Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Tom Getter Slack: Blog

Song Story #2 - Your Love

Posted on March 6, 2011

Every song has a story. The 9 songs on Looking Glass are no exception. This is the second installment of a blog series to talk about how each of them came about.

I enjoy reading about how songs usually start out as one thing and end up as something completely different. One of my favorite songwriters, Andy Partridge, often describes this metamorphosis when discussing his own incredible songs (he talks about this a lot on the XTC Fans Blog).

Your Love is a song of mine that went through a number of phases. It started out as a slow, spacy melody that came to me while I was fooling around with a synthetic Sitar sound on my Kurzweil. It might have languished there forever if I didn't try playing it on the piano at one point and discovered a chorus break that played off the original melody as a verse.

The song had a kind of hymnal quality about it, so I decided to make it a devotion to something, but I'm not a super religious person (I do have strong spiritual beliefs, just have some issues around organized religions). I'd long meant to write an ode to the power of love, and so that became the theme. At that point, it was a pure lyric writing exercise to weave imagery about all things important and awe-inspiring in life in order to contrast them to the always more powerful force of love.

The first version I recorded was for a limited distribution Christmastime release from Silver Moon Music called Peace on Earth. It was very keyboard oriented and slow. From my perspective, I'm glad it was a limited release, because I was not happy with the final product. I feel that it was perhaps one of my worst vocal performances, and it just sounded kind of lifeless and plodding to me. But I still got some compliments about it, so always felt it deserved another treatment.

When I was formulating the roster for Looking Glass, this song seemed like one that would fit the theme, so I started messing around with it. On a whim, I put a drum beat on at about twice the tempo and tried to play along on the guitar. Suddenly, it just seemed to click for me - I was able to find a "voice" that was much more like an Under the Boardwalk type of early R&B rock feel. I recorded a new version that, ultimately, sounded not much at all like the spacy, drifting melody from which it grew.

On a final note, I tweaked a couple of lyrics from the original recording as well. I wrote it shortly after 9-11 and, in a somewhat shell-shocked patriotic spirit, made the 4th verse about winning a war battle. In the end, I felt that this song would be better served with the imagery of a different type of devotion juxtaposed against the power of love. And being the original songwriter, I feel pretty confidant I won't get sued for changing it!