with monday song number 24, I have released as many songs in the past five and a half months, as I officially released in a decade of billie burke estate. the power of deadlines. and simplified production values. and ten years’ practice…
i was planning to head to the ’60s for our next chapter, but i changed my mind at the last minute and wrote this little ditty on sunday morning. we are back at the hospital bed, fresh from a pair of awkward reminiscences.
a painful withering illness can leave a person unable to be comfortably in the present or the past. it’s mostly an ongoing confused transition: slipping from clarity to confusion and never fully reaching either. neither here nor there.
the tune came with the opening line, “i.v.” the play on words/letters was immediate and seemed to match the confused surrealism of his experience.
as i worked on the song, it struck me i was stealing the opening from somewhere. it definitely bears a resemblence to johnny cash’s “why me lord” off his first rick rubin album. it was like the dying man had heard the song, and was singing from that same mood. as i thought more, it seemed like it might actually be a direct lift off willie nelson’s near-perfect “red headed stranger.” unfortunately that album has been packed up in a box, so i wasn’t able to do my research. if anyone knows what song i ripped off, let me know. not that i’ll change anything, just that i’ll be able to scratch a nagging itch.
this is the first piece where i recorded piano and voice simultaneously, so i could have a loose tempo. it’s not my typical style, but i liked how it loosened up the vocals. i’ll definitely try it again.
the piano solo was a single take of meandering openness. it’s easy to nail a solo that doesn’t have to have a rigid throughline. it reminded me a bit of the release in ‘birthday part 1.’
next week we will dip back into memory.
at least i think i will. sometimes i don’t know till the last minute…