The first of my video updates, my hope is to talk directly to the audience, removing as many barriers as possible. As much as I like to write, it can remove the spontaneity and direct nature of the message. By mixing a little bit of direct-to-camera monologuing with live music performance, I’m hoping this is an enjoyable and entertaining way to keep up to date with that I’m up to.
The song I played in this episode, “It’s Time To Say Goodbye”, is an odd one. The best songs are usually those that seem to fall out of you in one piece. This is one that came out in two attempts, years apart.
The main parts of the song came to me years ago, while sitting at my parents’ piano. I really loved the piano hook and over time, I tried to force it into various different songs without success – on guitar, on piano, it never seemed to fit anywhere. But I never forgot the original context for that melody.
This is the best part of song-writing and the most difficult thing to either describe to non-songwriters or replicate when you want.
Years later, I was sitting down and sketching out ideas as I felt my way around the piano. My recollection is that I started to play the original idea for this song – it never really had a finished chorus and my impression of it was that it was another of my many, many unfinished verse ideas.
This time however, the song just started to click. I realised that one of the reasons I had left the song unfinished was that it was dealing with something quite painful, a subject-matter for which I did not know if I wanted to commit to a particular viewpoint.
Remembering a friend and a difficult time.
A friend and former flat-mate of mine died in 2009. It was a tumultuous and difficult time for many people I knew – his death just blasted a hole in a lot of peoples’ lives. The last time I remember seeing him, he was in the crowd at a Dead Flags show and it’s an image that I return to in my brain whenever I think of him.
A while after he died, I had a conversation with a very close friend of his that sparked the content for this song. Whether the song is specifically about these events, I never really know but I know that by revisiting my feelings about that time in my life a long time later, the song seemed to finish itself. I made myself face those feelings and then began to play.
The best part of song-writing.
The chorus came together, the words came flowing out and new counter-melodies to the original started appearing on the keyboard. This is the best part of song-writing and the most difficult thing to either describe to non-songwriters or replicate when you want.
So the song appears to be about saying goodbye to a friend and admitting that sometimes, what is happening to others is not something you can understand or help with. As a complete control freak, this is an uncomfortable realisation. This song is one that helped me put long-dormant feelings in perspective. It didn’t resolve the issues, it just helped me look at them in a different way and evolve my thinking about them.
Mr. Billy Fitzgerald March 4, 2017