Digital Dvorak (1993)


 

Maggie

I Need a Bag

My Dear Heather

No More Cookies for Grebish

Beautiful Day

Iíll Admit It

Ned

In a Strange House

All Of A Sudden

My Time to Fly

Walk Away

Donít Forsake Me, Oh My Darling

Island Love  

 

 

Okay, hereís an embarrassing little anecdote: Around the time of this recording, I went through a brief phase wherein I had decided to change my surname from Spiegelhalter, which undeniably sucks, to Dvorak, which is just silly. In retrospect, going from a name with thirteen letters to one with an unrepresented zh sound is not a trade up (although it does look cool). But I had Big Plans of moving out to California and getting my musical career on the road, so to speak, and I couldnít do it with a name like Spiegelhalter, could I? Surely not. So I filed the papers to legally change my name, got a court date and everything... and then the court date arrived and I blew it off. Story of my life, really. The same fate would ultimately become of the trip to California itself, but thatís a different story. No, itís the same story actually.

 

In the months leading up to the name change, I started using "Ron Dvorak" in my creative endeavors, the title of this collection being one of the few surviving examples. The downside being that it will always serve as a reminder of my bizarre folly Ė the upside being that it sounds unquestionably better than Digital Spiegelhalter.

 

Digital Dvorak is mostly a collection of remakes of material from my first four albums. Eric Simon was the first person I knew with any sort of digital recording device; in this case, a portable DAT. Since the Holy Perfection Of Ones And Zeros had finally been handed down to man from on high, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit some earlier recordings, fix what needed to be fixed, and master it digitally. Simply being able to say the recording was "Digitally Mastered" was all the incentive I needed. Eric was kind enough to let me use the DAT (on the condition I also make for him an extensive Zappa mix, which I did), and I was on my way.

 

Let me briefly touch on the California story so as not to leave that thread hanging. I felt I had honed my songwriting to the point where I could make a go of it on the West Coast. I was to make this cross-country trip in a 1970 Volkswagen Super Beetle just as the snow was beginning to hit the Midwest and the Rockies. I was to stay with a friend of a friend who was rumored to have said sheíd be happy to help me out, but to whom I had never spoken personally, and whose commitment to the plan seemed less and less verifiable as my departure date approached. On top of all that, I probably had about $300 to my name. If this seems like a recipe for disaster, Iím sure it would have been. Fortunately weíll never know. When the day came, each of the friends I was sharing a house with at the time left for work or school or wherever they had to be that day, and we exchanged our fond farewells. Take care, remember to write, all that good stuff. And of course when they came home later that day, I was still there. I got a restaurant job, moved into my own apartment, and that was the end of my adventures in California. And my last name was still Spiegelhalter. 

 


 

Maggie  

written by Ron Moses

3:46 ē right-click to download: mp3 (4.9 MB)  FLAC (24.0 MB)

 

Maggie was a cat. (No, I have no idea if she was ever on a hot tin roof, but thank you for asking.) A few years before moving into the communal hippie house in Madbury (which you'll read about when you get to the ...yeah, whatever... album), a bunch of the same friends lived in a communal hippie apartment in Newington. I didnít live there, but I did hang there often. Maggie was one of the house pets.

 

Bob, who lived there at the time, does not have a history of love for cats in general. He likes them even less when they knock one of his delicate glass figurines off a shelf and sends it shattering to the hardwood floor (we shanít linger on the point that Bob possessed delicate glass figurines, okay?). Such was Bobís uncontrollable rage that he grabbed Maggie, lifted her to his face and screamed at her. This had the expected effect of scaring the shit out of her. Quite literally, in fact; she loosed her bowels in terror as Bob held her aloft. Bad enough that she destroyed his precious, but now he had to rush her at armís length through the apartment to the litter box, trailing chocolate soft-serve the entire way. It was the funniest twenty seconds Iíve ever witnessed. Crash, swear, grab, scream, shit, run. Good times, good times. Iím sure it did absolutely nothing for Bobís opinion of cats.

