monday song #3: birthday (part one)
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…