This is another song that I wrote in my early twenties but it’s only now getting a proper recording.
I played this tune with various bands over the years but we never got a usable recording, because they were usually done in dive bars with poor acoustics. There was no separation of the instruments, only the chaotic din of drunken idiots in the background.
I do still have the original, cassette demo that I recorded on a reel to reel tape machine. I no longer have that machine [insert sadness and woe, here] but I have the recording. It’s ok but it’s just guitar and vocals and covered in that old school, analog tape hiss.
This is a full treatment, with rhythm guitar, lead guitar, vocals, bass, all of which I’m doing. The lead guitar part is a first take improvisation. I’ve never played lead over this song before, because I was always busy playing the rhythm and singing the lead part.
Actually, I’d never even thought about what I’d want the lead guitar part to sound like, because keeping a band together was trouble enough to keep my mind thoroughly occupied. So, I just hit record and rolled with it. I’m pretty pleased with the result.
It’s also got drums and hand percussion, performed by Stinky the Robot drummer. I’ve got him trained pretty well at this point. He eats a small amount of electricity, sleeps in his little box and he only bites occasionally, now; I’ve even removed the shock collar.
It’s really one of the most simple, straightforward songs that I’ve ever written. There’s a main riff and a slight variation on it, toward the middle. Then, there’s the verse part, a two-measure figure that repeats, over and over.
There’s three, short verses, no chorus and no bridge. That’s because it was originally a poem and I had no desire to adapt the words, just to flesh out the musical bits.
The rhythm guitar part really emphasizes the drums and bass anyway, thus making it more of a groove tune than a standard, pop formula type of song. The lyrics take up only about the first third of it and the rest is just an excuse to do what musicians love to do… jam.
Pilgrimage to the mountain,
On through a hurricane
Going to pray for my family,
And for those who lay in the clay
I don’t know who will hear me
But I will cry on the wind
Grant me strength and compassion
Give me self-discipline
Oh, the pressure and the pride, now
They can split your skull
When your best ain’t enough, now
All you can do is let go
A thousand years’ wisdom
Will set it all straight
A fool’s minute will erase it
Ah, but that is the Way
I was tied to a tree
And whipped like a dog
It’s where I learned to be free
And to trust in God
In the center of the mountain
You will find a ring
When you wear that piece/peace
No man’s words will sting
All words and music
©2021 Kevin Trent Boswell
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