Words and Music by James Ozenne, May 1998

Recorded and Produced by James Ozenne, July 1998

Song and Recording Notes:


I wrote the lyrics to this song entirely in 1998, after I had the whole instrumental part almost completely recorded.  By contrast, the lyrics to most of the other songs here were written completely before being recorded.


When you listen to this song, you'll notice that I'm obviously trying to do some kind of reggae/ska thing.  The song started as an experiment -- I wanted to see what elements I could use that would give me a reggae or ska flavor.  I think the bass worked out well in that respect -- it's kind of jumpy and unpredictable like a reggae bass.  But then everything else diverges.


I thought it would be fun to but in some horns, so I used the synthesizer to create a little trio: trumpet, alto sax, and baritone sax.  I wrote out their parts by hand to make sure I had great voice leading in the three parts (and it does rip in that respect).  The signature riff at the beginning is supposed to sound ska-ish, and I think it does.  What haunts me is that I wonder if I ripped it directly.  If anyone knows a song with almost the same riff, please tell me.  In any case, I did spend a great deal of time getting these "horns" to sound as good as I could on the synth -- I applied just a little vibrato here and there, bent the pitches to make them occasionally sound like they hit the notes from below or wavered a bit like a human performer.


The drums aren't too reggae-sounding.  I notice that Marley often has the bass drum and snare playing on completely different beats than you would expect in rock music, and as much as I wanted to emulate that, it didn't sound right on the synth drums, so I ended up with something pretty conventional.  However, I did notice in lots of Marley's music that the instruments, for instance the bass and drums, will not agree on the beat subdivision -- the drums are swinging in a near triplet while the bass is almost square.  I used the computer to achieve that effect in this song.  Notice that the horns are square, the bass is nearly so, and the drums have a much lazier swing.


I had all kinds of problems recording the lead vocal track on this song!  It was very frustrating, because for some reason I could not sing the song in tune.  I kept thinking that I had some instrument in there that was throwing me off, but no matter what instruments I removed, I still had the problem.  I tried singing along to guide tracks of various kinds.  I often thought that my ears were playing tricks on me -- the recording would sound fine, then I'd take it in my car to listen to it on the way to work, and I would decide the vocals were completely out of tune and would have to be redone.  I ended up doing a lot of pitch-correction with the computer (the most tedious of processes), which you may occasionally hear on the recording, along with a few out-of-tune notes.  (I did not, however, alter the pitch  on the high C I sing about 1:30 into the song.)  :)


As a final touch, I had to throw in something directly from Marley, and that is of course my wah guitar solo, meant to be in the style of his "Stir It Up" recording.  Also listen closely and see if you can hear in the 11th bar of the guitar solo a direct quotation of one of Marley's live recordings of "No Woman No Cry."


The full instrumentation is synth drums, synth bass, synth organ (listen carefully during the verse), electric rhythm guitar, synth horn trio, lead wah guitar, three backup vocal track, the lead vocal, and some kind of synth seashore sound at the very beginning.



It's almost time to call you

I'm looking at the phone

I know it's late back where you are

But I need to make some sense

Of all the thoughts running in my head

Now that you've gone away so far


And girl, meet me halfway

I can't tell you all about myself

But if you'll come this far

You'll see what I've been dreaming


But it's been so long

And I feel I'm only going where you've been

Oh and in another dream

I'm crying for you

But you still won't let me in, no


And girl, meet me halfway

I've got to make it all by myself

When you're so far away

Girl you're so far

I want to tell you this about myself

Now that I've come this far

I've got to try and see, yeah


So long since I've called you

I'm putting down the phone

And trying to think back to where we were

Oh there's no sense

In fooling around again

But tonight I'm not so sure


Oh, so girl, meet me half way

I can't tell you all about myself

When you're so far away

Girl, you're so far

I want to tell you this about myself

Now that I've come this far

I've got to try and see

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