Exercises for Relieving Upper Back Pain

Exercises for Relieving Upper Back Pain

Powerstars's picture



Liner Notes: 

I woke up this morning with a twinge of this melody still in my brain. I'd dreamt up a Ben Folds song told in third person about a man going to multiple doctors for his health problems without any of them being able to help him. I only remembered the melody when I woke up though and I hummed it into my phone. Later in the day, I gleaned what I could from the recording and made up a piano part to go with it.

This is probably one of my more personal songs, almost uncomfortably so. My back aches constantly, everyday, and so far, no treatment that a doctor's given me has helped. Hence "stretches and steroids", those things did nothing. We did do an X-Ray and determined it's not a bone problem though. Fun. The title comes from an article that would pop up during my routine google searches to find any kind of fix.

Musically ended up coming off as some kind of mix of "Fred Jones, Pt. 2" by Ben Folds, "Prelude" by Tessa Violet, and "Soil, Soil" by Tegan and Sara.


Verse 1:
I knew that my body was falling apart
When I woke up and I was in pain
Another false promise, I couldn't live like this
But it became normal again

I crack back my shoulder
I hope it'll help
But I know that it won't do a thing

My back has been aching for
How many weeks? I don't know

Verse 2:
I see a future of hospital bills
And dependence on others to live
I'm always tired, but I like to be busy
And I know I can't do it like this

The doctors can't help me
With stretches and steroids
I don't know if I'll go back in

My back has been aching for
How many months? I don't know

Verse 3:
I know that my body is falling apart
And I know it'll never get fixed
The x-ray looks fine, I can't afford
To pay someone else so that they give a shit

So I lay back down
Crack my shoulders in bed
I know that it won't do a thing

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


Kurtis Kanttila's picture

Oh wow, this is really a profound track with striking lyrics. You really went in no holds barred and there are many stand out phrases. It takes guts to write something more personal like that. The melody is solid, great turn into the chorus and the end of the track just sounds defeated. and a melody from a dream? Bonus. Great performance.

standup's picture

Hah, great song. A vision of hospital bills. Stretches and steroids... I probably would have use that as a repeating outro kinda thing, it has a certain appeal.

Yeah, this does have a bit of Ben Folds to it. So of course it needs fuzz bass.

motisbeard's picture

This is some competent songwriting right here. I'd love to hear it with a full band behind it. The ending was abrupt and unresolved and that took my ear by surprise, but I know that's a thing, I just wasn't expecting it. It's a brave maneuver; I've ended songs unresolved and had people from the audience ask me what went wrong afterward.

billwhite51's picture

the opening lines are killer and you maintain the quality right to he end. love the melody, the timbre of your voice, and the rolling rhythms. i also relate to the chronic issues of physical decay that are your subject matter.

MarkG's picture

Back pain--like existential pain--is always there and coloring your world. This song is about how it sinks into a life. I love the delivery, a mix of surrender and fight. The abrupt ending is great.

musicsongwriter's picture

Great song. Sadly too relatable. I can't imagine writing such an uplifting music to it as mine would be slow, sad, in minor while yours sound energetic, ready to get up. Hope your song will cure you. I honestly feel music has much more power than any doctor but I appreciate sometimes we have to resign to medication to ease the pain. Wishing you good luck. Your voice is gorgeous. Instantly likable!

cola's picture

Ow, my heart! The lyrics and vocal performance on this are both incredibly moving, that sense of hopelessness and exhaustion comes through really powerfully. I love the sudden ending, too. Seriously excellent work.

cleanshoes's picture

First of all, as a fellow sufferer of upper back pain, I completely sympathize (though I know mine is due to a twisted spine). As for the song, I can absolutely hear that Ben Folds influence in the melody and confessional lyrics. Really love your vocals and overall style. And that abrupt ending is oddly fitting--makes it seem like the song could have gone on forever (much like it seems back pain goes on forever) and you just had to cut it off somewhere.