number ten has a bit of a country twang.
i really like songs where there is a simple story, with a more complicated reality lurking underneath. if you take the words at face value, this tune, like “winston please” before it, is a simple heartfelt love song. but after a bit of listening and examination, a second story emerges. it’s like a trojan horse, with the sweet uncomplicated feelings drawing you in, only to reveal a sour and uncomfortable reality.
i was aware of the two levels from the beginning, when i came up with the chorus, which came all at once. it’s a beautiful sentiment, but the repetition of the line starts to feel less like a promise and more like a prayer. the sad truth is that the father needs the daughter to fall down if he is ever to make contact with her, and you get a sense that, even then, he will never fix anything. in that way it’s a hopeless love song. my favorite kind.
the opening of the song is open and sweet, somewhat sentimental, and the mood throughout is that of the father’s self-perception. there is a self-pity and a hope that paints someone who hungers for intimacy, but also reveals someone who has been unable to give it in the past. And though he wants it, and can see that want clearly, he hasn’t really changed.
this is also reminiscent of the first monday song, “ghost story,” which also had an unreliable narrator, with a bitterness and resentment lurking beneath his more poetic feelings of loss.
whenever i dabble in country, willie nelson is the guy i think of most, especially in his “red headed stranger” period.