Friday, December 01, 2006

"Where'd you get that cold, cold heart?"

Seattle schools closed last Tuesday and Wednesday because of the icy conditions after the snowfall, and I spent both days inside the house with Lucia. I had a lot of time to practice the guitar while Lucia played highlights from the “Nutcracker” non-stop. At some point without my noticing the exact transition, my fingers finally stopped hurting when I practiced guitar. For a good while, I’ve had proper fingertip callouses that provide extra padding when I accidentally jab myself with sewing needles. Still, the pain was ever-present until this week. Cheers to snow-days.

Here’s what I’ve been working on:

1) On the second side of the “White Album” by the Beatles, right after the ending of “Helter Skelter” when John Lennon yells, “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” the song “Long, Long, Long” by George Harrison slinks quietly into my speakers. If I want to hear the nuances of the song, I have to turn up the volume on my music player, and remember to turn it down again quickly before “Revolution 1” starts. I’ve simplified and tweaked the chords I found online: A, G, E minor, and D. (Do I really need to struggle with the F sharp minor chord? No, I do not.)

2) Another “White Album” song, “I Will,” written by Paul McCartney, follows “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?” (which John Lennon sarcastically claimed was McCartney’s best song ever). “I Will” is one of my favorite acoustic Beatles songs, and I often sing it to Lucia as a lullaby. My personal interpretation of the song is that of a person who’s looked forward to her future baby for a good part of his or her life.

3) I didn’t really believe that a lot of rock and roll only needed three chords until I started tentatively plucking out some of the songs. “When it Comes to You” by Dire Straits only needs a G, a C and a D minor chord at the minimum.* “When it Comes to You” is a good “You’ve done me wrong too many times and there’s nothing else we can do to salvage this relationship, so just let it go already” song. If strumming sad songs puts me in a good mood, “When it Comes to You” makes me jubilant.**

*I throw in a G7 chord too, but that’s extra. If you think of the chords as colors, then the number after the chord indicates a slightly different shade of that color. For example, “G” would be your basic orange in a simple seven color drawing of a rainbow, but “G7” would be that stunning hue of red-orange that you find in roses or sunsets.
**My guitar teacher says my chords are all wrong. Crivens! I'd argue, but I'm the one paying him to turn me into a folk-rock rhythm guitar hero.


Yorkshire Pudding said...

Co-incidentally I played my guitar again this evening. I'm trying to make up a song about the war in Iraq. The chorus is "I'll sing you one last love song/In these quiet moments before I go away/ Well the plane's already waiting on the apron/And the guys are gathering at the gate/ There are so many words I should have said to you/ But the clock is ticking/ It's already too late..."

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'd like to hear that song, YP!

By the way, I was at the British Pantry today, and I asked if they had Henderson's Relish. The shop-keeper said, "No... where's that from, England?"

"Yorkshire," I said. I got the impression that she thought it was an odd request. So, your sauce is still safe from the clutches of the conniving Brad the Gorilla! (I was hoping to get him a bottle for St. Nicholas's Day.)