Week Nine

What I’d Give
By Kim Davidson
(c) 2010

I’m watchin’ her spin you round, I’m watchin’ her wear you down
You’re like a dog chasin’ its tail, she’s got you wound up
You walk right into every trap, you jump with every little snap
And she laughs and reels you in, it’s such a set-up.
Why waste time on games—is that what you wanna do?
I’ll lay my cards right out–here’s what you can look forward to…

CHORUS: A little patience, a little attitude, a little danger, a little strife
A little innocence, a little misery, a little run for your money, and days on days of fun,
A little heartbreak, a little sweetness, a little spice when you are good,
and more than a little love… that’s what I’d give to you

You’re thinkin’ ‘bout all the wrong stuff, no relationship should be so tough
You jump through hoops like crazy, and get nothin’ back
Nothin’ is perfect, but this is insane—she’s workin’ you like a pawn in this game
What makes it worth all the trouble, when she never cuts you any slack?
Why waste time on games—is that what you wanna do?
I’ll lay my cards right out–here’s what you can look forward to……

CHORUS: A little patience, a little attitude, a little danger, a little strife
A little innocence, a little misery, a little run for your money, and days on days of fun,
A little heartbreak, a little sweetness, a little spice when you are good,
and more than a little love… that’s what I’d give to you

BRIDGE: And you can shove your flowers and your jewels, but give me loyalty
And in return I’ll give you every inch of me…

CHORUS: A little patience, a little attitude, a little danger, a little strife
A little innocence, a little misery, a little run for your money, and days on days of fun,
A little heartbreak, a little sweetness, a little spice when you are good,
and more than a little love… that’s what I’d give to you

This one came to me chorus first, which presented the challenge of needing to find verses which would sensibly lead up to said chorus. It’s kind of working backwards, when that happens. Sometimes I get the idea for the tag line of the chorus first, but I don’t always come up with a complete chorus until I’ve gotten through the verses. This time the chorus just came tumbling out and it was the first bit I got down. I love list songs, and this chorus was definitely a list, so it was relatively easy to put together. After that, like I said, it was a bit trickier. I was trying to figure out what was the real concept behind the song, and it seemed to me that it was about witnessing this kind of sham of a relationship, based on materialistic and superficial crap, and wanting to express a “real” alternative to this hapless guy who was being strung along by his current girlfriend. Of course, it’s all very subtle so I tried to come up with a few lines that would point the listener in that direction without beating them over the head with it or making it all too literal. The bridge is probably the most obvious statement about my own personal view of relationships.

It definitely took a couple tries to get it all right. I started it on Monday, and over Tuesday I rewrote the verses a couple different ways, doing some free writing in between and asking myself questions about what I’d already gotten down, then changing things accordingly. I sat down with the guitar on Wednesday and made additional changes, pulling out extraneous words that didn’t fit the rhythm, and then after a couple run-throughs I recorded it. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad.

Interestingly, when I watched the recording to see if it was usable, I noticed that because of my pronunciation in the first two choruses “attitude” came out sounding like “latitude.” It’s arguably a more unique and interesting choice. I’m going to have to ruminate on it and see if I want to make the change or not. I would certainly never have thought of it if it hadn’t come out sounding that way.

I’m finding as I go along that I’m less likely to accept a first pass at a song because I DON’T want to put up a piece of crap just because the timeline is short. But I’m more likely to accept a first pass (or early pass) of a video recording because I just don’t have the time (or frankly the “space” in the household) to really work it until I’m absolutely satisfied. Especially with something like this where there are passages I should just wail on, I’m never going to get it quite right. I don’t have the luxury of belting my heart out unless I’m home alone, and that NEVER happens. I do mean never. So I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that the videos won’t be perfect, but they’ll be as good as I can make them within a few takes, and if the vocals and guitar are clean, that’s more than enough, really.

Technically this one was kind of a pain in the neck. Last week’s song had some high-pitched squealing in the audio and I realized it was from my VCR being on while I was recording. That was the same situation this week, so I figured I should try to do something about it since I knew at least one listener who said they really couldn’t listen to the song all the way through due to the annoying squeal. I can’t blame him. I actually tried to fix it, but it’s REALLY hard to match up the audio to the video once it’s all been spliced up and edited. It actually WOULDN’T be that difficult if my external audio editor (Adobe Audition) would work properly, but… welcome to my world.

So this time around before I made any cuts or anything, I edited the audio and imported it into Vegas (which is my video editing software). Of course, it should just overwrite what’s there from Audition, but something is missing in the link between the two programs. So I had to import a copy of the new audio and then delete the track with the old audio in Vegas, and make sure they both lined up correctly. Then because the audio and video weren’t married (because it wasn’t the original audio), I had to literally select both tracks every time I made a cut because if I didn’t, only one or the other would get spliced instead of both. And if anything moved even a fraction of an inch, I had to hit “undo” and reselect and repeat whatever action, with the audio and video linked merely through my finger on the Control key. Completely annoying; completely unnecessary if everything was working the way it’s supposed to. I tried for a few minutes to figure out why I couldn’t get everything to just do what it was supposed to do between the two programs, but I didn’t get anywhere and gave up trying since it seemed a time-waster above all.

In the end I got the result I wanted (mostly—my skills within Audition’s noise reduction arena aren’t much to write home about), but it wasn’t simple, and it wasn’t fast by any means.

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