I don’t like writing sad songs. I understand that some folks want to (as someone said to me) “experience the full range of human emotion” but I’ve had all the sadness I’ll ever need, I don’t have to go searching for it.
I’ve struggled with depression my whole life, sometimes severe but lately, the past few years, so much better. The last quarter of last year some childhood memories surface that locked me rigid for a while as I sorted out what it meant about who I wasn’t. It seems I’ve come through the sorting out phase well enough. I know how fortunate I am; some are stuck, through no fault of their own, dealing with the fallout for the rest of their life. A cautionary tale, if you will.
I had a snippet about a wallet and keys by the back door for a couple months. Bedtime one night I realized I had the perspective wrong, it’s her story, not his. This dragged me out of bed and I wrote 90% of the lyric that night.
Musically, I stole Pachelbel’s canon chord progression, moved it to C because I’m no piano player, and shuffled it a bit for the bridge.
Now go tell someone that you love them, eh?
She found his wallet and his keys
On the counter by the door
Folded neatly on the chair
She found his coat
Placed precisely in the center of the table
Was the lunch she’d packed for him the night before
But what she never found however hard she looked
She didn’t find the note
They always leave a note, her mother said
They want someone to know
It was a cry for help
so you would come and save him
Maybe if you look a little harder
Look somewhere you haven’t thought of yet
You know how you can be
The pretty blonde named Audrey in her group
Said he probably just didn’t have the time
As if he were late to get down to the office
And in the rush it simply slipped his mind
He could have left it on the table with his lunch
Or maybe in the pocket of his coat
With his wallet on the counter by his keys by the back door
But he couldn’t leave a thing he never wrote
His wallet and his keys are in his dresser
In the sock drawer tucked away there in the back
Someone had thrown his lunch into the garbage
But that night she rummaged out the paper sack
It’s neatly folded, hanging in the closet
Slipped inside the pocket of his coat
She still has everything he ever left her
But she doesn’t have the words he never wrote
She doesn’t have the note