 

That "heavy metal" break after the second verse is a bit too close to a riff in Primusís "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver," in retrospect. I plead the George Harrison defense on that one, but the second break is quite good. With the exception of my desire to rewrite that first break, this strikes me as a very satisfying piece of work.

 

This song was originally written for ...yeah, whatever... in 1993. This version sounds like itís only a remix; I donít think I re-recorded anything. I did repair one thing in the last verse: The original track's vocal cut in at "Maggie" without the preceding "Oh." That wasnít intentional; I just punched that track back in too late when I was mixing it. Apparently I had decided it sounded okay that way. (Read: I was too lazy to go back and mix it again.) Thatís been corrected here.

 

 

Oh Maggie, you know

Iím not as mad as I was an hour ago

And if youíd just sit down Iíd like to let you know

Iím so so sorry, Maggie

 

ĎCause Maggie, you see

Iím not as stable as I know I should be

But when it comes to you, something comes over me

I hope you can see that, Maggie

 

Oh Maggie, my dear

You say you love me but thatís not what I hear

I get the feeling that Iím someone you fear

I hope you can hear me, Maggie

 

ĎCause Maggie, you see

Iím not as normal as I know I should be

It doesnít make me bad, it just makes me me

I hope you can see that, Maggie

 

Oh Maggie, you know

Iím not as mad as I was an hour ago

And if youíd just shut up Iíd like to let you know

Iím so so sorry

And I didnít mean to tell you to shut up, but you know how I am

And Iím so sorry, Maggie

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, programming

 


 

I Need a Bag  

written by Ron Moses

3:22 ē right-click to download: mp3 (4.3 MB)  FLAC (20.3 MB)

 

This was originally on Musaic in 1990. This oneís always been really popular, for reasons that elude me. Thereís really not much to it beyond the obvious double entendre of the title (if you don't get it, don't worry about it). Once that jokeís over, itís just a repetitive folk tune like any other. On Musaic, I played it way too fast. Here, I play it at the right tempo, but screw it up by laying a solo guitar over the whole thing. A few years later, on Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, I would play it way too slow. So with a track record like that, you can understand why people like this song so much.

 

I'm reasonably certain this is complete re-record from the ground up. Itís definitely a better tempo, but I do think it was a mistake to add the second guitar; itís a distraction. That aside, this is probably the best of the three versions of this song.  

 

 

I need a bag

Iíd forgotten how much stuff I have

And none of itís worth anything

But I know that I canít live without any of it

So I need a bag

 

Got a hat that I wear when it rains on my head

Got a sandwich I made from some mustard and bread

Got an old broken lock and a key to unlock it

But I canít keep it all in my pocket

So I need a bag

Iíd forgotten how much stuff I have

And none of itís worth anything

But I know that I canít live without any of it

So I need a bag

 

Got a book that I read while the sky is still light

Got a candle I burn when it darkens at night

Got a two-day supply and a seventeen-weeker

But I canít keep it all in my sneaker

So I need a bag

Iíd forgotten how much stuff I have

And none of itís worth anything

But I know that I canít live without any of it

So I need a bag

 

Got a new yellow shirt and an old hand-me-down

Got a bike I can ride if my car should break down

Got a thing that I found, I forget what you call it

But I canít keep it all in my wallet

So I need a bag

Iíd forgotten how much stuff I have

And none of itís worth anything

But I know that I canít live without any of it

So I need a bag

 

Got a name, got a voice

Got a will, got a way

Got a rock, got a stick, got a rag

And I need a bag

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic guitar

 


 

My Dear Heather  

written by Ron Moses

2:09 ē right-click to download: mp3 (2.8 MB)  FLAC (14.0 MB)

 

Originally recorded for Musaic in 1990, and recorded a third time in 1999 for what would have become Vulva. I have to assume this version was all re-recorded from scratch; thereís no way I would still have had the original tracks from Musaic at this point. The drums and bass are still the same sequencer track, though. This is an improvement over the original (Iíd learned about the judicious use of vocal reverb, apparently), but the third version is way better than this.

