northbound train

May 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

A few of you have expressed interest in reading my song lyrics. I was checking a message I’d sent myself over Facebook, because that’s a nifty way I use to keep notes, and due to the new compiled history feature Facebook’s put in for messages, I found this was the first message in that tree, from late January of 2010.

I wrote this song about a boy who stole my heart and was surprised to find I’d stolen his too. I had come out of a dry phase of writing, as I recall, and had had a ton of trouble writing songs about people and specific situations — as if there were too many thoughts that wouldn’t make sense of themselves. The tricky thing about this particular boy is that he had a long term girlfriend at the time and the closer we got as friends, the more he started to realize how much she lacked. This was a few months before we both came to the drastic realization that we cared about each other more deeply than we had foreseen, when it was still “harmless” flirting. I had come out and told him that I wasn’t comfortable with the way we flirted because he had a girlfriend whom he loved very much and we agreed to restrain ourselves and put playfulness off the table.

I clearly remember jumping in the shower after that conversation and this melody coming together in my head, the words rushing in so fast I was afraid I wouldn’t remember them. When I got out, I bolted back to the computer to write them down before I lost them, and I believe before the night was over, I’d written the second verse and even chorded it. Reading back over it now, it’s so vivid, and it’s still one of the songs I’m most proud of. So, for anyone interested, here is Northbound Train:

Step back
Take a look at ourselves and wonder
How we ever let it get so far out of hand
It was humble beginnings
Now it’s 24/7
You stuck up in my head
I tried so hard to get under your skin
But if I can’t draw a line then baby
Where do I win?
You know I want you
But I won’t be the poison that’s
Out to break you down

Our love was born on a northbound train
It was the first time you ever thought of me that way
Before we knew it we were running off into the night
You got someone at home that’s tying you down
And I was trying so hard to keep my feet on the ground
And it was all wrong but baby it felt so right

If we could get back
Get it on the right track, I’m sure that
We can make it by with blameless conversation
To tell the truth I hope I’m
Still a welcome thought in your mind
We’ll think of late nights just walking the fine lines
Thanking God or thanking chance
That we’re in different places
I’ll bite my tongue, say the innocent thing
And wonder if you’re doing the same

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Entry filed under: music, prose/poetry.

the mind of a child everything changes

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