|June 12th, 2011|
I wrote this in 1994. We were living in Alabama at the time, while we went to grad school. A lot of the stuff I was writing back then was kind of like “short stories as songs,” very under the influence of folkies like Bill Morrissey; this song in particular is one of those.
Needless to say, it’s entirely fictional; I was seven years old in 1978. It’s supposed to be a tale told from the point of view of a man on New Year’s Eve in 1990, looking back at 1978 and looking at where his life is on that day.
This was one of the tracks of an album called “The Land of Red Barns,” all of which had that short story vibe, pretty much. I have never recorded decent versions of most of them, and I am making it a project to get all the couple hundred songs I have written recorded and maybe even out there somewhere, so here’s this one.
Music geek stuff from here forward…:
The AT4033 for an ambient mic, towards the back of the room. Main vocals on the ATM41HE, and a Digital Reference instrument mic pointed at the guitar (the Blueridge jumbo cutaway). Guitar and vocals were recorded simultaneously to a drum loop used as a click track. The female vocal is actually my voice through the DigiTech Vocalist Live 4, recorded as an overdub. I also overdubbed the violin (played on the keyboard… couldn’t get my MIDI guitar to work for some reason!) and a bass part.
Haven’t gotten around to EQ’ing it or mixing it really, just tossed a bit of reverb on it here and there and panned the tracks. I did it all last night, and I really should re-do the main vocal independent of the guitar, too, so I can actually pay attention to the notes I am hitting. It’s been years since I played this one.
Lyrics & chords below. The “A add E” is x07650 in tablature. I also play the F#7 as xx4320, but all the other chords are basically open, no barres up the neck or anything. It’s fingerpicked, of course.
It was in the summer 1978 Bm A
I met her taking the pup to the Hatfield vet Bm A
It was raining outside and we both were wet Bm A
Her arms crossed on a plaid flannel shirt E G
Legs crossed under a denim skirt E G
She was reading Tolkien and tore a page E G
I wrote my number on the scrap and gave it back C C7 F#7 AaddE
And it’s been a dozen years, been a dozen years Bm A E Bm A E
Funny how time moves slow A F#7 A F#7
It takes forever for faith to grow A F#7 A Fmaj7
Here’s the indentation, this finger, this hand C G
This is where I wear my wedding band E
We hiked around campus in ’78
Disco tunes played on acoustic guitars
The U Mass quad, the dog, frisbees and fires
We held hands to watch Mideast news
Kissed over the gearshift in a VW
Got our diplomas and made love to the moon
Traded mortarboard caps and laughed
When mine slipped and hit her nose
Taking the dog out for a midnight walk
We used to snowmobile along this snow
Been a dozen years with no kids to show
Dog’s feeling the ice in her bones
And maybe I am too and the Hatfield whores
Won’t get their 20 bucks from me no more
It was in the summer 1978
Met her taking the pup to the Hatfield vet