 

 

My dear Heather

I think I might have to hurt you

Itís beginning to look as though I might have to kill you

I told you time and time again

Donít you mess around with any other men

Never again

My dear Heather

 

My dear Heather

Donít bother going for the telephone

Iíve already cut the wires and now weíre all alone

I told you once, I told you twice

That it isnít very nice to make a fool out of me

Now youíre gonna see

My dear Heather

 

I always knew youíd take me to the cleaners

If I filed for divorce

But Iíll be a thousand miles away

By the time they find your corpse

My dear Heather

 

My dear Heather

Youíre never getting out of that box, my dear

Itís nailed and Crazy Glued

Not to mention the locks, my dear

I know you must not have much air

And thereís not much room in there

To go messing around

Six feet underground

My dear Heather

My dear Heather

My dear Heather

My dear Heather

My dead Heather  

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming

 


 

No More Cookies For Grebish  

written by Ron Moses

4:07 ē right-click to download: mp3 (4.8 MB)  FLAC (25.2 MB)

 

The final installment in the ongoing saga of Grebish Dwelling, patron saint of wasted youth. What?  Don't worry about it, I'll explain later. This has some pretty cool things in it, but it doesnít really go anywhere. The faux-oboe solo is good stuff.

 

I believe this is just a remix of the track that appeared on ...yeah, whatever... in 1993. A/B-ing these tracks is really depressing Ė the tapes of the original albums are so deteriorated. You'll hear just how bad they are when I get the earlier albums online. So look forward to that, won't you?

 

[instrumental]

 

Ron Moses ē electric guitar, keyboards, programming

 


 

Beautiful Day  

written by Ron Moses

3:04 ē right-click to download: mp3 (3.7 MB)  FLAC (18.9 MB)

 

This was the first of a small handful of tracks wherein I would attempt to be The Doors. Upon seeing Oliver Stone's film, my mind was sufficiently blown that I found myself deep in a Doors/Jim Morrison phase for about a year, up until the point I realized theyíre really boring. This trackís not too bad... a little heavy-handed in the lyrics department (ya think?), but the tune is decent enough. Bad guitar solo, yes, but youíd better get used to that. This is hardly the worst of them.

 

This is quite different from the original version recorded for The Wish List in 1991. Iíve selected a different "tack piano" sound, reduced the reverb on the instrumental track, and wisely added an acoustic guitar. I played the same lame-ass solo, though. I guess I played it a little better, but still.

 

 

Red blood on the walls in Baghdad

Donít you cry

Old man scrounging through old garbage

Donít you cry

Itís a beautiful day

What a wonderful thing to be able to say

 

White sheets with a splash of crimson

Donít you cry

Young man locked away in prison

Donít you cry

Itís a beautiful day

What a wonderful thing to be able to say

 

Blue suits with a taste for violence

Donít you cry

Small child left a starving orphan

Donít you cry

Itís a beautiful day

What a wonderful thing to be able to say  

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, programming

 


 

I'll Admit It  

written by Ron Moses

3:28 ē right-click to download: mp3 (4.5 MB)  FLAC (23.6 MB)

 

I have no idea if anyone but me ever liked this song. Anyone but I? Anyone but me? Whichever it is, I have no idea if that. But I did, and still do. The lyrics are a bit clunky, could use some polish, but there are a few great lines, I think. I donít believe this was inspired by anything specific, just a general sense of dissatisfaction with myself, and the feeling that the right person could provide me with the motivation I needed to change. With that in mind, Iíd like to retroactively dedicate this song to my wife, Michelle. It was only after I met her that this chorus became something I was actually living.

 

Originally recorded for Musaic in 1990, the most significant change here is the addition of the piano. Iím not sure if itís an improvement or not. (I don't play, can you tell?) I raised the key quite a bit, too. I think that was wise, though I could have taken another run at the vocal. It really needs some harmonies in the chorus... maybe some day.

