Days Are Long

May 14, 2009 9:24 PM

For May's "remake your first song" challenge.

The Original version. Circa 1990.
It's hard, because I think I've had a few different phases where a "first song" could come from. The first phase was when I was around 10 and got a guitar for Christmas...they're probably all E minor-chorded, single-versed songs about horses or something. The second period was drunken teenage nights in my parents' basement, goofing around with friends on my older brother's Portastudio while he was away at University.
This song is the first one where I tried to write a real song, with a chorus and a verse or two, after I got my own 4-track Portastudio. It's pretty awful but I remember really liking it and playing if for people, putting it on mix tapes and stuff. God. It's definitely from the Comes A Time period of my lifelong Neil Young devotion. Horrible, horrible lyrics. I remember thinking that "wearing leather off my shoes" was really clever at the time. I just cringe now: "staring blankly at the handprint on the wall."
Anyhow, I'd kind of buried this but I figured what the hell and remade it for this challenge. Turned out more Gordon Lightfoot for the remake.

posted by chococat (20 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

Very nice. Very good. Very nice and good.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:05 PM on May 14, 2009

That ain't a bad song at all! Of course, I was doubly sold when the aahs came in. As usual. Even the 4-track recording is pretty damn appealing. Nice work.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:31 AM on May 15, 2009

If I ever write a first song, I hope it's as horrible as this. Lovely voice and sound as always.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 6:23 AM on May 15, 2009

This is beautiful sounding, like all your stuff, so I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I prefer the vocals in the original to the reproduction. To me they sound more like the human that wrote the song, rather than the chococat that performed it.

And I don't know why you're cringing, the lyrics are solid! And I love Gordon Lightfoot. Good show!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:13 AM on May 15, 2009

Yeah this is great. The only problem is that neither version is embarrassing enough.
posted by umbĂș at 11:45 AM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yea, this song is damn good and I love your voice. Your comments about the song and its origins are awesome too.

I really get it about the horrible lyrics, but sometimes I wonder if that's just a built in "man my lyrics suck" mechanism. Not mine though, I KNOW mine suck!

Thanks for sharing this blast into your past.
posted by snsranch at 4:58 PM on May 15, 2009

Man, this could've come off an early Simon & Garfunkel record!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:35 AM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is instantly one of my very favorites of all your songs.
posted by ORthey at 9:59 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

And it's here at MeFiMu because of your challenge suggestion, ORthey! Yay!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:25 PM on May 16, 2009

Ask and ye shall receive. Or I suppose, challenge and ye shall etc.
posted by ORthey at 12:17 PM on May 17, 2009

Is that an effected slide that comes in? That was my favorite part, had a great feeling to it. They both sound really cool, I think.
posted by Corduroy at 2:33 PM on May 17, 2009

I think umbĂș put it in the right words, chococat. This challenge was the perfect occasion for us to see a fallible, early version of the great songwriter you are, but even your first song sounds better than my most sophisticated stuff. That's not your fault, though, that's true. I'll give you that.

And I agree with Corduroy, that slide with FX is really nice. And I don't think I've told you before, but I like the way you play drums a lot. It has the same quality as the other instruments (that is, it only contributes to the overall song, instead of trying to stand out) but it being drums, it's particularly noteworthy.
posted by micayetoca at 12:37 PM on May 19, 2009

Hey, it didn't say "worst" song, just first. There's stuff before this song but I wouldn't consider any of it a "first song," more just goofing around. I actually had the "post your worst song" challenge idea a while ago but it didn't really catch on.
The slide is a crappy old Yamaha acoustic whose already inferior pick-up seems to be failing, so I had to effect the hell out of it.
Thanks everybody!
posted by chococat at 3:19 PM on May 19, 2009

chococat writes: I actually had the "post your worst song" challenge idea a while ago but it didn't really catch on.

Hey, it ain't over til the fat lady sings. Or, as Prince Nico Mbarga said, "nobody know tomorrow". Or, "the future is an open book". Or, "all things come to those who wait". Or, "just when you least expect it..."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:41 PM on May 19, 2009

Hey chococat, I just want to make sure that you know that when I said "horrible lyrics", that was in reference to your comment in the post: NOT the lyrics in this song!
posted by snsranch at 5:14 PM on May 21, 2009

snsranch, you're like the nicest guy in the world. Not even a shred of offense taken.
And they ARE horrible lyrics, which I'm painfully aware of. But that was the point of posting it.
posted by chococat at 8:42 PM on May 21, 2009

I mean no offense to the myriad of great posters to MeFiMu, but I just want to say that whatever effort/cost/difficulties were involved in creating Music, they were all worth it for chococat alone. Let me know when you have another "CD + Canadian candy" combo available for sale. Great stuff. In this track, the intricate, layered, fun music more than makes up for any deficiencies in the lyric.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:14 AM on May 22, 2009

We would be surely all offended and getting up in arms if we weren't all busy nodding in agreement. He is damn good, isn't he?
posted by micayetoca at 2:48 PM on May 22, 2009

posted by snsranch at 3:21 PM on May 22, 2009

We would be surely all offended and getting up in arms if we weren't all busy nodding in agreement.

Actually, I'm all offended and getting up in arms AND busy nodding in agreement. Which is a strange feeling, lemme tell ya.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:31 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

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