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Monday, February 14, 2011

Call Me Somehow

I'm posting this today, on Valentine's Day, because "Call Me Somehow" is probably the simplest, most honest love song I've ever written. It was written for a friend's wedding, and it was written about my wife. It's about as "Valentine's" as they come.

It was also the last recording Noble Three ever did, and as such it exhibits all of the best and worst things about Patrick and my's pairing. On the one hand, I think it's one of the best songs we ever recorded. I laid down a solid enough vocal, and Patrick's subtle, understated instrumentation is perfect for the track and keeps it from sounding twee. On the other hand, we barely recorded this song together. I came in, laid down the guitar and my two vocal tracks, and then I left. And then over the next few weeks Patrick added all the stuff that make the track great, electric guitar, keyboards, piano, backing vocals, the awesome Beach Boys breakdown at the end.

I was a few weeks away from moving to Atlanta from Nashville when we did this recording, so it holds that interesting position, literally the last song I wrote and recorded...probably ever. That's pretty strange for me to wrap my head around, even now, two years later.

It also holds the dubious position of being the only song I was ever commissioned to write. One of my good friends, Tondar the Destroyer, was getting married and he asked me to write something that I could play at his wedding for either he and his wife's first dance, or maybe during the wedding ceremony itself. By the time he asked me to do this there was way too much inertia driving me out of music and into what my life has become now, so the idea of playing live was downright terrifying. I balked and told him I would write and record a song for him which he could then use in whatever way he saw fit.

It took me months to write this song. I hadn't written in months; I hadn't even picked up a guitar in months. I had a relationship with my guitar like an ex-girlfriend you meet on the street who you hadn't thought about in years, and when you see her there are so many memories that come flooding back that you don't hardly have any words for a moment. Only in this case the ex was an inanimate object and it was living with me, in a closet. All the same, though, I had no words.

But then I found out my wife was pregnant with our first child and everything changed, musically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, everything. I found the words. I wrote about myself and my wife and the future and all the things that seemed so important as we took that last deep breath before the clamor and raging storm of parenthood, the last gasp before plunging into the sea.

Some things that come to me now as I listen back to this: 1.) it's funny that I refer to our child as a girl, since I wrote it before we knew we were having a son. I truly thought we were having a daughter. A month later I knew better; 2.) I find it curious that the last song I would write before leaving Nashville would follow the most hallowed of country music cliches, the tri-part life-cycle song in which the main hook of the song is used in three different contexts to signify the different cycles of the narrator's life (i.e. "Don't Take The Girl"). In the case of "Call Me Somehow" the three contexts are: calling to me through the fog of sleep, calling through the fog of parenthood, and calling through the veil of death. Clearly Nashville had an effect on me.

Tondar's instructions for this song were to write something in the 1970's singer-songwriter style (ala Dan Fogelberg, Cat Stevens, et al) and though the final product is far more contemporary than I think he had in mind, there is a simplicity of vision and execution that made it a perfect fit for he and his wife's first dance. They were happy with it, so that makes me happy. The track also gives me pause whenever I listen to it because Patrick's instrumentation is so beautifully constructed. He really is an amazing musical talent, and it was an honor having played with him.

As far as swan songs go, I could have done a lot worse than this.

Enjoy.


Call Me Somehow
Words and Music by Tres Crow
Performed by Noble Three

It's late in the evening you're asleep in my arms
and all I can be is your warmth.
Your eyelashes flutter with the dreams that you dream
I wonder what sleep has in store

And I know that you call me somehow
I know that you call me somehow

I run off to meet you at the edge of my dreams
I can't bear to brave it alone
You're the one who was chosen for me to the last
cause we're not supposed to do this alone

I know that you call me somehow
I know that you call me somehow

It's been all of nine months the days they have past
and each one our little one shows
But we're still right here and we talk of those things
we hope for our girl as she grows.

And I know that you call me somehow
And I know that you call me somehow

I run off to meet you at the edge of our dreams
I don't wanna do this alone
You're the one who was chosen for me to the last
cause we're not supposed to do this alone.

I know that you call me somehow
I know that you call me somehow

And I'll call the kids to the edge of the bed
as you close your eyes

It's late in the evening, I can't fall asleep
cause each night I'm missing your warmth
Still I'm not worried about anything
cause I know what my life has in store.

I know that you call me somehow
I know that you call me somehow

I run off to meet you at the edge of my life
cause I can't bear to brave it alone
You're the one who was chosen for me to the last
cause you're not supposed to it alone

I know that you call me somehow
I know that you call me somehow

Lyrics reprinted by permission Shire Reckoning Publishing House



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