 

 

Iím a man of little virtue and Iíll freely admit it

Iíve rarely opened up my mouth except to stick my foot in it

Iíve never done anyone wrong Ďcept for everyone Iíve ever loved

And I tend to back down whenever push comes to shove

 

Iím a man of little wisdom and Iíll freely admit it

Sure Iíve got a half a brain but I havenít got a clue what to do with it

Iíve never done anything wrong Ďcept for everything Iíve ever done

And when love looks my way, I always jump the gun

 

So I need your love to help me change

I need a little push to help me turn the page

I need your eyes to help me see

I need your smile to help me be

The man you want me to be

 

Iím a man of little substance and Iíll freely admit it

Itís gettiní deeper everywhere but I donít care just so long as Iím not standiní in it

Iíve never done anything for no one Ďcept for everything Iíve done for myself

And if vanity were gold, by now Iíd be a man of great wealth

 

So I need your love to help me change

I need a little push to help me turn the page

I need your eyes to help me see

I need your smile to help me be

The man you want me to be

 

Iím a man of little morals and Iíll freely admit it

Iíd go out stealiní candy bars from little babies if I thought that there was money in it

Iíve never stabbed a friend in the back Ďcept for every friend Iíve ever known

And all my kid gloves, Iíve conveniently outgrown

 

So I need your love to help me change

I need a little push to help me turn the page

I need your eyes to help me see

I need your smile to help me be

The man you want me to be

Oh, I need your love to help me change

I need a little push to help me turn the page

I need your eyes to help me see

I need your smile to help me be

The man you want me to be  

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming

 


 

Ned  

written by Ron Moses

3:43 ē right-click to download: mp3 (4.7 MB)  FLAC (23.3 MB)

 

Every greatest hits album (which I suppose I conceived this to be) has one brand-new track they put on there to inject a little excitement to what is essentially a bunch of crap everyoneís heard already. This one is no exception.

 

"Ned" was a big experiment for me. I improvised the sax melody into the sequencer with no idea as to what I was going to do with it. I then spent the next few days figuring that out. I was in over my head as far as how to handle the underlying chord structure, but I poked around until I found things that worked, and I think I did okay. Once I had the opening part mapped out, I let the track go where it wanted to go without any thought about how Iíd get back to the beginning. This was not how I was accustomed to doing things. Most of my tunes are clearly structured with few surprises, and they're oh so exciting for it.

 

Thereís another version of "Ned" coming up that is a significant improvement over this.

 

 

[instrumental]

 

 

Ron Moses ē keyboards, programming

 


 

In a Strange House  

written by Ron Moses

4:36 ē right-click to download: mp3 (5.9 MB)  FLAC (30.9 MB)

 

Oddly enough, a number of people liked this song. In retrospect, I donít get why. First of all, whatís with that opening jam? Completely out of place, and very lame. Could I have ripped off the drum intro to Rushís "Force Ten" any more blatantly? I think not. Second, Iím clearly aping Tears for Fearsís "Sowing the Seeds of Love" here, and not doing a very good job of it. Third, that big high note at the end: "...to a hole in the SUUUUUUNNNN!!!" is just sad, dude, seriously. The section it goes into would be promising if I could solo, but I couldnít and still canít, so bleh. I guess I have forgiving friends (an understatement if there ever was one). Frankly, itís a better poem than it is a song. And itís not a very good poem. And poetry is bullshit anyway.

 

This first appeared on The Wish List in 1991. As for this do-over... who knew I could make this suck more? That opening guitar solo: eek! Painful. That ending guitar solo: had I not been introduced to the concept of take two? The rhythm guitar is probably an improvement, though. It does give it a fuller sound. But itís just such a bad, stupid piece of music, I canít imagine why I ever recorded it, much less re-recorded it. Can we move on?

 

 

Knock on the door with a roar and a man with a tan comes and answers the call through the wall and he asks with a drawl, you recall, he inquires, "Have you ever been experienced?"

 

"No I canít say that I have," and you laugh and you laugh but the guy doesnít buy your reply and he thinks and he winks and your confidence shrinks as he asks, "How would you like to be?"

