I wrote a song!


Posted by Matt Thursday, June 24, 2010

Actually I wrote a song with the help of John and Dan.  And it took full decade. And about 600 hours of doting attention. But, honestly, I think it’s one the very best songs that I’ve ever helped to create, and I only think that about every third one.

So, this new song was born about a decade ago when John and I appeared in that mysterious movie that no one has seen, “The Last Word”. I can’t necessarily attest to the cinematic quality of the movie (It was panned in passing by Jane in the forum. Jane!), but the experience of doing this acting in front of a giant camera was so exhilarating to my ego that a melody sprouted in my mind and a whole string of excited words spilled out as well.

I brought this melody and and some of these disconnected phrases over to my brother Dan’s house. What I had at that point didn’t seem to make too much of an impression on him. In fact I’m not sure anyone sees the beauty that I see in this melody. But we did spend some time on it and we managed to attach a few chords that help to fit the verse together with the chorus.

Not long after the song’s inception I had the privilege of traveling to Italy, where I spent a stupidly huge amount of time not sitting under olive trees, but instead locked away in a little room writing and rewriting the words that would eventually be cut out of this song. I swear those words were truly well-crafted, groovy song doggerel. But they didn’t add up to anything. There’s no way I could tell you what they meant. That version of the song was called “Help me fly away”. It was very long.

John and I struggled for about a year arranging and rearranging that song. We even tried to record it for the album Stereo Night. But something was missing and the tune slipped off the album and off of the the set lists that John and I would write.

Not long ago, I found myself on another beautiful journey in Europe. Near the end of my stay, I finally took out the guitar that I had been lugging around. I went straight back to my old obsession, the melody I love. I rewrote the words in the way I think they were always meant to be – about something bigger than my joy at trying to be a movie actor.  I changed the key and made the tune of the middle section less confusing. Some people instinctively believe that all this editing and rejiggering - as I like to do - only ruins a creation. I’m sure that’s true for some writers. But I just can’t let a song go until it feels done. I just can’t do it.

I’m excited to hear what the band can make out of this reborn melody that makes me feel so proud, “Help me find the way”.

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