When I was a student at Cornell, my first apartment was on Williams Street, in the top floor of #209. I lived there with a 3 other students, one who was a friend I'd made through taking a lot of English classes together, and the other two were guys he knew from his Freshman year dorm. Williams Street is one of Ithaca's steepest hills, and our living room had a great view out over the glacial valley where Ithaca sits at the end of Cayuga Lake. The view was especially nice from the fire escape outside my bedroom window, where we'd sometimes sit and eat pizza. That fall I was going through a tough time as I struggled to find my way after my girlfriend of almost 3 years dumped me. I had never been particularly religious, but I still felt at that time that there was some sort of "celestial handholder" looking out for me, if I'd just hold on to his or her hand.
Since I didn't have much money, I found myself sacrificing cassette tapes I'd made of my ex-girlfriend's vinyl albums to have tapes for my own recordings, the tapes I called The Andy Band Improv Volume ## (with the ## in roman numerals up through XX or so). This recording was the first song on Volume XVI, made over a tape of Dire Straits' Love Over Gold album. I left a little bit of the intro to "Telegraph Road" with the thunder before un-pausing my tape deck and starting this song with a complementary chord. I remember really wanting to write a song with some really fast picking, and imagined being able to play it around a campfire. I vaguely remember housesitting my friend Tim's parents' house around the time I came up with the picking pattern and chords for this, and my studio log says I wrote the music on September 24, 1985. I don't remember writing the words so much, but the log says they were written minutes before I made this recording on October 20, 1985, in that Williams St. apartment (31 years ago!?!). I think they really spoke to that spiritual and emotional place I was in back then.
I still had the gorgeous Gibson Hummingbird 12-string acoustic guitar with the cherry sunburst finish that my ex-girlfriend had leant me, although I think I was asked to return it not long after this recording. This was recorded with two mics into a cassette tape deck, with a digital delay on the vocal mic with a 1250ms long delay that I thought sounded like someone was singing along with me like a round --hence the title. There are a lot of songs featuring that awesome 12-string on the album this song ended up on, called Umbrellas, which covers the best songs from my early solo recordings, from 1981-1985, ages 16-20. What a long, strange trip it's been, indeed!
Thanks for listening!
Someone's Singing Along I want to sing a rolling country song one where everyone can sing along around the fire in the woods or in the home one to let you know you're not alone when you feel like the world is burning down when you feel like you're gonna drown in dark waves but you know the storm won't go on you'll be saved if you just hang on to the light to the light even when your lover leaves you cold even when you feel useless and old you have to open up your mouth and sing see the small miracles in everything in the sun in the wind and sea in the friends around you every luxury in your life oh you know the storm won't go on you'll be saved if you just hang on to the light to the light or maybe this ain't a campfire song one where everyone can sing along I just wanted to get some feelings out reassurance for a soul in doubt a lone voice with guitar and pen in hand on a cold beach with just one grain of sand music by Andy Wyatt 24 Sep 1985 lyrics by Andy Wyatt 20 Oct 1985 ©1985 by The Andy Band