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My November Guest | Music by Jordan Woods-Robinson | Lyrics by Robert Frost
My main struggle with writing new music is finding the lyrics. Many times, I will write a song, melody, harmonies, etc. before I even have lyrics. It sounds backwards but I let all that fall into place and then I find vowel sounds and consonants that eventually form words that complete the song. I heard an interview with the lead singer of Wilco once and he described the process as waiting for dust to settle on an old couch: if you allow the lyrics to float above for long enough, they will eventually settle into the song perfectly.
With all that said, I used to peruse a lot of poetry for inspiration. I still do, occasionally, but it’s more so to find inspiration than lyrics. I wrote this song when I was 14 or 15 and these lyrics are verbatim a Robert Frost poem called “My November Guest.” This song used to be a simple piece with one acoustic guitar and one voice with lots of pretty fingerpicking and trills and what not. I wanted to revisit it with SOS and try a different application with it. I was inspired by Lowry (a great Indie band that you should check out) and U2 in this final version. Colin laid down some rocking drums (as usual) and the whole thing fell into place.
Bam. Dust on a couch.
My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
Vocals/Guitars/Bass: Jordan Woods-Robinson
Drums: Colin Robinson
Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios