SONGWRITERS CORNER

ACROSS THE RIVER


Before we worked with Pete Solley, Woody and I were in New York recording an earlier version of "Put me out of my pain", with producer Stephan Galfas. The studio had a 9’ grand piano and, over the course of the session, Woody came up with this beautiful, sad melody. 

The song still had no words when I went over to his house a few weeks later. As he played me a cassette of the song, the floodgates opened. Words came to mind so quickly I had trouble writing everything down. I wrote frantically for an hour, finding myself late for an important family function. 

I was not conscious of doing so at the time, but I had used the song to express the loss I felt over the end of a long-term relationship. I had called her "little thing" – hence the line, "chasing after little things, bigger things were lost."

We originally recorded the song with voice and piano, and then redid it with a full band for the CD.

- Mark

NATASHA


The band was offered a chance to play at a party for 30 or 40 au pair girls. After some reluctance, Woody agreed to play for free. There, he met Natasha, a French au pair who spoke little English. They would date for over a year.

Woody had a habit of writing songs containing his girlfriend’s names so it wasn’t long before he brought in an upbeat number with the lyrics, "talk to Natasha", solely. 

Natasha was a bit mischievous, with a lot of experience packed into her few years. I had plenty of material to draw from, when it came time to fill in the lyrics. 

-Mark

VANCOUVER


I had recently returned from skiing and snowboarding in British Columbia. Woody came over after dinner to work on songs. We were talking about my trip and I was strumming a chord progression when Woody joined in with, "I went up to Vancouver." It started out as a joke, but before long, we had a B section and a chorus to go with our verse. I had spent some time hanging out in Portland that fall, and that worked into the song as well. 

I worked on the words in the weeks to follow. When it was time to record, we added organ and harmonica, for a Dylanesque feel. 

-Mark

Isabella Rossellini


Isabella Rossellini is SO beautiful, I was even a little teary, seeing her in some super-sad close-up, and this song came right out.

Then through a year of pre-production and de-production, Mark and I wrote about a zillion versions of it, culminating in this sophisticated arrangement, with a little Burt Bacharach-like turnaround after the first chorus. 

-Woody

Long Way Home


I was at a bar and a friend was telling me how he was a pilot and used to fly bombing missions in Vietnam. The fact that he considered it one of the highlights of his life and still owned an M-16 was somewhat disturbing.

Woody and I had been working on a song with the lyrics, "long way home." With some poetic license, Roger’s story found it’s way to song. 

-Mark

   
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