Week Fourteen

All These Things
By Kim Davidson
(c) 2010

There’s a tricycle in the driveway, that’s faded in the rain
And a skateboard under a t-shirt that bears an oil stain
By a broken swing-set in the corner of the weary yard
That’s full of useless junk you couldn’t bring yourself to discard

Dolls in threadbare dresses, and the palest pink lamp shade
One lone skate with broken lace and rust upon the blade
A baseball bat that’s splintered from its years of wrongful use
A diary that’s smeared with tears and stories of abuse

CHORUS: The kids moved out ten years ago
They’re seven states away
It couldn’t be clearer, could it, what they have to say?
The house that never felt like home, now seems to sag in shame
And all these things remain… all these things remain

Toys and books and records never were quite a fair trade
For the lashes and the filthy worded memories he made
You hold on to bits of shattered glass within a crooked frame
Cause you’ll never see again the ones who share your name

CHORUS: The kids moved out ten years ago
They’re seven states away
It couldn’t be clearer, could it, what they have to say?
The house that never felt like home, now seems to sag in shame
And all these things remain… all these things remain

BRIDGE: No one came to mourn him when he passed
No one offered you their sympathy
There’s far too many scars for you to outlast
No forgiveness now that you are free

You sit on a creaking chair, drink from an old chipped cup
There’s no one left who holds you dear, who wouldn’t give you up
You may have been a victim yourself as much as them
But you still kept him at your side, for that you’ve been condemned

CHORUS: The kids moved out ten years ago
They’re seven states away
It couldn’t be clearer, could it, what they have to say?
The house that never felt like home, now seems to sag in shame
And all these things remain… all these things remain

Talk about writing by the skin of my nose… Here’s what happened this week. Actually, it started at the end of last week. Shortly after posting last week’s song, I had a Muse drive-by and within moments had a great song idea flow out of my head and onto the page. I was excited because it put me ahead of the game, and also because the recording process would force a necessary twist, and I am definitely trying to shake things up where I can so nobody gets bored.

The twist required the talents of another person, so I set about finding the right person. Somewhere around Wednesday of THIS week I learned that this person wouldn’t be available in time to get the song recorded for this week’s installment. Crap. Now I had to write another song within 24 hours if I was going to keep to my regular deadline (or at least get close).

So I kinda pulled this one out of my ass. I admit it. Well, I had the idea a few weeks back actually. That is to say I had the idea to do a list type song and have it be connected somehow through all of the possessions “left behind” by someone. So I had that theme ready to go. But there wasn’t a song at all, and now there needed to be.

I realize now that this is exactly the kind of song I easily fall back into, the way you fall into the familiar coziness of your own bed after traveling. Dark, disturbing, depressing… I’m laughing as I type it, because it’s insane, but I go there very naturally and have a sick affection for it. That’s why so many of my songs have had that kind of feel over the years. This year, as I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve made a conscious effort to write more uplifting or inspiring lyrics, and to also get away from writing about myself. Well, I accomplished one of those things this week. The other one, not so much. It’s okay. I am still allowed to write dark songs. They have their audience.

What was interesting about this one was how it evolved. I sort of had the title/tag line already in mind, and I had the idea of it being childhood relics that were left behind, but I really didn’t know where else it was going to go. It went way darker than I’d originally thought, but that’s what happens when you’re in a hurry–at least if you’re me. So I got all these images down and then I realized that the story was way out of order. This isn’t that uncommon, honestly. A large percentage of the time you write your second verse first, without necessarily meaning to. It’s just that the meat of things is what draws you in and gets you started, and then you have to create a first verse that leads you there, and a third verse (or a bridge) that wraps everything up. This was even beyond that… I finished the initial draft and then spent several minutes cutting and pasting and rearranging until I found the true progression that made linear as well as emotional sense. I don’t think I’ve ever done it to the degree I did it this week. Interesting.

At any rate, it was done quickly, and that can be good or bad. Sometimes when you are up against it you end up writing very cleanly and efficiently because subconsciously you know you have to, and so you’re in edit mode right from the start and it’s great. Other times you just end up with a crappy first draft that you know you’re gonna want to fix sooner rather than later. This is maybe somewhere in between for me. I don’t know. I guess it depends on ultimately what kind of song I want it to be. I could take it in one direction and really flesh out the story specifically; or I could leave it as is, which is basically an emotional imprint that you can ruminate on and come to a determination about later.

At any rate, it’s done. And better late than never, the blog is posted. And that’s enough for me at the end of a crazy busy week.

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2 Responses to “Week Fourteen”

  1. Ginny Johnson Says:

    Wow, Kim – *very* powerful!! My mom was on of the founders of D.O.V.E. (Domestic Violence Ended) in Quincy, so I can definitely relate after seeing some many of the victims and their children first hand. The circle of violence is a very difficult one from which to break free. Even those that choose to remain in the situation truly deserve all the support we can muster. Thanks for putting the song out there!

  2. Week Nineteen « Kim Davidson: New Song Weekly Says:

    […] fun. I mean, am I gonna play this one out alongside something like “Still In Love” or “All These Things?” Probably not. Meanwhile, if Miley Cyrus calls, she’s welcome to it as long as I get the […]

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