Jul 19, 2009

"Dead Parents"

Russ offers his thoughts on "Dead Parents":

Firstly, I have a terrible memory, so this is likely to be more storytelling than anything actually that happened. "Dead Parents" was a slog of a song. From the beginning, it was a combination of a poppy hook and hyperbolically depressing lyrics. A sob story love song. After the initial riff and some bits were written the band jammed around with the song on a number of occasions. Every time we played it we came up with some amazingly innovative way of juxtaposing poppy harmonies or 80s era hand claps with increasingly somber lyrics. And as many times we forgot or misremembered all the parts we had written. It was a jumble, a mangle, a song trying to find its adequate expression amidst a number of interested and differing parties. And with only shabby direction from the initial song writer.

Even this recording is just one more version of the song. The this-time-recording. Now Devin's mandolin riff gets to rollick along with our young lovers in their depressing escapades. But the song would be nothing without the hand claps.

The lyrics start us off in an unequivocally sad moment. Maybe there isn't a good reason for this, but there is certainly a power in hyperbole. What it occasions is an odd moment for two people to meet, a moment for the girl to assert radical independence, an independence that will be undercut but only on the terms of this newly emerging relationship. Otherwise the song is full of teenage, love-lorn longing. Midnights spent pacing streets alone when it feels like rain even when there hasn't been rain. Days spent next to phones and ringing phones that you can't pick up. Romance and obsession. In the end it is a look at hyperbole in love and the fragile, tenuous "out of sight" that can still manage to persist within it.

Who played on the recording?
Russ (lead vocals, guitar, mandolin); Steven (guitar, backing vocals, percussion, melodica, handclaps); Lisa (handclaps); Molly (backing vocals, handclaps); Maya (viola, handclaps); Devin (lead mandolin); Hilary (cello)


I met you the day that both your parents had died
You leaned into me and told me that you’d never cry
That all that you’d ever needed you had inside
I am to admit, I certainly sounded like lies

All I needed to know
And all I had left to show
Was the look in your eyes
The dream in your mind
And I wanted to be
And I wanted to see
All you could be
All that you are
Wanted you more
Than I know you are
You are the heart
You are the land
The only girl
That I could stand

I was lonely, on my own
You’re the only, one I phoned
Deep in my heart I was calling out for your love
So I wandered the streets until I had had enough.


You’re the one that got this right
All we have is one more night
You and me and the out of sight
All we have is one more night
To get it right.

You were always, on your own
But when I called up, no one’s home
Nobody loves you like I said that I would
Nobody loves like that, nobody could.


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