Song Stories: Guy Fawkes Day

Leading up to the June 2 release of "Through Private Wars" (available for pre-order now), I'll be posting brief thoughts on each of its songs over the next few weeks. Today, track #8, Guy Fawkes Day.

I’m a ruminator in temperament: I prefer baseball and football to basketball or hockey because there’s time to savor, to stew, to ponder, to consider. The narrative unfolds, play by play, moment by moment, a slow river of developments emptying into the sea of “what actually happened.” As a writer, while I often (even usually) draw from my experiences, typically the songs come well after the event, once I’ve processed the situation and drawn water from the well.

This song, on the other hand, is absolutely in media res, written about deciding to leave someone three weeks before I officially left her (see also “Strange the Way” for the continuing story). 

I wrote this song after getting home late from a gig (on November 5, if that wasn't already obvious), on a borrowed (and unplugged) Fender Thinline Telecaster (thanks, Doug!), barely able to hear it over my tinnitus and the silent tension of the apartment. I started out in standard and kept finding other voicings I liked better until I landed in DADGAD, which seems to give the right amount of space.

 I don’t like playing this live very much, nor listening to it, but I think it’s well-written, and it certainly has its place on this record. I hope never to write anything like it again. Eleanor’s one-take vocal harmony on the third verse literally brought me to tears in the studio.