Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Irrigation Song

The other day I was thinking about the song “Probably Not,” which was the first real song I wrote with Victor.... I am sure that Victor and I were both subconciously drawing on sources we haven’t acknowledged to this day. There is an acoustic ballad by Jane’s Addiction, titled “Jane Says,” that must have been one of those subconscious guides. The other day I made the connection to another important source for “Probably Not:” the bassline in Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.”

The lyrics are another story. I don’t know how we got the idea to write “The Irrigation Song,” which was the original mission plan. Victor might remember.

The “Irrigation Song” concept probably got us as far as “all the oceans and the seas.” The rest of the song is a pure encapsulation of Victor and I springboarding off each others’ phrases. One of us starts a line, intending to finish it as a coherent thought, and the other frequently heads him off at the pass with word association and attempted mindreading. Then we laugh at the result, tweak it slightly, and use that as the starting point for the next line.

[Originally written 13 Apr 2007].

[Abridged to reduce pomposity 30 Nov 2007].

1 comment:

MattMunson said...

Interesting reflections on song writing. I never knew the whole history of Probably Not, so it's interesting to see it in print. I suppose if we start running out of things to post on this blog, we could just go song by song and talk about how they came into being. Still, probably not has a sordid history of it's own. I think it originally had a running time of about five minutes. After one of our many personell changes, the push was made to shorten it up, eliminating the oft misunderstood/maligned lyric about bears evolving into trees. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of "in" jokes, but when you're commenting on some dudes stance on evolution, that maybe three or four people in the world have heard, it starts to get pretty well entrenched into the absurd category.

But again, don't get me wrong. It was on the strength of songs like Probably Not and Nothing Special that this band was founded. I find no built-in fault with the songs, as they served a purpose. However, it is only after we don the spectacles of hindsight that we are able to see things more objectively, and analyze them to death on the internet for all the world to see.