What Lives Do I Tell?

What Lives Do I Tell?

Tim Fatchen's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

How do you tell your own story? How do you validate? I was prompted to think about this through one of @ustaknow's songs and subsequent interchange on it with @billwhite51 No, no-one needs to validate their life to others. But it might be interesting to hypnotise someone into listening occasionally...like the Ancient Mariner and his captive audience of one...There's a complaint in increasing age when you've done so much past living that it's impossible to know where to start and because the memory's jampacked, it's unreliable. Thinking about this on the road these last two days, I tried mapping the thoughts out tonight. Then it was inevitable the little cigarbox guitar came in. And surprise, another song limps onto the list. This was live recorded voice and rhythm CBG and I had to do some fiddles to keep the voice clear without turning the CBG sound into a WMD. And I then added another CBG to the mix because I could, so there. And I still have a raging flu/cold/something which keeps Kleenex in business in South Oz.



Words & Music Copyright © 2018 TJ Fatchen All Rights Reserved APRA-AMCOS

Born in the first half of last century,
So long, long ago it means nothing to me.
I grow as the years go, but others...others can't see.

Some say "just yesterday", their memory.
It seems their lives spun by faster than me...
For me, and for mine, it's like deep history.

What lives do I tell, the country-bred child?
Steam trains to school? The hay in stooks piled?
The freedom to wander, wherever, wild?

Puberty blues, disaster to feel?
The walls of flame faced, gave the teenager steel?
The scholar, his journals, hard-learning high skills?

The ranger and watcher, the wild places seeker?
The planner, explorer, the kangaroo keeper?
The strange academic, the dangerous, dangerous teacher?

The metropolis living, big cities, big songs?
Or back to the suburbs with family along?
Or the dweller in deserts, alone for so long?

The mines, the oil wells, the railways, the pipes,
The powerlines, the airstrips, the ports, and the 'pikes,
The forests regrowing, the dune-grasses' spikes...

The under-sail living, weeks at a stretch--
Not salt, but sweet water, though never at rest--
The reedbeds in winter, a boat's hidden nest...

So many lives, so far past, memory's cold,
Yet still in my growing, these past lives will hold.
So what lives do I tell, this child grown old?

So many lives, so far past... cold,
Yet still in my growing, those past lives...hold.
So what lives do I tell, this child grown old?

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


kahlo2013's picture

Love this chord progression and the driving strum and the powerful storytelling. Really compelling sound. I love the nostalgic feel and the impact of the past on the future and the diverse memories of past lives. The lists are fabulous.

I love the Triplet feel to it, nice and driving. I also also love hand-built "folk" instruments, -- great sound. Great ascending drone, --works. Music 2

billwhite51's picture

a compelling question. what is the answer? mine is become a novelist.it is one way of telling all the stories of your life without being accused of contradiction. the trouble is that a novel takes so much time to write that you have not enough time to tell all of your lives. maybe a couple thousand songs could do the trick. oh, but the song. this oe is particular is quite ambitious and quite good. i like the chords and rhythm, and there a many memorable lines. listening to it, i was wondering what i would include were i to attempt such a song.

dsweidel's picture

Amazing story and told so poetically. Great sound.

metalfoot's picture

The story of a life is one of those things which is more than most can see. Even a relatively 'boring' life like mine has its tales to tell... I love the details you've put together here. The CBG sounds nearly like an eastern European stringed device the way you're playing it.

Great song, Tim. Love it.

mike skliar's picture

This is really wonderful- the music and production choices (including that great cigar box guitar) really work well with the lyric, and its got a forward momentum that's perfect for the subject. Great job! thoughtful lyric, too!