Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Relief

("Damn, Dave, your last debacle was called "Gotta Pee" and now you've got one called "Relief"?? What the hell is wrong with you?"  Patience, please.)

As a reminder, the SpinTunes 8, Round 4 challenge is as follows:
Painful Progression - Write a song about PHYSICAL pain, and do so using a I-V-vi-IV chord progression in the chorus. (2 minute minimum) (your submission is due Sunday, March 23rd 11:59PM)
Having gotten the previous song out of my system, I turned my hand toward creating an actual shadow entry, from actual lyrics from William Hoover. More talkee after the lyrics.


Relief

I’m not a whiner 
I’m not a shiner 
And I’ve got religious belief 
Behind a curtain 
The future's uncertain 
Lord I could use some relief 

Lord, I could use a little relief 
Lord, I could use a little relief 

I'm not the man that I used to be 
Consumed by a fire that no one can see 
I feel it inside me, it cuts like a blade 
As my life and my energy fade 

And Lord, I could use a little relief 
Lord, I could use a little relief 

We pray for miracles 
That sometimes don’t arrive 
In time to save a single soul 
I can't say I fear at all 
I know I won't survive 
But Lord, this takes a heavy toll 

I hear the stories, I sing the blues 
I listen to jazz, but I turn off the news 
Kiss little babies, Stay true to my wife 
And I've prayed to you, Lord, for all of my life 

But Lord, I could use a little relief 
Lord, I could use a little relief

Musical Notes

Since the technical challenge is a big part of this, I'll start with that. Obviously, we have the I-V-vi-IV progression as required. There are a few notes transitioning from one chord to another. But one could only complain about that through supreme ignorance, since they are not in any way connected to the chord before or behind. They are transitional single notes.

By the way, in addition to the fact that the challenge only requires the chord progression once in the chorus, there's nothing in the challenge that restricts the verses or bridge in that fashion.

The chorus, if it's not obvious, is the repeated line, "Lord, I could use a little relief".

The song begins with a record needle being placed on the vinyl, and ends with the record bumping against the label. Throughout there are the scratches and pops of a vinyl recording. It's a lo-fi recording, and I sort of wonder what some of the younger listeners will make of the noise. It's there because the singer himself is not at full fidelity. The record sounds at the end signify that this is the last performance of the album that represents his life.

Lyrical Notes

The performance starts out stronger at the beginning. By the end, his resolve is breaking down, and he's reduced to pleading with God, stating his case, as the pain overwhelms him.

I think it's important that we DON'T know what this guy's malady is. Needless to say, he's dying, and it's a slow and painful death. But the actual details of his pain...? That's not important to the song, only to the listener; so you should feel free to interpret it as something important to you. This song isn't about the cause of his pain. It's about his relationship with God.

BUT, in case such things matter... I imagine that the singer has leukemia. Despite the gender, the sentiment is that of my mother.

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