Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Songwriting 101: Tom Wait's "San Diego Serenade"

"Songwriting 101" is a semi-regular feature that showcases what I consider top notch song writing.  Today, it is Tom Waits' "San Diego Serenade".

I keep wanting to describe this song as "bittersweet", but that's really understating it.  It's about pain,beauty,  regret, gratitude and longing.  This is one of a handful of songs that I literally stop everything I'm doing so I can listen to it.  It has also literally driven me to tears with its power.  Take a listen and see how it effects you.  If it doesn't, check yo' pulse.


I never saw the morning 'til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

I never saw the white line 'til I was leaving you behind
I never knew I needed you 'til I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke 'I love you' 'til I cursed you in vain
I never felt my heartstrings until I nearly went insane

I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off of your breast
I never saw your heart 'til someone tried to steal, tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face

I never saw the morning 'til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out your lovelight, baby
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

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