Following is the fifth blog in Kent’s twelve-part series to share with you what influenced him to write each song on our debut CD Something on the Way. A subset of the lyrics to “Signs” is in italics below. The full lyrics are available under the Music tab, Lyrics category, by song title.
The first song written for this album came from an idea for a straight-ahead rock song with 80’s flair reminiscent of the Psychedelic Furs and Big Country. I started writing this song about 5 years ago, finishing it last fall. Although the intro to the song, the lead-in melody was actually the last part added to the song.
Day after day after day, on and on…
Since the band kicks in right away, I felt the lead-in melody made the song more cohesive. I liked the melody so much I repeated it between the first and second verses and also as an outtro.
This was one of the songs that had nine different guitar tracks, so I had a lot of fun with it. The basic, simple eighth-note beat and structure lent itself to a lot of embellishment from the doubled crunch chords in-between the vocals to the various arpeggios and melodies weaving around the singing. Of course my favorite part was the guitar solo and how it morphed from the free-form in the beginning to the double-guitar harmony to finish it off. I liked the melody so much I just had to reprise it at the end to build up to a big finish. Although it can be played with a whammy/harmonizer pedal, we purposefully recorded the two harmony parts separately so that they could be separated in stereo. Whenever you double yourself, you invariably play it slightly differently so it helps to fill out the sound.
The music built on itself and the words that were expressed dealt with paying attention to signs that clue you in to the path you should follow.
All around me there were the signs, Signs to divine, signs leading to our decline
Like signposts guiding you down the highway, there are signs all around. Some signs are subtle, some are in your face. These signs will guide you to your goals if you will only open your eyes to see them.
I believe there were signs,
Signs to the state of your mind,
Signs with a purpose to find,
The reason I’m falling behind,
If I would only open my eyes.
Although the lyrics allude to a relationship, the signs are indicative of all life choices. Many times there are clues as to the most appropriate path someone should follow. However, many times an individual is either oblivious to the signs or willfully ignoring the signs that he is on the wrong road — literally or figuratively.
The narrator in this song is at least recognizing that there are signs so maybe if he acted on them he wouldn’t have to sing a song about this!