Looking back on the breakup songs I’ve written, the sad aspect now is to consider the passing of those youthful years. Granted, I don’t want to have to do it all again, but it sure looks sweet looking back. Performing these songs gives me a chance to revisit the lyrics and really see what I was feeling and what I was denying to myself with the word play.
The premise of the song in the chorus section is that I am moving on with my life’s focus and leaving behind someone overly sentimental- “you can keep your picture book,” - yet the whole time I am creating a sentimental paean to our entire relationship.
These days I like the chords to this song. It changes key with every verse couplet. Around the time of writing this song, I used a lot of chromatic movement in the melody that employed major to minor chord changes rather than a completely different chord. Those changes often imply key change or mode change and while I don’t completely know what I’m doing, I know how it sounds. It’s not that I’m good at finding my way around, I’m just not afraid of getting lost.
On the demo I played the main instrumental figure on guitar with a Leslie speaker. When it came to making the album in New York, we used a harpsichord. There’s one note on its keyboard that didn’t always work, so there’s a rest where there might have been a note. I remember we used a Coles ribbon mic on it instead of a condenser mic, and it’s much duller sounding. Those harpsichords, they’re so bright.
The mix, like most on Wood + Wire, is heavily compressed on the Pye limiters, so the bass, the harpsichord, my voice, are all squashed together like pressing your face against a screen door to talk to your cousin.
The last lines of the song make more sense now than before-
“Like any photograph, see back in time so easily
I wrote a paragraph on what I think, but never see”