monday song #77: sweet sixteen


so i listened through a bunch of early monday songs and was inspired by my earlier “high school” songs: ‘lowe valley high,’ ‘you and only me,’ ‘high dive‘ etc. these are among my favorites. so I wanted to write another one. i felt like i’ve been writing slower spacy songs every week, and i wanted to try my hand at some old-fashioned short story writing.

the result is ‘sweet sixteen,’ and there’s really nothing sweet about it.

i had the piano down before i had a single lyric, though i did have the sense of clumsy sexuality playing a part. i knew the general shape of the melody in the verse, but no chorus or bridge. so i just started working on the verses. i started out with a high school girl dressing dangerously, trying to impress some older guy. the second i had the boyfriend at twenty-five, i knew the story would have a tragic ending.

on some level, the upcoming generation strikes me as more together, more grown up, more color-blind, some benevolent effect of the hooked in technology and the access to every fact in the world for free. there is a dark side, though, and the ability to make any attack permanent by posting it on the web is not a weapon we ever had to worry about.

apologies for the subject matter. it’s one of the more hooky choruses i’ve written lately, but all in service to some real unpleasantness. the pretty harmonies in the bridge are sort of a dream sequence, capturing her passed-out dream and reinforcing the fact that she’s still pretty much a child.

this one hurt my feelings.