20) Garfield

Back in February of 2006, Jefferson Pitcher, J. Matthew Gerken, and I set about writing and recording the original demos for these Presidents songs as part of the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org).  We wrote and did demo recordings of 42 songs (all but G.W. Bush) in Februrary–28 days and 42 songs.  Sheesh. 

In any case, as part of that, we wrote little texts to accompany each new song as we got them up on the FAWM website.  I like looking through them now as they seem part of a crazy, crazy time. 

Burr Settles, a fine songwriter in his own right and the FAWM-lord, was kind enough to get me an html backup of all the original texts we wrote, and it includes the comments other songwriters wrote on the demos as we got them up.  I’m including those as well.

20 Garfield (Seven Months)

by j matthew gerken — 2006-02-19 @ 10:51pm (EST) — Alt/IndieFolkRock

James Garfield was president for about seven months, I believe. This song is a comparison of the strategic thinking of his would-be assassins and that of his doctors, who actually gave him the blood poisioning that killed him, as well as the honesty and midwestern sensibility that probably got him shot in the first place.


  1. Steven Wilson/Plasticsoul | 2006-02-20 @ 01:16am (EST)the vocal melody and delivery is really interesting. very clever. like the theme of the song…very strategic in the way it’s sung. I like the musical break before the last verse. The guitars have a very eastern, whirling dirvish quality to them. some sweeping strings, tablas, and sleigh bells would be really cool on this. 

    very clever this. nice job

  2. Josh Schramm | 2006-02-20 @ 01:45pm (EST)I get a Cat Stevens vibe from the guitar break, and you know i like that!
  3. Eric Distad | 2006-02-20 @ 02:11pm (EST)The breakdown sections is sweet. Interesting vocal phrasing. I dig the ending and the constant “ticking” percussion in the background. 

    Very Nice!

  4. friendof | 2006-02-21 @ 11:37pm (EST)I don’t even know what else to say except damn. I’m in love… beautiful.
Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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