 

In a strange house at a strange party

With strange party-goers wearing strange clothes

And your hands begin to shake

Quaking to the earthís revolution in a spiral eclipse

 

And you walk in the place with disgrace on your face and you see other folks telling jokes, taking pokes at the whens and the wheres of affairs, taking care not to be too inconspicuous

 

The man with a tan has a glass in his hand and he hands you the drink and you blink as you think that youíve been here before in a war, yet you forget to be inconsiderate

 

In a strange house at a strange party

With strange party-goers wearing strange clothes

And your arms begin to flail

Sailing on the cool blue neon in a vertical light

 

And the corner contorts and aborts your retorts as you try to believe you receive what you leave, all the dust and the rust and you try to adjust and you find it quite inconceivable

 

Handing the reins to the pains in your brains as the chains fall like rain and you strain to be sane yet the words that youíve heard fly like birds, so absurd, you ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

 

In a strange house at a strange party

With strange party-goers wearing strange clothes

And your mind begins to fly

Sighing like a breeze on a mountain to a hole in the sun  

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, electric guitar, keyboards, programming

 


 

All of a Sudden  

written by Ron Moses

4:18 ē right-click to download: mp3 (5.2 MB)  FLAC (26.4 MB)

 

Ready to play "Name That Influence"? For 50 points, hereís your clue: Your mother should know what Beatles tune Iím aping on this track... anyone? Anyone?

 

The point of this, besides ripping off Paul McCartneyís entire modus operandi, was to attempt to create a melody so catchy it would actually piss people off. I donít know if I succeeded, but Iíd like to think that someone somewhere found it as obnoxiously cloying as I intended it to be. Iím sure the fake childrenís chorus only helped.

 

Aside from the novelty of that effort, thereís not much to this one. The lyrics are woefully clunky; they need a major rewrite, to say the least. I was still stuck in my habit of writing lyrics that expressed the full list of bullet points I wanted to get across, but failed to consider whether they sounded at all musical. Iíd get over that eventually. Sort of.

 

When this first appeared on ...yeah, whatever... in 1993, there was a brief instrumental track titled "piano contraption #1" that led into this rather nicely. I canít imagine why I didnít include that intro track with this version; that was the best part! It sounds like I recorded a new vocal. You wouldnít even be able to tell except that the ramblings in the outro are different.

 

 

All of a sudden Iím losing my mind

Though my friends tell me that theyíve seen it coming for quite some time

Oh, how can that be?

I still feel like me

Naturally

 

All of a sudden Iím acting real weird

Though my friends tell me that that is exactly what they have feared

Oh, I donít understand

Iím doing the best that I can

 

Maybe Iíll feel better in the morning

Maybe Iíll feel better for a couple hours of snoring

Maybe then the voices in my head will go away

The things that they say make me this way

 

All of a sudden Iím going insane

Though my friends tell me that, all things considered, they canít complain

Seems they like me this way

Thatís what they say

I guess thatís okay

 

All of a sudden Iím locked in a room

Though my friends tell me that that is no reason for doom and gloom

Iíve got a TV So I can see people like me

 

La-de-da Da-de-da Da-de-da-dum

La-de-da Da-de-da Da-de-da Da-da-da

Da-da-dum

Da-de-da-de-da-dum

La-de-da-dum

 

La-de-da Da-de-da Da-de-da-dum

La-de-da Da-de-da Da-de-da Da-da-da

Da-da-dum

Da-de-da-de-da-dum

La-de-da-da-da...

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, electric guitar, keyboards, programming

 


 

My Time to Fly  

written by Ron Moses

5:21 ē right-click to download: mp3 (7.0 MB)  FLAC (34.6 MB)

 

I'm kind of surprised it took me ten tracks to get around to representing the 1992 Disguising Godiva album. This song is me being just about done with the idea of living in Boston. Itís a great place to visit, itís probably even a great place to live if you can afford it, which I could not once my apartment-mate said "see ya, freak" and left me with a $680/month lease (in 1992 dollars). But it was not a great place for me to live at that time. I was drowning there, mostly in bourbon but in other ways as well, and my view of the city was not at its sunniest. I should have been seeing Boston through the eyes of a semi-educated young man with the world at his fingertips. Instead I saw it through the eyes of a stumbling night-walker, and from that point of view itís all crack whores and foul T-stop air and grimy concrete and graffiti and desperation and paranoia. Clearly it was time to get somewhere healthy while I still could. Fortunately I did.

