after starting with three heavy songs in a row, number four is something of a palette cleanser.
it’s an homage to homages: a kind of 20s music hall number that was a favorite of the psychedelic popsters of the later 60s. mccartney was a master of the style (“when i’m 64,” “honey pie”), as was harry nilsson (“1941”). in the 70s, queen followed suit with authentic oldies, tongue firmly in cheek (“lazing on a sunday afternoon,” “seaside rendezvous”). read more >
the first installment of monday songs.
the descending/ascending piano line came first. it suggested to me a kind of hopeful melancholy. the piano part and melody came very quickly, the result of fiddling with different accompaniment styles, in this case the piano playing the guitar, something i want to do more of.
the first lyric hook was “why does it alway have to be…” but i had no idea what that meant, only that someone was saying it to the person singing the song. then i got “a broken heart a valentine” and from there it was just wrestling with meaning, tying the two parts together, and uncovering the rest of the story.
the squeal of kids was an accident: cormac and maude running through the house with friends when i was recording a vocal. at first i thought a decent take was ruined, upon hearing it in context, it had the sense of faraway delight, a happy sound, but lonely in its distance. a memory perhaps, or a dream.
hat tip to elliott smith who haunts this one, and to the white album beatles, as is often the case these days.