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Hard Look, Deconstructed

by David Shultz

Here’s how I built a song. I recorded several steps of the process to my phone, and I’ve included them here, as well as a finished first draft. This one started with a bit of exhausted late night lyrical scribbling, which I held on to for a couple years. I recently added those lines to a quickly forming new idea, which gave the rest of the lyrics a starting place. This was a moving song to write, and it happened with surprising efficiency. I had no idea how far I’d get at the time, so recorded each step as I went. Ideally, this will find it’s way to a proper studio session later on. But for now, it is this.

The ocean white noise

Rolls in waves

Down the stairs

Through the light of the kitchen

Where

I’m here sitting

I am remembering

The moment we met

Not everything

Is easy to forget

When you walked into the room

Was like you walked through a plane

Nothing looked different

But nothing was the same

I took a hard look

I took a hard look

And I loved what I saw

Ah, the butterflies and all

Got to work

I just couldn’t

Go in there

I just kept driving

To the River

Where

I’m here swimming

I am remembering

Holding your hand

Not everything

Is easy to understand

In the operating room

You were so strong

The babies were so small

Nurses rushed them away

Then we wheeled you down the hall

And we took a hard look

We took a hard look

And loved what we saw

Ah, the tubes and wires and all

The ocean white noise

Rolls in waves

Down the stairs

Through the light of the kitchen

Where

You found me sitting

Do you remember me

The moment this began?

Not everything

Has gone according to plan

When you walked into the room

I was a hardly functioning man

Early bird. Late bloomer.

An open palm for your hand

And you took a hard look

You took a hard look

And loved what you saw

Ah, the broken parts and all

Photo by Justin Black