody sleepless.

I did not have my usual writing session on Tuesday. That is to say I didn’t sit down at Starbucks and write out the song.  I was running around doing errands and bits and pieces of the verses and choruses kept coming to me in the car, and I was turning my little digital voice recorder on and off and on and off as I sang the fragments that kept popping into my head.  When I got home later I was able to sit at the computer and flesh it all out into something that made some sort of sense.

I didn’t come up with the chord structure until Wednesday.  That was the first chance I had to sit with the song and my guitar.  The melody was already running around in my head, and the chords fell into place pretty quickly.  I wavered a bit on whether I wanted to keep that minor chord in the third line of the chorus (on “dishes”).  I thought there was an argument to be made for keeping that change major and holding off on the minor chord until the chorus.  But every time I tried it that way it sounded a little too light and fluffy and it just wasn’t working for me.  Besides, I’d already given away the minor chord in the intro, so I figured it didn’t make much point to pretend it wasn’t going to be back.

The guitar line proved a bit challenging.  I don’t typically write licks like that into my songs—mostly because I can’t play them.  This was an exception only because after a few minutes I realized I could play it, and it was worth trying because rhythmically I felt it needed to be there.  I had figured out a way to just strum the rhythm of the lick without the actual notes coming into play, but it didn’t have the same punch, so I worked on making my fingers bend to my will.

You’ll notice that even in the finished version, I missed one pass at the very end.  And now I have to say a few words about this project and performance quality.  If I had my way (and all the time in the world, and no day job), each video would be perfect before it ever hit the web.  Let’s be clear here: none of them has been perfect yet.  But I’ve felt pretty satisfied with what I’ve done most weeks.  This week I was really having trouble saying “Okay, I’m done.”  I never really felt like I was.  I never really nailed a take where all the guitar licks were accurate.  My vocals were a bit strained because I was recording late and needing to be quiet.  Ultimately I stopped simply because I couldn’t sing it one more time without risking the wrath of my sister, whose bedroom shares a wall with mine.  The bridge is far from set in cement.  It was different every time I sang it, and I still don’t know how it will ultimately go.  But here’s the thing: all of that is exactly what this project is supposed to be.  These songs are really supposed to be a first draft (and I don’t know if you can call something a first draft after 27 takes, but I do have my standards).  They will not be perfect, they aren’t supposed to be perfect.  In fact, many of them will potentially be rewritten at some point down the road when I’ve been able to get away from them a bit.  Or they’ll change as I get comfortable with them through performances at live shows.  I can tell you that already the bridge to “My Life In Pictures” has changed from what was posted here a few weeks ago.  It’s the nature of the beast.  And it’s how I live with what gets posted, imperfect though it may be.  I know it will only get better as I take the song into my life and add it to my repertoire, if appropriate.  It’s why the outtakes get posted every week.  They’re a testament to the fact that even if the video isn’t perfect, it’s the best I could possibly do in the moment.  And it’s a brief moment, believe me.  And even so it takes hours.  So I have to kind of take what I can get at some point.

Another thing about this song is that it’s a regression into my dark side—which is really where I just love to be.  I’ve gotten five positive (or four positive and one humorous-take-on-dark with “Stupid Wedding Ring”) songs posted this year, and really it was just a matter of time before this happened.  But what’s different is that this isn’t a song from personal experience.  It isn’t a whiny piece about whatever is sucking in my own life.  It’s a snapshot of this couple’s life, and their misguided relationship, and that to me was interesting.  And I think there’s plenty of room for both the light and the dark, and I’ll be writing my share of both as the year continues.  So for now enjoy a brief dip into the darker side.  And if you need a break, well… go back to weeks one through five!

Oh, one last thing!  How annoying is my neighbor’s dog?!  Luckily you could only hear it when I stopped playing, but that dog barks ALL NIGHT most nights.  And with the window cracked (‘cause it was “warm” out), it’s even worse!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: