This is the first of six collaborations that I'm sworn to complete from my Won Over Frequency fundraiser last fall. It's a song called TooForSix, and the lyrics were (mostly) provided by Ryan Dutkus of Canada, one of the biggest supporters of my work dating way back.
TooForSix by gavincastleton
It's been a very challenging and eye-opening process! Ryan sent me some lyrics, and then (at my request) a line-by-line explanation for them. I cut them up a bit, paraphrased, and rhythmetized them into a format I thought would tell the story clearly enough.
I would classify this as a "coming-of-age" song, so I adopted an ever-expanding instrumentation: first just acoustic guitar and voice, then adding drums and synth and additional vocals, and eventually a pile of percussion, glockenspiel, electric bass (my first new instrument purchase of 2011!), and rhodes. In the last two verses I liberated the time signature to compliment the introspection and developing spirituality unfolding in the lyrics.
I did this all in my bedroom and it took about 19 hours, not counting 4 mix revisions.
Here are the lyrics we ended up with:
There was never any room on the strip for me to ride
always a bus in the front, a truck in the back, and a Becks on every side,
A simple stretch of lane was all I needed
To take control of the game and make my way on a 10-speed.
Those were the best times that I ever had: two wheels good, four wheels bad
There was never any shortage of excitement
There was never a need for something more
I had more friends than I knew what to do with
but with no love to show I won the battle, but lost the war.
That was a choice that I had to make: to love something so strong, it breaks.
Six long years and what's the result?
I'm burned out, churned out from the growth
and I learned more than I thought I'd ever know,
but I'm a hardened man cut from the same stone as Foucault.
This is the first step that I take: a head first dive into the wake.
This stage of moving on and growing up and looking out
took so long to come my parents numb and start to doubt
but I'm solid now, got me a job, and I'm learning lots,
and I'm through with trying to be something that I'm not.
This is the next step that I have to take, and I don't regret one mistake.