By Chris Moore:
This, as you’ll probably be able to tell once you start listening to it, is a song that I wrote a long time ago. In some ways, this would be a reason to choose a different song to record, as I think I have better songs to showcase that I’ve written more recently. I do feel that I’ve progressed as a writer and that I’ve written more structurally complex and lyrically thoughtful songs.
And yet, in other ways, this is one of those songs that reminds me how I used to write and, in some ways, reminds me of a type of song that I don’t really write any more. This song, “Writing Thousand Kingdom Blues,” was written just as I really started to get into Bob Dylan’s work. Everything about him fascinated me — his lyrics, his music, his personality. Everything about him had an other-worldly feel to it, particularly to a young high school student who had yet to experience many things. At the time, I hadn’t even heard nearly as much music as I have now.
That being said, I wrote this song without filters. That is, I didn’t think about literal meaning as I was writing; I focused more on the feeling and the overall image that the words conveyed. Thus, terms like “chalkboard salesmen” or “unnecessary sports gaming powers-that-be” didn’t need to make immediate sense to everyone; it was more important that what was in my head flowed out and onto the page honestly and in as creative and unique a form as possible. I’ll freely admit now that I don’t remember exactly what I meant by all these lyrics in the song. I do remember the specific references for a lot of them, though, and it’s fun to think about the ones that I don’t. That’s what I always hoped people would want to do with my music — with any music, really — to take it in and come up with a theory about what it means and, perhaps, how it could relate to their own lives.
The inspiration for the title came from a novel I read in my senior year of high school — Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres. My English teacher, Mr. Rinaldi, had us read it alongside Shakespeare’s King Lear and draw comparisons between the characters and plot details. It was an enjoyable book, and I remember its themes and ideas creeping into my own writing of the time. That’s actually one of the things I miss most about being a student — the ability to take in a lot of new literature and information in general and tune out class when inspiration hits, putting the pen to paper and writing. My most boring classes in college were often the ones that I got the most writing done during. I can think of a couple for which the only interesting aspect was trying to complete a poem or decide on how to finish the chorus to a song.
Ah, well, there’s always my nine remaining master’s degree courses to look forward to… 🙂
Well, that’s it for me tonight. But, before I conclude, I should point out that I have the honor of recording and posting the very first Original Wednesday of 2009! For my next Original Wednesday, I’ll be debuting another new song that will be featured on my upcoming album (to be recorded in 2009!). For now, I hope you enjoy this blast from my recording past.
See you next session!