Tuesday, May 4

So Exquisite Harbour

This song, I call a Chimp song because it was recorded during the period in which we recorded the Chimp songs. That, and it uses electric guitar while all 'my' other songs are acoustic. Really, though, I think it's safe to call it a Rob song because I wrote it myself, I made all the noises on it myself after Dave went home one night, and, most importantly, it just doesn't sound to me (or to Dave, i'm guessing) like a Chimp song.

Anyway, onto the song.

Does anyone from Charlottetown remember about 15 to 10 years ago, there were posters all around town, on telephone poles, walls, everywhere, with a picture of a guy who was missing? The poster asked 'Have you seen this man" or something similar. I guess he committed suicide or drowned or something, so the rumours go. At any rate, the posters were up, seemingly, for years, and over the course of time, they became pretty disshevelled, some with glasses and moustaches, etc, drawn on them.

I found that lack of respect interesting enough to write a song about them. Or, at least, a verse.

"Have you seen this man" said the posters, in a pessimistic hue.

Been up for weeks on poles, uh oh, does not look good for you.

Your frightened eyes, caught by surprise,

Marker moustache and blackened eyes

Obscure your grainy face.

No sympathy for such an ugly face.

So, I had written that, and thought it'd be good to forge a song around it. Since the guy was rumoured to have drowned, I thought it made sense to talk about the harbour in which he likely drowned. Those of you who know the Charlottetown Harbour would have to agree that it's very pretty. Not the sort of place that we'd want to associate with suicide. Especially us being a tourist town. That was the thinking that led me to the title "So Exquisite Harbour" and to the chorus.

Now I had a verse, and a chorus. I wrote the second verse about a fictional character, a nouveau hippy chick who thinks she's 'literary' and drinks herbal tea. She thinks she has it together, but ends up dead in the harbour as well. Happy song!

I am not proud about the lyrics in the bridge, or for the melody of the bridge, for that matter. They aren't horrible or anything, just not very smart or clever. Yet, it seems the song needs them to be there.

After two verses of sad-luck people I thought it needed to become a little uplifting, so I wrote the third verse about a guy (the singer of the song) who remains optimistic (he claims he won't end up dead in the harbour like the others) despite having lost both his arms in a farming accident, and despite the fact that he pisses on himself every time he pees.

So, it ends kinda happily. Yay for the song!

I like the fuzzy sound of the guitar, and it's a pretty tight little tune, mixed pretty well, too for someone who didn't really know what he was doing. I don't even think there are points in the vocals that disgust me. Perhaps it's because I put my vocals through the same kind of fuzz distortion as I did the guitar. Very John Lennon, if you ask me. The distort-your-voice technique, not the song.

Anyway, here it is: So Exquisite Harbour (3.9mb)


dave s said...

hi rob.
i think you're right about this not SOUNDING like a chimp song, but i consider it one because, well, it was recorded during the immortal chimp sessions. for the record, i think these are some of your best lyrics.

Rob MacD said...

Thanks, pal.