 

This song is not too bad, and this version is a slight improvement over the original. I don't remember doing it, but apparently I changed a line of lyrics in this version, which is good because I always hated the original line.  So that's good.  The obvious flaw in both versions is the vocal. Those falsetto notes are really quite nasty. I think with a slight key adjustment I could do it better now (see "Baby Cup" on the Odds and Ends page) but thereís no need. "My Time To Fly" was relevant to my life once, but no longer. Can I get an "amen" on that?

 

 

I walked into a room with a view

Of the loneliest sights on a Saturday night

Void of emotion, a dimly lit ocean

Of predators, victims, and petty addictions

 

I met a girl just like you

She shot me a wink and she bought me a drink

She sat herself down, put her hand on my thigh,

Licked her lips and said,

"What I need now is a friend, not a guy."

 

My time to fly

And I donít need to let you know why

My time to fly

Flying so high

 

Trudging through pity, itís night in the city

Working girls, red lights, and lonely menís headlights

A man in four-door finds what heís looking for

And pulls the car over to the boulevard shoulder

 

I saw a girl looked like you

She bent to the window, a vision in day-glo

He opened the door and he let her climb in

And they drove off to some unknown somewhere that Iíve never been

 

My time to fly

And I donít need to let you know why

My time to fly

Flying so high

 

Me and my best friend hung out for the weekend

We stayed up 'til dawn, 'til the bourbon was gone

Sunday in Dover, the weekend was over

I stepped from her stair into November air

 

I saw a man just like me

His eyes were deranged, and he begged me for change

I shrugged as I turned up my collar and turned down my eyes

I said I was sorry and kept walking by

 

My time to fly

And I donít need to let you know why

My time to fly

Flying so high

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, programming

 


 

Walk Away  

written by Ron Moses/Michelle Bolduc

4:41 ē right-click to download: mp3 (6.1 MB)  FLAC (30.7 MB)

 

Another 1992 Disguising Godiva track. I was living a desperate and depressed existence in Boston at the time, and in an effort to introduce some kind of healthy happiness into my life, I ended up dating a girl named Michelle Bolduc for approximately 48 hours. She was very nice, and we got along well, but it was clear to us both that we werenít meant for romance. And by that I mean "it was clear to her that I wasnít meant for romance." We did, however, strike up a brief but meaningful friendship once we agreed (and by that I mean "she decided") it wasnít going to work out. Yeah, it was for the best. I'll tell you more about that some day when I get the DG album uploaded. It's the least of my personal horror stories, believe me.

 

Anyway... at the end of our first date she shared with me some poetry sheíd written; and as strong an aversion as I have to poetry in general, Iím not stupid. This one grabbed me in particular, not necessarily because it was great, but because I thought I could make a song out of it. So the first verse is her poem, and the second is my addition.

 

I really enjoy the intro to this tune, itís got a lot of good things in it. Itís primarily inspired by Dweezil Zappaís "The Pirate Song," although they donít sound that much alike. Thereís probably a bit of Trevor Rabinís intro to "Make It Easy" in there, too. The little hiccup as it segues into the first verse is one of my favorite moments in the entire catalog.

 

And then the verse melody is fine, but good gravy I completely ruined everything with that outro! I canít believe I thought that was even remotely appropriate to this piece of music. This tune really deserved better. Iím sorry, tune. I feel like I let you down.

 

Hard to tell whatís been redone here. The vocal, definitely. I donít hear an acoustic in the opening section (the original had one, I'm pretty sure), and I appear to have recorded a new electric guitar track. Apart from that, nothing much has changed.

