The piano part came to me unbidden. The lyrics, I have no idea, but my middle daughter says it sounds just like trying to borrow one of my books when she was a teenager.
Part of my “Tom Waits for no man” phase, apparently.
I love being in the kitchen with Best Beloved.
These things come from I know not where, but they come. I found the whole thing amusing.
Needs piano or some such.
Some people can’t move on because they’re stuck
because they can’t move on
because they’re stuck
like this clown, who thinks it’s her fault.
I wrote the chorus to this as a straight country mandolin song and just couldn’t find this guy’s story. Somehow, realizing it could be gypsy jazz led me to his cluelessness and the story.
Noodling with chords I found myself playing a strange jazz progression. I spent some time noodling with a melody, da da da-ing it. Listened to it on repeat for a few hours one day while I read.
The next night doing the dishes, I opened the tea cabinet and smelled the Earl Grey, which in our house means you’re having marmalade whether you want it or not. Flashes of a night drive from Sacramento to Mendocino with my wife sparked more words and out it came.
I played the chords for Best Beloved and she said “It sounds like an invitation.”
I’ve had my eye on you for a while
just thinking of you makes me smile
I wonder if you’d like to go for a walk
or maybe just sit here and talk
you seem sort of quiet or maybe you’re shy
your secretive upside down smile caught my eye
let’s go for some coffee or chocolate or tea
or maybe you don’t notice me
maybe you’re thinking of somebody who
means more than a little to you
maybe the smile is a memory
that has nothing to do with me
the voices around us mean nothing to me
as long as the crowd lets me see
that quizzical smile and faraway eyes
that fill me with mad butterflies
maybe you keep all your secrets inside
with no one for you to confide
maybe the smile is hiding the fears
you’ve hidden from all of these years
the mad butterflies bring you over my way
the secretive smile makes you say
“I wonder if you’d like to go for a walk
or maybe just sit here and talk”