Dysfunctional Family Blues

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Specs

  • Genre: classic-style rock
  • Video: YouTube - me performing this on the piano at Smith Family Reunion talent show, 2010-07-10 (vocals barely audible)
  • written for: Jenny

Lyrics

A thousand tiny airplanes wander through your mother's garden
As she paints a golden picture of the way it used to be
I listen as you whistle all of Mozart's major pieces
And you're breaking all my records but it doesn't bother me
So you've taken all your medals
and you're using them as doorstops
And you let them trade your future in for your security.

Well listen here my darling -- you've got to take it slowly
They will put you in a fishtank very philosophically
Alas I spoke too quickly, I'll rephrase that faulty stanza
While you're busy hunting shadows in your castle by the sea
So now I'm standing in the alley
and you're drawing little circles
And you always pay attention to everyone but me

(reprise)
A thousand tiny missiles filled the hallway to your bedroom
lighting up the broken picture of how you're supposed to be.
A thousand small explosions filled your head day after day until
the ruined desolation became all that you could see.
So now you're scattered to the wind
a thousand billion particles
a thousand billion questions left
with no-one I can ask
a thousand billion words let go
and paintings that will never glow
and thoughts that we will never know
and dreams that we will never see
castles that will never be
and all you ever could have touched
and all you ever could have been
has flown away.

History

  • 2020-09-04 version 2: fixed (?) last line of first verse; trying a coda for the extended "Echoes" version I want to try putting together.
    • Maybe the "reprise" verse is actually a different song, like "Eclipse".
    • I'm afraid the playout part feels forced, but I wanted to write it down while the idea was in mind. Will revisit later and maybe decide it is terrible.

Recordings

MoG version

The download is Mother of God's version of this, which I'm not 100% happy with; I will eventually copy the 8-track master into the digital domain and see if I can fix it.

Credits:

  • Dan Dudley: bass, group vocals, equipment
  • Brian Morris: lead guitar
  • Tim Kunkle: rhythm guitar, group vocals
  • Dave Keating: drums
  • me: piano, lead vocal
  • Livia Wade: operatic solo vocal, group vocals

Song

Version 1 notes

  • Some of the lyric lines could use a bit of rework*, but overall it says what I want it to.
    • *Everyone sees "family diamonds" and thinks it's a reference to gonads or something, which it isn't; also "madman down the street" doesn't quite fit. "pawnshop down the street"? I wanted to convey the idea of carelessly abandoning something very precious. A bit like this BF5 lyric from "Where's Summer B?": "I tried to tell you, tried to tell you, took a little bit too long / And now your phone is disconnected and your shit's out on the lawn."
    • I've fixed this line (I hope) for v2.