I'm Coming Home

Last night I worked on probably the most difficult song that will go on my CD. It's called I'm Coming Home. It's difficult on many levels. I've had the music for this song since about 1988. My good friend Scott gave me the title of the track while I was playing it one day. He heard the chorus and just came up with the line "I'm coming home". I spent the next 14 years trying to write the rest of the song with no success. Everything I wrote sucked. More on the final inspiration for the lyrics in a minute.

When I started recording this song, unlike all the others, all I knew for sure that I wanted was the guitar track since I'd had it for so long. All the other songs I had the arrangements basically worked out in my head before I started. On this song, I had nothing. I recorded all kinds of tracks for it, additional percussion tracks, more guitars, different bass tracks, a couple of drum tracks, you name it. None of it seemed right. At final mix down yesterday, the more I listened to it, the more I took out. The song basically got stripped to essentials. Acoustic guitar track, electric track starting halfway in, very gentle bass track, keyboards and simple drum track at the end. It's layered so a new instrument comes in periodically throughout the song until everything is in at the end.

The second tough thing about the song is the vocal track. Leave it to me to write a song I can barely sing. It strains my voice even though I tried to write it in a key that wouldn't. No dice. The vocal track is the best I can do, but there are times my voice sounds like I spent the previous few hours crying and am now hoarse. However, that works as well.

That's because the final insiration for the lyrics came following the death of my cousin Sharon at the age of 51. She was perfectly healthy, with no signs of heart trouble, and died suddenly of a heart attack last year (God, was it only last year?). I got a call at about 6 am from my sister saying she'd died. The Wife and I went through the whole shock and disbelief thing that I don't think either of us has gotten over. I wrote the song for Sharon, but also dedicated it to a person that worked for me at my previous job that died in an auto accident at the age of 30. Friday afternoon I told her to have a good weekend and see her Monday kind of thing. Monday morning I found out she was gone. Just like that.

I was a little emotional last night just listening to the song. Over the 10 or so times we played it to get the mix right, I went from wanting to cry to being peaceful, if sad. I think the song captures what I really wanted to say and is a fitting tribute to the people in my life that were gone too soon.

Sharon, we miss you. It's not been the same since you've left us. I look forward to seeing you again.


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