Words Falling Slow – He Will Call You Baby
Words Falling Slow is a twice weekly blog series written by Michael Timmins in which he writes about the writing, recording, history and inspiration behind some of the songs included in the Notes Falling Slow box set. You can pre-order Notes Falling Slow here. You can listen to a new recording from the box set here.
“He will call you baby”. I had that line scribbled in my notebook for years. I don’t remember where it came from. I always thought that it was a provocative opening line, but I could never figure out what came next or what the song would be about. Time, life, circumstance, experience helped me flesh it out…..in the end it kind of wrote itself.
It’s a song about all the weird games we play with the ones we love. The subconscious and conscious games that play out in any long term relationship. It’s also about the loneliness and the sadness inherent in any great love. A happy little ditty.
Initially we approached this song acoustically, with Jeff Bird on acoustic bass and Jaro Czerwinec on accordion. But as the recording progressed we started to abandon the acoustic approach and this song went in a more bluesy, electric direction. The version that we ended up using on One Soul Now was actually a rehearsal version of the song (always roll tape!) captured when we were all learning the songs’ structure and figuring out our parts. This type of groove is always best when no one is really thinking about it. Nice and loose with lots and lots of deep breathing. I love the way it almost stops in the middle of the solo and Pete’s tom-drum fill resuscitates it. Margo’s vocal is perfect. When I played this song for Jeff Wolpert, our mixer, he said, “man….nobody plays that slow”. We do and we’re proud of it.
It’s still one of my favourite songs to play live.