Week Twenty-Four

PERFECT SUMMER DAY
By Kim Davidson
© 2010

I remember waiting all year ‘til it was finally here
Three months of freedom, that passed in an instant
Winter she had to drag me outta bed, suddenly I was up ahead of the sun
So much to get done

Sidewalk chalk and skipping rocks, across the pond around the block
And Chinese jump rope… and eyes wide with hope
Maybe we’ll go to the beach today
When I ask what will they say?

CHORUS: There’s nothing like the wind in the car
When you don’t even know where you are, but the sun and you are heading home
And the air is cold, but your skin’s still warm, from a day of sun, and the sweatshirt you’ve got on
Sand still on your feet, and a bucket of shells and a head full of dreams, and ice cream on your tongue
You lay your head down, you watch the stars come out, as it fades away, another perfect summer day

Brightest green I’ve ever seen, against grey skies, you know what that means
Staring through the window and waiting on the rain
Maybe just to get out for a bit, we’ll see a movie, but trying to sit still…
An accomplishment of sheer will

Air conditioning makes me shiver, but back outside the sun decides to deliver…
And I am wondering
“It’s still early,” I say to them, trying to keep my cool, they see my smile
“Can’t we go to the beach for a little while?”

CHORUS: There’s nothing like the wind in the car
When you don’t even know where you are, but the sun and you are heading home
And the air is cold, but your skin’s still warm, from a day of sun, and the sweatshirt you’ve got on
Sand still on your feet, and a bucket of shells and a head full of dreams, and ice cream on your tongue
You lay your head down, you watch the stars come out, as it fades away, another perfect summer day

BRIDGE: No cares at all… safe and loved and warm as the night falls
Dad at the wheel and Mom at his side, I grow tired the longer we ride

CHORUS: There’s nothing like the wind in the car
When you don’t even know where you are, but the sun and you are heading home
And the air is cold, but your skin’s still warm, from a day of sun, and the sweatshirt you’ve got on
Sand still on your feet, and a bucket of shells and a head full of dreams, and ice cream on your tongue
You lay your head down, you watch the stars come out, as it fades away, another perfect summer day

You may remember me mentioning a couple weeks back that I had written a happy little song about summer, and then I got waylaid by this other idea, and went with it for the moment. That was “Wannabe,” if I recall correctly. “Perfect Summer Day” wasn’t quite finished in my mind, and honestly, it’s still not quite finished. Having a bit of a work hangover from last week, and having to add recording a second video into the mix, meant that I really didn’t have a lot of time to write a new song for THIS week. While I was at work recording last week’s video, I was really, really hoping I would have myself organized enough that I could make both videos at once, but it just wasn’t gonna happen. I did start working on a brand-new song, but I didn’t get very far and I was feeling SO pressured… I dug out “Perfect Summer Day” from my Gmail account, did a tiny bit of tweaking, and went with it. The recording was done a bit late in the evening (as usual!) and so I tried to give it a kind of quiet groove. It was a bit easier to do than it sometimes is because the song falls into a higher register and sounds fine with a bit of soprano in the mix. That’s not always the case, but it worked out well enough here. I did, I think, three takes and decided that would have to do. I actually had a pretty good second take except I messed up the words in the second chorus (because they’re so fast) and sang something like “and your sdin’s dill warm” or something like that. It was noticeable enough that even though for a few moments I entertained using it anyway, I had to do a third take, and that was the one that got posted in the end.

This is one of those songs that has so much emotion running through it for me, so much sense memory, that I kind of didn’t know how to get it all down. I feel like the chorus is really close, and the rest of it is just kind of floating around waiting to be refined further. I’ll definitely bring it to my songwriting group and let them take a crack at it because I think it needs it. In a perfect world I’d have probably let it sit for a bit longer and posted something else until I could spend more time on it, but God knows my world is far from perfect and it was this or nothing. And nothing is unacceptable.

Besides, this is about the journey, eh? Not so much the destination. At the end of the year I think I’ll find many of these songs will require rewriting. It will be interesting to see which ones. Sometimes the ones I think need fixing right off the bat seem flawless to me after some time away. And the ones that I thought were fabulous at the time suddenly make me cringe. So again, not good judges of our own work, we songwriters.

Anyway, in other news… for those of you wondering about the first quarter CD… We’ve had a bit of bad luck all around with an irresponsible studio kid who was unfortunately completely incommunicative until drastic measures were taken, and an outdated system that wouldn’t allow all tracks to be transferred to a digital format (which I needed so I could just get this kid out of the equation already). What this leaves me with at the moment is about half the tracks I thought I’d have ten weeks after the fact. Obviously had I known ten weeks ago that the tracks I recorded were not all going to be useful, I would have been exploring alternatives all this time. Since I just found this out this week, I’ve got to find a plan B if I want to get these tunes all down for posterity. Which I really DO. But it might all just take a kind of long time to actually happen. I mean, having a deadline at this point is kind of moot. So hang in there. I’m working on it, but I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do just yet.

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