Sorry I Missed You

Hi. Hello. How are you? A few weeks since, I was talking about a song that reflected one of my major musical loves – the Stone Roses. But before they showed up on the scene and sent me down a rabbit hole of trying to grow a floppy fringe (when I actually had hair, it was like pubes) I spent a good couple of years trying to grow an even less likely quiff. And that’s because I was into the Smiths innit. Now Morrissey is doing a sterling job of trashing his legacy by basically becoming EDL Lite, which is a terrible, terrible shame, but once upon a time he wrote amazing, witty, human lyrics unlike any other lyricist. And he did against a musical backdrop provided by one of the most inventive British bands of the last 40 years. Anyway, you didn’t come here for a history lesson, but basically I wrote this song and it reminded me a lot of the Smiths. Have a listen (the recording isn’t great) check out the words, and I’ll see you after the jump if you can be arsed.

Lyrics

“Is anyone there?” I ask the dark
And the silence comes back and says: “nobody’s here.”
Mystery solved.

I make a brew, and I stand at the door
And look to the clouds as they empty their hearts out
All over the floor

Some days are easy
But this night is hard
I just don’t know what to do with my hands

I wish that there were some way I could take it back

I could say “I’m sorry”, but you’d hurl it right back
And I wouldn’t blame ya – cos my heart is still black
But oh… I swear
I’m sorry – I miss you
I’m sorry – I miss you
I’m sorry – I miss you

I once stood at your door with a note in my hand
Knowing you’d read it and not understand
Because neither do I
I put the letter back
In the pocket of my coat
Well, I say “letter” – but it was more of a note

In case you’re listening I’ll read it to you

It says: “I’m sorry, and I take it all back”
But I couldn’t post it – ‘cos my heart was still black
But every day….
I’m so sorry I missed you
I’m so sorry I missed you
I’m so sorry I missed you

Thoughts

As I mentioned, I grew up on a diet of jangling guitars and mordant lyrics – but you’d be hard pressed to pick that influence out of my recordings unless you listened very carefully to pick some of my guitar lines out of the mess.

The other week though, I hit on a chiming melody, played with open strings a go-go – which is the quintessential Johnny Marr guitar trick. In fact, I’m not 100% sure what key this thing is in because of this. It’s possibly in E major, but it could be C# minor. Either way, the music for the verse, bridge and chorus came together fairly quickly as I strummed my way along in what I think is 6/8 time – basically a fairly rapid waltz.

The second verse has a doubled piano riff playing against the chiming guitar figures and a string part designed to add extra plangency (is plangency a word?) and after a relatively lengthy recording process, I was reasonably happy with the arrangement. But! Melody came there none. Lyrics likewise.

Eventually, I hit on the melody you hear today, which to my untrained ear sounds like it might be in a folky mode or something? Write in and let me know if you know. And lyrically? Well. That Morrissey influence ran right there.

So,  I absolutely love the song, am pleased with the relatively clever guitar parts, and am generally satisfied with the arrangement and structure (coming in almost bang on the magic 3 minute mark) but… but… but.

I don’t think I can sing it. The chorus is right at the very edge of my chest register, where my voice starts to sound thin and I struggle to hold the notes. It’s a truism that all singers hate their own voices, but I can’t abide mine here. So much so, in fact, that I have offered the song to some friends of mine who are blessed with a formidable female singer who I think could really do something more with it.

I think this is now about 5 songs in a row that I’m a bit ambivalent about. I’m keeping the faith, but you know: I’m my own harshest critic. Maybe you’re more pleasurably disposed towards this than I am.

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