Song 53 – The Sum of Regrets
I wrote this song, as you might guess, in the shower. But not my own, so let me back up a little bit to give you some context.
I thought I’d planned the perfect getaway. A short drive got me to a town I hadn’t visited before and I booked the perfect AirBnB apartment for two nights. It was right over a coffee house, so I could roll out of bed and get my morning tea without any hassle. And coffee houses are quiet, right? I didn’t think it would keep me awake at night. And I was right, the coffeehouse was quiet. But the four bars that surrounded the apartment (and that I had failed to notice when I booked it) were insanely loud.
When I first arrived, I saw the street lined with motorcycles and thought it was just a crew grabbing dinner on their way through town. Boy was I wrong. From 9pm until dawn, it sounded like a week long Harley-Davidson rally compressed into a single night. Coming from four sides, I heard engines roaring, men fighting, women laughing and the constant sound of shattering glass. When the sun came up, not having slept a wink, I was in a very strange mental state: half rage, half depression, and entirely exhausted. That’s when, instead of getting tea, I stepped into the shower and wrote this song.
The funny thing is that was my plan for the trip. I wanted to write a new song, just not this one and in these circumstances. I had originally imagined spending the morning enjoying a long walk and then gently strumming my guitar in the afternoon. Instead, I could barely move and thinking straight wasn’t an option. But, as you can hear, maybe that was for the best.
I have a love/hate relationship with this sort of extreme exhaustion. On the one hand, it’s miserable to be so tired. On the other hand, it’s my most creative time. Words, ideas, melodies and memories blend together in a random swirl, somehow linking together to form something new. Sometimes these songs are dark, like this one, but more often than not, they are bright. In either case, the act of creation is an intense stimulant. A second wind kicks in and the agony of fatigue evaporates. And that’s what happened with this song. In the period of about 30 minutes, I went from being miserably tired to satisfied that I had created something new.
With the new song written, I went for a short walk and then drove home, opting not to stay the extra night.
Folks! I had a wonderful May, and I hope yours was good, too. If you’d like to sing or play along with the new song, here is the song sheet.