happy

Release Date: 3/99,

Album: THE SCAPEGOAT FACTORY and DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

This angry forehead falls away

Then I'll be happy

And every dogged man will have his day

Then I'll be happy

 

Woke with a shudder from the worst of dreams

But what the nightmare took away

The breath of dawn redeems

And if I can breathe again

Then I'll be happy

 

He didn't blow his mind out in a car

Then I'll be happy

And everything is fine right where you are

Then I'll be happy

 

I hope that someday youíll awaken too

Healed of every burden

That has bedeviled you

And to your own self be true

Then I'll be happy

 

I've hurt more people than Iíve let hurt me

There are people Iíve hurt by speaking honestly

They say the truth may inflict pain

They say the truth will set you free

And if they come to understand one tenth of me

Then I'll be happy

 

Peace on everyone who hears my voice

And if you reject me now

I respect your choice

But if tomorrow finds you with one reason to rejoice

Then I'll be.... happy.

Musicians:

Adam - all vocals and instruments

Adam sez:

Since the advent of my work at Karma Frog Studio, I've gotten in the habit of being a one man band, often playing all or nearly all of the instruments myself. Before GO WEST, however, solo or near-solo recordings were pretty rare. There were some near-solo tracks on SCAPEGOAT and one on YOU DON'T KNOW ME ("My Kickass Life"), but "Then I'll Be Happy" is the only song on any pre-GO WEST album where I played all the instruments myself. This was partly because I wanted a certain basic meat-and-potatoes feel to the rhythm track and partly because since it was a message of love and forgiveness directed to Rob and James, I felt I was obligated to say it alone. Whatever the reason, layering the instruments one by one in that way wound up giving the finished track a clarity that was lacking on most Cockeyed Ghost recordings up to that point, and it wound up being one of the best songs on the album. I particularly enjoyed playing the bass, something I very rarely did. It was fun working out a syncopation with a drum track you'd laid down yourself.

I had played drums in a few garage bands over the years, and I've periodically gotten competent at it, but until around 2011 when I started having to play drums at sessions at my studios and was doing it all the time, I would get distracted and stop playing entirely for years at a time, and so I would never seem to progress past a certain point. And with a drummer like Kurt who is endlessly patient in working with me to get parts down, I usually don't really need to go there, anyway. But there is a value to just being able to lay down a tight, basic beat -- one of my favorite drummers is Dennis Wilson, and coincidentally we both have the same peculiar drum style (left hand-hi hat, right hand-snare, right handed kit, which means you are always going to get a solid 2 and 4) -- so it's good to have that ability even if you don't use it very much. "Then I'll Be Happy" was the most challenging drum part I'd had to record up to that point...it's a straight ahead beat, but it's a rapid-fire bass drum pattern and it had to be spot-on. It took several hours and if I recall correctly, the drum track was the first thing we laid down. In other words, there was no rhythm guitar guide track or anything like that. I don't think there was even a click. I played the drums solo to the song in my head and then layered the whole thing over it.

I believe there's a hidden value to having some skill at rhythm instruments because it forces you to think about the groove and keeping good time. When you play guitar or keyboards exclusively, it's very easy to think solely in terms of the notes you play and the sounds you make, and not as much about where you're putting those notes relative to the beat. The longer I play and arrange, the more I realize that time is everything, even if you're playing a "top" instrument, or even singing. I think it's significant that most of the good one-man band artists over the years were solid drummers. I wish I'd focused on this earlier in my musical life.

The guitar solo was composed entirely ahead of time (in fact I think the guitar solo may have come before the actual song did!), using "Head On" by Jesus and Mary Chain as a starting point, and the long fade was a way to end the album on a note of reconciliation and peace...plus it made a great closing number live.

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