monday song #80: i can’t believe i’m dying (with this song in my head)


i’ve had the idea for this song for a couple years, though no musical details; just the concept of a guy who’s dying, and in his final moments, his focus is undermined by an annoying song stuck in his head. the actual tune came together this week. the main section is reminiscent of an earlier monday song, “cattle,” with the minor/major structure, and the arrangement of the harmonies.

this is probably the most fun i’ve had building a monday song.  “yo girl” arrived spontaneously one night when i was goofing around, and the phrase stuck with me, which is appropriate. i built out the funky section starting with the bass line, then matching the drum machine, and finally the descending organ. this ended up as the foundation for the bridge, where i added the guitar and sang the vocals on top.

the narrative owes a nod to the bee gees “new york mining disaster,” which has a similar subject matter, minus the annoying song. if you don’t own it, the bee gees 1st is a classic, well worth buying. if you only know “saturday night fever,” you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

i also realized, when everything was done, that the “glenn miller” line is a reference to “broadway melody 1974,” (starts at 3:12) off “lamb lies down on broadway.” genesis is not known for it’s rock , but every once in a while… it fits into the elite group of tunes i can listen to over and over, without ever growing tired. the drama of peter gabriel’s vocal gives “i am the walrus” a run for the money.

so i believe that’s nine out of the last ten weeks – with the one week off due to playing in sacramento. i’d forgotten how helpful it is, creatively, to be consistent.
until next week…