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.
This song, true to it’s title, slowly drifted together. During a particularly sleepless night I decided to while away the late night hours in my basement with my guitar. In a half daze and in tune with the time of night/morning and in tune with the weather (cold and snowing) I came up with the basic melody and chord structure and the line “this ain’t no depression just notes falling slow, an early snow and notes falling slow”….then I drifted off to sleep, or simply drifted away, and there it sat for awhile.
When I went to the Adirondacks to start the writing process for the One Soul Now album I brought along this scrap of an idea. It had been echoing in my head for a while and I knew that it was an idea desperate to be completed. On my first night at the cabin the song completed itself with the help of a few very talented “friends”. William Shakespeare provided the opening couplet from his Sonnet CXXXVIII (I have always loved those lines) and the brilliant Andre Dubus’ short story A Father’s Story provided the inspiration for the pivotal line “Do I have the strength to bear their passion?”. The rest of the song was carried in on the same cold fall breeze that was teasing the wind chimes that kept me company outside the cabin window.
The song is a meditation on relationships, age and children (the basic themes of the entire box set). It is also a comment on our own music and an answer to all those people who ask why we write such depressing songs…..they’re not depressing they’re just sloooooooow.
Source: Cowboy Junkies