The Band Will Play a Melody

June 20, 2008 8:23 AM

Part of my Old Songs project of making lo-fi recordings of songs I wrote many years, and, sometimes, decades ago. I have come to the inexorable conclusion that in the years between 1996 and 2000, I was either quite depressed, or unexpectedly skilled at feigning it in song

Here we have yet another song from that period that deals with loneliness and regret as its theme. I can't say precisely what prompted the writing of this song, but I recall sitting down to play it just before I moved from Omaha back to my native Minneapolis, and the song seemed to sum up all the my feelings at that moment, which were quite complex, a mixture of melancholy and uncertainty and hope that was simply exhausting.

I have not played the ukulele much in the past few years, and, as a result, this particular song, despite being a simple arpeggio, breaks my hand to play it. Therefore the ukulele portion of this song is quite messy, and actually hurt quite a lot to play -- I just don't have the hand strength required to pinch the neck of the ukulele as hard as it needs to be pinched, or for as long, without just cramping up. I attempted to record this five or six times, and this was as close to successful as I got, and this is what prompted my little spoken word outburst at the start of the song.


There's a train somewhere
Bound to take me home
I heard its whistle sometimes
Echoing through my bones
Where is the girl I lost
Does she remember my face
How the hell did I wind up here
How did I find this place

I've roamed a long time now
A life of roads and trains
I forgot what I was looking for
I don't care to remember again
I look in mirrors now
And don't know the man I see
Perhaps I wanted forgetfulness
It's all that's left to me

I've bought a ticket now
To a town I don't recall
Strangers there they wait for me
And I girl I don't know at all
The band will play a melody
And I will weep and cheer
How do I get to the train I need
How did I wind up here

posted by Astro Zombie

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