Sunday, November 05, 2006

the world is full of people (who want to hurt you)

most of the beautiful noise songs were written
early in the morning
while i watched over gavie
and tried to let jayme get in an hour or two of sleep
she was hardly getting any
one of g's first nicknames was
mr. chompers
'cause he had a mouth full of teeth by 8 months
and babies who teethe early
are up most of the night crying
on april 2nd 2004
he happily lay on our old red couch
in the front room of the duplex we lived in
i strummed my guitar at his feet
i wished i could always be there to watch over him
these words came out

"the world is full of people who want to hurt"

unhappy people spread their unhappiness
like the plague
what's the ole saying?
misery loves company

"broken homes all in a row
and someone there who'll grow to want to hurt you..."

here was my son
in a peaceful happy home
with loving parents
a decent chance at growing up to be a good person
to have a reasonably happy life
i imagined a child my son's same age
maybe 4 houses down from ours
at that very moment
surrounded by violence
and hatred
to be raised and poisoned in that environment
18 years later they both walk out of their front doors
into the adult world
that other child ready for revenge
hell bent on destruction
ready to give back to the world all that he's been dealt
those children hardly have a chance
it's such a sad sad cycle
some break out of it
but many do not

"i wonder how it feels to hate so much"

this isn't even remotely a political song
but lately
considering all the horrible things going on in the world forum
"stuff your message of love up the end of their guns"
has taken on a different meaning for me
when i've been singing this verse lately
i think of bin laden and bush and all the other fools
using violence and destruction as the answer
in the end
it's the innocent who suffer for their misguided notions of justice

some notes about the recording...
i had originally wanted the feel of this song to be a bit like
"why don't we do it in the road"
the bouncy piano is the only giveaway

the lead vocal on this song was actually intended to be the
scratch vocal
i strummed and sang it live to a metronome
for daniel h. to put the drums to
later on i discovered i really liked the vibe of the scratch vocal
and the sound of the acoustic guitar poking through the vocal track
a happy accident

when this song won best song in the dallas observer music awards
i didn't have the words to say how good it made me feel
i was speechless
my acceptance speech thusly sucked
i know it wasn't a grammy
or emmy
but for me it might as well been one

i hope my son gets a kick out of it when he grows up
it was his song that won


Blogger Centuryhouse said...

It is a fantastic song, and thought provoking too. As a dad myself I totally get it. The world is crazy and violent and our kids are walking out into it. You did really well putting those fears, observations etc to word & song.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

This song and 1978 have been such a huge inspiration to me as a songwriter. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in front of my coffee table with a guitar and a song that I've written and love. But I know I owe it more. And I know that it would be so easy to ruin it. So I think, "What would Salim do here?" And the answer always comes: Clarify it. Simplify it. Give it some air. Complicate it. Whatever the answer, it's never wrong.

8:56 AM  

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