 

 

Blood

A single drop

An unseen scar

A tear

A single drop

An unheard cry

A rip, a tug, a gouge

In my single heart

Feel my pain

See my scars

Wipe my tears

But please donít just walk away   -Michelle Bolduc

 

No

A single word

A silent plea

I know

A single word

Could be the death of me

A pain, a need, a hunger

In my single heart

Feed my soul

Hold my hand

Hear my words

 

But please donít just walk away

No please donít just walk away

ĎCause I canít stay here on my own

ĎCause I canít stay here all alone

ĎCause I canít feel this way forever

And ever

And ever

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, programming

 


 

Don't Forsake Me, Oh My Darling  

written by Ron Moses

5:19 ē right-click to download: mp3 (6.0 MB)  FLAC (29.5 MB)

 

There was a time when I would have been comfortable sharing this story with you. That time has passed. Sorry.

 

This track was originally on The Wish List, 1991. This version features new guitar (better), and new vocals (not so much). Yawn.

 

 

Donít forsake me, oh my darling

Stay by my side

Once you leave me, soon youíll grieve me

Sheer suicide

 

I know you donít need me anymore

But I need you

I know Iíve served my purpose

But Iím not through with you

 

Donít forsake me, oh my darling

Come share my bed

If you dismiss me, soon youíll miss me

Once I am dead

 

I know you donít want me anymore

Like I want you

I know you think itís over

But Iíve got news for you

 

Donít forsake me, oh my darling

Come take my hand

I would rather see you dead than

With some other man

 

I know youíd rather be far away

And on your own

Iíll go to meet my maker

But I wonít be alone

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming

 


 

Island Love  

written by Ron Moses

6:03 ē right-click to download: mp3 (8.0 MB)  FLAC (34.3 MB)

 

I left Boston in the Spring of í92 and took a kitchen job out on Block Island, which is a few miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Kind of a smaller-scale Marthaís Vineyard, but passionately non-corporatized (you will not find a Starbucks on Block Island, but you will find Juice Ďní Java, sponsors of the most pathetic softball team on the island). That summer was very good for me. I got tanned, I got healthier than Iíd been in years (I was still drinking and so forth, but that aspect of my life became way more realistic in scope and scale, and far more socially integrated, than it had been in Boston, where I was truly pathetic), I was in a beautiful environment with friends Iíd known for years and I was bordering on happy. I still wasnít having any luck with the female population, but that was to be expected. In my time on the island, the most complimentary thing said about me by a female, as related back to me by a mutual friend, was: "Ronís a really great guy. I wish I was into guys like him." Thereís something cosmically wrong with a statement like that. But I guess you take your compliments where you can get Ďem. Then there was the girl who accepted my invitation to dinner, but somehow didnít realize it was a "date" until I tried to kiss her at the end of the night. I managed to tag half-a-lipís worth of hastily-turned cheek, at which point she panicked and literally ran away. (And yes, I am using the word "literally" correctly, thank you, and also the words "ran" and "away.") So sad. Do I have "Just A Friend" tattooed on my forehead or something? Do I give off a special pheromone that triggers a false positive on the typical femaleís gaydar? Of course Iím happily ó ecstatically ó married now, but back in the day I simply did not register in the female mind. At least it seemed that way to me. But before I digress overly, on with the story...

 

One night I went out clubbing with some friends, and some friends of those friends. One of those friends of friends was a pleasant but not at all attractive woman who, at closing time, offered to give me a lift back to my room. Okay, get ready to learn just how clueless a young man I was. Ready? I thought, "Gee, thatís awfully nice of her, Iíd love a ride home." When we got there, I didnít want to be rude, so I asked if [name long since forgotten] wanted to hang out for a while. Iím thinking weíd listen to some music, play some cards, whatever. I was just being polite, really. She said, "Well if weíre gonna hang out we should do it at my place," and abruptly swung the car around and out of the parking lot. Okay, I thought. I guess weíre hanging out at her place. My room is pretty small anyway; I donít even have a TV. So we get to her place, and after about two hours of watching old Dick Van Dyke Show reruns on Nickelodeon, she decides sheís not waiting for me any longer and pounces on me. One moment Iím watching Rob Petrie trip over that damn Ottoman again (hey, he stepped around it that time, cool!), and the next thing I know Iíve got a mouthful of "ashtray tongue." Ummmm... oh. Oh! Wait a second, let me piece this together. She picked me up at a club, offered me a ride, and invited me back to her place... ah, okay, I get it now. Duh. Sorry about that, lady. Um, yeah, could you maybe not do that?

