Behind the Song: Burdened

The record's been done and out for a few months now, and I've had it in mind to write up a few thoughts about each of the songs in track order.

I think Burdened was the first song I wrote in Nashville.  I moved to Tennessee in the fall of 2006, and I might have had this one started at the time, but after a few months I finished it here.  I think the initial seed was a letter I saw written by a person under some heavy financial debts.  Then a hodgepodge--the inertia of memory; a longing for relief (but a hesitation to be too hopeful about it); a recognition that getting better might hurt like hell; and a bit of Atlas and Sisyphus and Job.  I remember the first time I played it for someone, in the upstairs of E's house, for our mutual friend R, who had been in and out of rehab a few times.

I'm generally bad at editing my songs, even when I see something that feels clunky and needs improvement, but at some point later on, the bridge changed from first person declaration ("I've never...") to second person rhetorical question ("Have you ever...").  Also, I've always been a worrier, ever since I was a child, and while that's tempered some, a lot of the song is still true for me now.

As for the music, this is one of the two non-congregational songs on the record, and I always heard it with a more Americana sound.  Train beat in the drums and acoustic guitar.  Upright bass.  Pedal steel (Adam Ollendorff!).  And uncredited mystery singer on BGVs--I'm so grateful that she was able to sing on the song as a friend favor.  For the most part, I had specific people in mind to sing BGVs on each of the songs, and I really heard her voice and timbre for this one in particular.

Anyway, I've been procrastinating on these posts for a while now, so hopefully I'll get around to the rest of them over the course of the summer.  I still can't believe that I made a record of my own (I'm such a sideman), and with all of its warts and wrinkles, I'm really proud of it.