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Written by Josh Millard
Year: 2010
Recordings:
Lyrics:
I was gonna write to you before
But then I changed my mind
And then I guess it changed again
Like a couple dozen times

I'm writing this to say
That I apologize
For the drinking and the yelling
And for all the stupid lies

What I know is that I miss you
But I don't miss all the fights
And I think that I've grown up enough
To see that you were right

That we just don't fit together
That we shouldn't even try
The only problem with us splitting up
Is how we said goodbye


So I'm trying out sobriety
I'm not sure that it'll last
But it's not like being hammered's
Been some awesome fucking blast

And I'm trying out some other things
That I didn't know I'd like
Like I'm reading my own poems now
At this local open mic

I've been keeping myself busy
Cuz that seems to keep me dry
I'd like to say that it's been easy
But I'm trying not to lie

And I'm trying not to blame you
And I'm trying not to dwell
And I'm trying not to feel like
Everything has gone to hell


I keep thinking that I'll see you
Just us passing in the street
And I get terrified and hopeful
At the prospect that we'll meet

But I guess I'm glad we haven't
Cuz I don't know what I'd say
"Hi, I love you and I hate you
and I hope you have an awesome fucking day"

I still haven't gotten used to
You not being there at night
And goddammit I'm just rambling
This isn't what I meant to write

I wish that we had worked out
Or that it didn't end so rough
I've said I'm sorry and I mean it
And I hope that that's enough


Every time I try to write this
I start but don't know where to end
I better seal this up and mail it
before I change my mind again

Rewrite

Track ten from Inchoatery – the finale, the catharsis, the closest thing there is to a conciliation.

This is the last song I wrote, to try and find some way to wrap up the whole narrative in a somewhat satisfying way, and I spent the better part of a week figuring out where to go with it, before making a demo of it on the 16th. I didn’t complete the lyrics entirely until the last day or so of the album.

Lyrically it’s an attempt to tie together a number of threads from earlier in the album — the drinking, the disagreements, the lack of and longing for and avoidance of communication after the breakup, the references to poetry (in part a foreshadowing of the light-hearted epilogue track Metaphorsturbation), and so on. And so: a letter, one that had already been written and scrapped a number of times before (cf. the last verse of Tell It All).

Musically the song changes significantly twice throughout, with a move from a loosely folky opening to a more staccato rock beat in the middle to a more lush 6/8 feel for the ending. Executing that was complicated, especially making the changes across time signatures and feels, but I’m pretty satisfied with the results.

You can hear how the idea developed as I worked on the song by listening to the sketches; I started with the idea of a 6/8 feel for the whole song, before settling on a normal in-4 feel, with both being represented in the final product as it turns out.

Building the song

The first sketch has very little lyrical content, just the tiny core of the notion of an apology (and some nonce lyrics that disappeared from the final product — “All the things / big and small / that I never should have done at all”). There are also some vocal melody brainstorms that got left by the wayside.

The second sketch carries on the 6/8 idea but has a more assertive beat; the first verse is also in place, and the final melody is starting to take shape. I was clearly playing with the idea of taking the melody up in this sketch, something that I ended up avoiding on the final recording.

The third sketch puts things into 4/4, and the final melody and prosody of the first verse is pretty much there. The idea of the stop at “I apologize” was in place at that point too. The changeover from strumming to a more driving tremelo-picking pattern after the first verse is made explicit here too.

The overall form is there in the proper demo, though it’s edited together rather roughly in a way that had me worried at the time about how difficult pulling off the changes would be in the album recording.

For the final album, I extended the central section of the song with additional lyrics and a short solo to break things up. I worry a little that there’s too much instrumental break in this recording, but I wanted it to be a solid and dynamically dramatic finale for the album, so repeated ups and downs seemed like a good way to keep whipping the listener around and building some tension to finally resolve with the ending.

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