Words Falling Slow – Follower II


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.

When I was writing At The End Of Paths Taken I not only set myself the challenge of writing along a single theme (see the blog entry for Brand New World), but I also decided that I wouldn’t use any standard tunings or tunings that I was overly familiar with. I wanted to force myself out of old habits and approach my instrument with a fresh perspective. One of my favourite tunings was the one that I came up with for Follower II: C A D A A E….I love the way it chimes and drones all in the same stroke. The recording of the song was also crowned by the brilliant string arrangement by our friend and collaborator Henry Kucharzyck.

Follower II also happens to be one of my favourite songs on the album.. It was inspired by the Seamus Heaney poem, Follower, a meditation on the complexity and ever-changing dynamic of the father/son relationship. The song contains specific memories that I have of my father from when I was a young boy, the way he would jingle the change in his pockets and the spell he would cast over us as he told his stories about flying bush planes in northern Quebec. Its’ chorus references a very vivid memory that I still cherish of a moment from one of our annual fishing trips; we were out in the middle of the lake, it was dusk and the rain began to fall and rather than heading in to shore and shelter, he predicted that the brown trout, that we were angling for, would now begin to bite and sure enough they did. The song then moves to my perspective as a father, peeking in on my young son as he sleeps: wondering, worrying, anticipating what the future has in store for him….and so it goes, and so it goes…