Archive | December, 2010

Take It from Me

4 Dec

This song began with something very simple.

I just liked the sound of G major switching into B major on the Martin.

So I played that pair of notes back to back for awhile.

Then I put the guitar down for a week. And very, very late on the night of my 41st birthday, I picked it back up. After one practice run, the entire song came out, complete with lyrics, such as they are.

I am not sure, but I think most people who make songs start with some kind of melody, as I did here.

That’s not always true. One of my favorite albums of the past few years was Mermaid Avenue. The lyrics for all the songs were written by Woodie Guthrie decades ago, and discovered on sheets of hand-written, yellowed paper in his daughter’s attic, I believe.

Billy Bragg (the great Billy Bragg) and Wilco started with these lyrics and put music to them as a tribute to Guthrie.

Probably my favorite song from that record is “Ingrid Bergman,” performed here by Bragg.

Take It from Me didn’t come into being like that. There was no “idea” for a song about this or a song about that.

In fact, the lyrics to this song are very much a compliment to the music, and not the focus. For me, I tend to be very word-oriented, so I am glad to depart from my language obsession for a minute.

Not to say the words don’t mean anything. They do. I’m just not sure what.

Maybe they have to do with passing on what you’ve learned. Maybe they have to do with recovery (as in, God, take this from me, because I can’t handle it, Dude), or “romantic relations,” or all of the above. Or none of the above. I guess it can mean whatever the hell anyone wants it to.

I keep this song on my computer in a file called “rough cuts.” That’s because I just recorded the first full version that came out, with rhythm guitar and vocals in one track… and then layered the lead, drums and bass over the top of that.

So forgive me if this doesn’t sound polished. It’s not. But I hope you enjoy it anyway.