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.
30 Coolidge (I don’t have much to say to anyone but god)
by jeff pitcher — 2006-02-20 @ 02:52pm (EST) — Alt/Indie
so there is this song. then there is another song i wrote about coolidge, on that i spent an excessive amount of time on, and decided in the end that it is one of the worst, and ultimately most boring songs i have ever written. so last night, after laughing about it with my wife, i wrote and recorded this one, which largely due to the circumstance was the quickest one i’ve done yet.
anyway, the first thing i read about calvin coolidge while doing research was that he slept a lot. he typically went to bed every night at 10 and woke between 7 and 9. he also took a 2-4 hour nap every afternoon. quite a lot of sleep for a man as busy as the president. i then went on to read that this sleep was seemingly brought on by the death of one of his two sons. as it turns out, his son died rather abruptly and unexpectedly from a blister that grew infected. he acquired said blister while playing tennis at the white house tennis courts. rather ironic. he died just before coolidge’s inauguration, and it is said that coolidge was noticeably changed thereafter. i then went on the read that he was extremely quiet, hardly ever saying much at all, and that he basically did nothing in office (except pass a law that no japanese were allowed to emmigrate…were they all bigots?)
anyway, i can only imagine that if my son (which i don’t yet have) died, i too would just want people to leave me alone, a rather nagging problem if you’re the president. i wrote, attempting to imagine this broken man, with the despair of loss and the despair of being trapped in a position that he couldn’t really leave. perhaps the afternoon naps were just a means of getting away from all of the people. sad for sure. i really felt for coolidge while writing this. i mean that.
- The KB EP | 2006-02-20 @ 06:37pm (EST)
The vocals and execution of this in general, reminds me of a band that used to play around her called The Denver Gentlemen. Their singer kind of… Half-yodeled and half-sang… But always put way too much vibrato on his voice in a very dramatic/drunk way. And I think it would work here really, really, really well. Whatever percussion you have here is fantastic. Consider me a fan.
- Ben J. | 2006-02-21 @ 09:30pm (EST)
- daniel78 | 2006-02-23 @ 11:06am (EST)
This is really great – really sad. I love the unusal chord progression, and way the song builds.
Quite a collection of songs you’re building up here on fawm!