Stop me if you heard this before

Stop me if you heard this before

mike skliar's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

I've usually started each 50/90 writing sessions, as it starts on July 4th (Independence day here in the states), with a kind of 'state-of-the union' thing,- where we were, where we are, where we might go, etc. I guess this is no exception.

Started strumming the chords , sang the lyrics, and on playback, came up with those intertwining lead guitar lines, then added some harmonica on top of that as well.

Not sure how much 'production' I'll do this 5090, but I'm reasonably happy with the basic sound of this.. curious how it strikes folks here.

and with that.... away we go!


Stop me if you’ve heard this before
Difficult birth, revolutionary war
Noble principles, a shining hour
Takes a long time to water those flowers

Human nature, conflict and greed
Half of the nation tries to secede
Union prevails, a great emancipator
Gunned down by hatred that seems to be greater

Strides were made, but progress is slow
Mansions on a hill but look down below
same discrimination with a different name
corporate prison industrial game

its not all bad news, there’s been some success
at its best, its all a work in progress
but so much has gone backwards of late
witness the rise of the orange face of hate

and now the plagues seem almost biblical
the challenges are formidable
but justice and truth are not invisible
a billion together can make a miracle

stop me if you heard this before
lose a few battles but win the war

(c) M. Skliar 2020

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


kahlo2013's picture

This is a great song of perspective and insight. Fantastic hook! Love the gentle delivery and harmonica. No more production needed!

darcistrutt's picture

A companion theme to mine! I'm loving the mix of the guitar and harmonica. The interweave makes me happy everytime it comes in. I hope we do win the war! Nice to end with the feeling of hope.

JamKar's picture

Wonderful mix of instruments Mike. I especially like those ringing guitar tones. For a social protest song, it is pretty gentle. But I think it is one of your best.

thelowestbitter's picture

that doubled guitar line over the strummed chords is lovely. Good use of the harmonica too and as for production I really like the mix you've got here - levels and panning sound really good.

billwhite51's picture

love the sound, and the way the music strides through history. the opening strains let us know we are in for something epic. and you deliver..

Roddy's picture

Wonderful guitar parts. The harmonica is a great addition giving an accordion like feel. The changes on the 'strides were made ...' and 'now the plagues ..' are very good and add a lot to the song. True enough, some things have certainly gone backwards.

cindyrella's picture

Oh now this is top notch stuff! So spot on and I love that harmonica!

Zeekle's picture

Cool stuff, loved reading the lyrics.
That lead sound is really earworm catchy with the harmonica offsetting it on ghe other side.

metalfoot's picture

Great song! A succinct retelling of USA history and a note of hope.

coolparadiso's picture

Not that we are competing but you did match me. Absolutely love this. Had me 2 bars in. Oh so Tom Petty at his best. This has to find its way to my podcast. Great first up mate.

fresh spotless youth's picture

How does it strike me? That's a monster guitar hook right out of the gate. I love the way this chugs along hypnotically. It's a very compelling tune for sure, with a rousing closing couplet

writeandwrong's picture

Lots of things musically throughout. Really loved the whole lyrical meaning. Well done and great start to 50/90!

JaneG's picture

This is a wonderful start both musically and lyrically. Harmonica is great. You do a good job of balancing the horrible with the hope of progress.

Chip Withrow's picture

Great to hear you again, doing what you do so well! Just guitar and vocal would be awesome in a troubadour/commentator sort of way. But that harmonica and lead guitar - so nice, and appropriately bittersweet. I like the hard-earned hopefulness.

johnstaples's picture

Mike, this one is brilliant! My favorite song of yours to date! It has a disarmingly calm feel, both the music and your vocals, while delivering a superbly formulated and pointed message! You nailed the bad, you acknowledged there is still good and you give us hope! This one should be played everywhere, every day! Really awesome work here!!!

MarkG's picture

Sounds great. Very concise history of our nation and society. Let's hope the last couplet is so.

Calum Carlyle's picture

Start as you mean to go on, with a solid protest song, eh?
Nice work as usual, and the little lead guitar licks are a really nice touch too. The harmonica adds a nice colour as well.

nancyrost's picture

I like the "One of Us" progression used for this political big-picture lyric. You're in fine voice here, and the guitar leads are a sweet addition.

Stephen Wordsmith's picture

I really like the intro. Reminded me of Eagle Eye Cherry... then quickly didn't. The harmonica and guitar have quite a harmonious marriage.

Lyrically, I really like your approach here - keeping things broader and leaving the specifics out... well, until we got to the orange face of hate, but that particular face is going to be one for the history books, regardless of whatever bizarre event horizon we're barreling towards in TYOOL 2020. The layering is effective and very welcome, especially the little breakdown around 'same discrimination but with a different name'. The phrasing of the next line gave off a slightly Auto-Pseudo-Mondo vibe. Remember that? 2008 seems like yesterday, but the world is quite a different place.

I think this might actually be my favourite song of yours, Mike. In fact, I'm pretty sure of it.

IA's picture

Oh wow! The intro melody is great! I had to rush to comment on it.

Melancholic. I wanted to comment as I listen, but I got stuck listening. Spell-bounding.

This is one of my all time favorites from you, man!

Amanda West's picture

Love that line, the orange face of hate. I do really like the hooky guitar in this Smile

AndyGetch's picture

With the week1 tag I was expecting the 'introduction', however, this is an interesting reflection on the state of the regime.

barbara's picture

I am going to have to do a second listen to pick up more on the content because this listen was just a pure enjoyment of the music! I love those intertwined parts so much! Very happy they came along frequently. Also the chromatically descending parts. Such a warm and relaxed feeling overall on this, and your vocal sounds great. Wonderful listen!

Cicpisces's picture

This has a nice flow to it. Love the instrumentation. Intelligent lyrics. Has a great folky twang to it. Good intro for 2020.