Following is the ninth 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. The lyrics to “November” are in italics below. The lyrics are also available under the Music tab, Lyrics category, by song title.
Musically this song was borne from playing a variation of the rhythm for “Going to Colorado”. I was playing around with the capo to try some different keys and absent-mindedly played the D-suspended riff (which was actually an Eb chord because of where the capo was at the time) and as soon I started strumming, melodies began to emerge.
This song is an example of a song that grasped the working title I gave it and the lyrics formed as a result. My process when I am ready to record a new song is to identify the song with a filename on the computer, which becomes the song’s working title. If I’m getting a strong feeling I will close my eyes and ask what the name of the song should be and write down the first word or phrase that comes into my mind. Sometimes this is just a working title but more times than not it becomes the name of the song and drives the theme. My fallback position if I don’t get anything or I am in a hurry and just need to record my idea quickly is to name it with the next letter in the phonetic alphabet. The synchronicity of this song is that I had recently recorded an idea named “Mike” so the next letter was N or “November”. As soon as I named it the words and theme formed from the melodies.
The melodies and words evolved out of the melancholy emotions I felt after walking past the home where I grew up and internalizing the fact that someone else now lives there. The timeframe was November so the opening visual provided by the lyrics built upon that time of year and set the scene.
Just a fleeting moment
I never thought I’d ever leave this place
The leaves twist through the yard, I…
I can only stand across the street
It was an odd feeling looking across the street at the bedroom window that used to be mine and from which I looked out on the street when I was a child.
And look from outside into
Windows that used to hold my frame…
The middle section of the song expressed some childhood memories.
Ooh forever thoughts of
November days and the stove was hot
Snowflakes melt on the windows
And our cares forgotten away.
And then the song returns to the theme of someone else living there and that person standing in the same place I did as a child and looking out the window.
Now I can’t go back to
Only memories of what used to be
Now someone else is
Looking through that window across the street
And look from inside out of
Windows that used to hold my frame
Of the world
The falsettos at the end were a spontaneous expression when I was recording. For me, this creative expression feels like a release every time I sing the song. Nostalgia and retrospection are fine, healthy, and part of who we are but at some point you need to release the energy and move on.
If the inspiration for “November” resonated with you, please retweeet. Tweet