Words Falling Slow – Shrike


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.

One of my favourite things to do is birdwatch. I am not an active birdwatcher, in that I don’t have a life-list, or go to exotic locales to spot a rare species, but if I see a bird I try to identify it and there is always a slight thrill if it’s a species that I have never, or rarely seen . I do a lot of birdwatching when I’m writing because I tend to isolate myself in the country and do a lot of staring out of windows. So you will find references to birds and bird-related metaphors scattered throughout a lot of my songs.

Shrike is about as direct a bird-related metaphor as they come. The shrike is know to catch its prey and impale it on the most handy spike available, to which it returns to slowly devour its catch. Is there a more perfect metaphor for a relationship?

This song was written, recorded and mixed for At The End Of Paths Taken. I’ve always loved the song and the production, but it didn’t fit the concept of the album so we left it off (although we used it as an itunes bonus track). For Notes Falling Slow we edited out the bridge section, because we never felt that it worked properly and we realized that the song didn’t really need it. Joby Baker does some great atmospheric work with keyboards and creates some post-production magic.

Source: Cowboy Junkies