monday song #3: birthday (part one)


number three.

the guts of this song – chords, melody, the phrase “it’s your birthday” – came to me a couple years ago on a family camping trip, playing it over and over by the campfire. i imagined paul mccartney singing it, solo, with an acoustic guitar, but as i fleshed out the lyrics and tackled the arrangement last week, things went in a different direction.

the “part one” in the title is a reference to the fact that i already have a song called “birthday,” which i wrote in 1999 and released on a demo in 2001. both songs share a common theme and are going to be included in a song cycle that i am currently planning as the next release from the billie burke estate. the album will chronicle the heightened (and then lowered) reality i experienced during a florid manic episode in late 1999. i hope to premier more of the song cycle here in coming months, as the project comes together.

though the original foundation for this song was inspired by mccartney (“blackbird”/”junk”), the performance and arrangement owe a lot to ’70s art rock, particularly pink floyd (circa “dark side of the moon”) and genesis (circa “lamb lies down on broadway”), who both excelled at creating dark and lofty sounds. also in mind during writing and recording was george harrison’s “all things must pass,” which has more than a little prog rock laced through its epic six sides. the opening chords of the verse is a definite nod to “isn’t it a pity.”

next week i am planning to go in a lighter direction.

but no guarantees…

8 replies on “monday song #3: birthday (part one)”

  1. I really like this and you’re right — it’s very classic McCartney. It’s got a very ethereal quality to it which makes it feel timeless and a little tragic, even though the subject material is celebratory. I agree with jon — nice highs, though I would play around with that part a bit, see if you can make it a little less whispy sounding in the center without losing the sensitivity. Again, me likey. And the Ent crew misses you big time, man! 🙂

  2. Man, Andy- you really don’t cease to surprise me and knock me on my ass. Golden stuff, keep up the fantastic work 🙂 Glad to hear new pieces.

  3. Sometimes your songs are so evocative, vivid and visceral, …so unforeseen and yet so familiar, like a sudden epiphany around an old childhood memory, that it feels kind of achy in my heart.

  4. Those chiming chords in the interlude after the high “come out to play” (-1:45) are gorgeous! And the vocal there, too. Looking forward to Mondays (and how often does that happen, eh?)

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