 

Iím going to refrain from telling the rest of the story, because it would be as embarrassing for you to hear as it would be for me to tell. Yes, even more embarrassing than the previous paragraph would suggest. And boring, really. I wasnít attracted to her on any level, sexual or otherwise, but I was intrigued by the fact that she apparently wanted to be involved with parts of my body only my doctor and I had ever collaborated on. Was it just that she was desperate-slash-drunk enough to settle for me after all other attempts failed? I wasnít sure. Probably. I had no interest in having any kind of relations with her, but it was an interesting if awkward experience.

 

And it inspired this song. It became clearer to me over the course of the summer that this sort of thing happened all the time, especially in a summer-only, no-strings-attached environment like Block Island. People hook up, have their fun, and go their separate ways. It was confusing to me, because I had been raised to think along the lines of respectful, chivalrous romance. The man courts the lady for, oh letís say three to four months, and at some point the lady swoons or something, and he takes that as his cue to look longingly into her eyes and say, "Oh Penelope!," to which she replies, "Oh Beauregard!," and they kiss passionately as the string section swells in the moonlit background. The End. But in reality, people get drunk, walk up to each other and say, "Hey, wanna fuck?" and then they do and then sometimes they have breakfast but mostly not. The End. Nobody ever trained me to negotiate that particular transaction, or even bothered to tell me it existed. So yeah, clueless was I, like an alien whoís just landed on your strange planet with its barbaric customs and its impenetrable rituals (and females). So this song was my attempt to make sense of all that.

 

It never occurred to me until just now that this tune has a sort of George Harrison vibe going on. Listen to the end of the second verse, "Run from the pain and you lose the love"... hear it? Maybe itís just the way I sing it, I donít know. Speaking of singing, this is my very first vocal harmony. I remember Felice commenting on it at the listening party; I was glad someone noticed. Of course I could only afford to do it because there was so little instrumentation going on, so my four-track had tracks to spare. That wasnít usually the case ó with the drums and keyboard in stereo on tracks 1 & 2, and usually a guitar on track 3, that left only track 4 for vocals (I preferred to avoid ping-ponging whenever possible). So this was a luxury. Anyway, I think it came out okay.

 

This is the exact same recording that appears on ...yeah, whatever... (1993). I guess I just wanted to hear it digitally remastered. It would be completely digitally re-everythinged a few years later on Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.

 

 

Maybe if I had the time

Maybe if I had the peace of mind

Maybe Iíd let myself fall for you

Maybe Iíd let my true heart shine through

 

Summer is fading so fast

A piece of my life that I thought would last

Flying Ďcross the sky like a dove

Run from the pain and you lose the love

 

Island love

Not love at all

Only a pillow to cushion your fall

Island love

Not love at all

Or maybe it is after all

 

Wonder how it would have been

How deep a hole would my heart be in

Weigh the returns for the cost

Itís better, they say, to have loved and lost

Summer is fading so fast

Wake up tomorrow and blame the past

Settle for nothing or lose it all

Trade in my fear for a crystal ball

 

Island love

Not love at all

Only a pillow to cushion your fall

Island love

Not love at all

Or maybe it is after all

I have spent too much time thinking Ďbout this

So many chances that I may have missed

Promise myself it wonít happen again

Using both feet the next time I jump into that island love

 

Sifting the memories through

Memories of someone I hardly knew

Why lie to anyone else?

Spent enough time lying to myself

 

Summer grows back in the end

Thereís always the chance that weíll meet again

And if we do, then weíll see

Maybe sheíll even remember me

 

Island love

Not love at all

Only a pillow to cushion your fall

Island love

Not love at all

Or maybe it is after all

 

 

Ron Moses ē vocal, classical guitar

 


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