The song that almost wasn’t. That was the case with Going Away. And it’s a great reminder to me to never discount any ideas.
I was sitting on the couch last weekend strumming away on the guitar. I wasn’t fishing for ideas. I was most likely just strumming away while watching a Red Sox game. I do know that I had the capo on the fourth fret (although the final version takes it down a half step). Next thing you know, as I’m playing this simple I – IV chord pattern, the phrase ‘I’m going away, I’m going away…’ pops out. It felt silly, repetitive and I didn’t really give it much thought. A few moments later, I paused and said to myself, ‘You never know…’ So I pulled out the iPhone, recorded a quick 41 second clip and went on with my game watching and random strumming.
A few days later, when I figured I better sit down and get started on the week’s song, I listened back to the recording a few times. I liked it but wasn’t really sure what to do with it. It had a manic feel to it. My first impulse was that it sounded like a crazy man getting ready to go off to prison. Needless to say, that idea didn’t get me too excited. But I stuck with the phrase. I thought it still might have some potential.
That’s when I remembered my friend who had just returned from a couple of weeks at the beach. She’s been going to the same place for years and always brings her two dogs. I asked her if they can tell when it’s coming and she said the moment she starts pulling out the beach stuff, they go crazy with anticipation. I don’t have dog but I have enough of them in my life to easily picture that craziness. And that my friends, was all I needed. I had my direction.
The song came together fairly quickly after that. I finished of a complete draft of the lyrics in the first sitting. I did a bit more wordsmithing the rest of the week and – being the procrastinator that I am - didn’t start any recording until late Friday night. (Actually, this was a very busy week for me, so I wouldn’t call it procrastination so much as obligation.)
In terms of the recording, my first thought was to keep it simple and allow my neck/shoulder/arm thing to continue healing. (It is doing much better.) But then I hit the slippery slope… ‘How about some drums and bass? And maybe a fun little 8th note piano thing? And of course, some vocal harmonies would really polish it up…’ Before you know it, I had a full blown production.
But truthfully, I enjoyed it. This was a fun song for me and I’m happy with the finished track, especially considering that it almost didn’t make it. I could even hear it as the music track for a tourism commercial. Anyone know any well placed tourism professionals in any of the big beach states?
And that will do it for Week 28. I hope you enjoyed Going Away. As always, thanks for following and have a great week!