Release Date: 9/04

Album: YOU DON'T KNOW ME

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

Everything sucks today,

we're in cosmic disarray,

and so she cynically laughed at the boy

holding flowers in a tray,

but stopped dead in her tracks

when behind her back

she heard the young boy say:

"I just hope you're in a good place,

and I just want you to have a nice day,

and I don't mind your laughing,

you're beautiful when you smile,

you're beautiful in every way,

have a nice day."

 

She eyed the boy suspiciously

and asked "what do you want from me?"

He said, "all I want from you is to be, baby be."

And when her acid gaze met his placid face

she saw what he saw, and she was amazed!

 

The girl broke down and cried

for the first time since her father died,

and the boy she never knew

held her hand and said I love you.

You'll probably laugh at this song I've made,

that's cool, yeah, that's OK.

I don't mind your laughing.

Musicians:

Adam - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
John Perry
- keyboard
Severo Jornacion - bass
Kurt Medlin - drums
Stew - end vocal
Heidi Rodewald, Severo, Adam - backing vocals

Adam sez:

On "Have a Nice Day" I wanted to write a completely unironic song of unconditional love winning out over someone's natural suspicion. I must have succeeded, because that's what people tell me they like about it, but I feel like "Have a Nice Day" never really got properly finished.

YOU DON'T KNOW ME was an experiment for me, because on previous albums, LUDLOW 6:18 in particular, I had spent months tinkering with the songs until I had them just where I wanted them. With this album I wanted to see what happened if I just wrote on instinct, and it was put together very quickly. I still don't think song for song it's as good as LUDLOW, but a lot of people disagree with me, and there's no question the performances and production on YDKM are much better than LUDLOW. It just sounds better. And songs like "Other Than Me" are as good as anything I've written, so it wasn't like there was a huge drop in the songwriting from doing it differently. So it could just be me tripping. But despite the positive reaction to "Have a Nice Day" it's not a song I can personally get behind 100%.

So in case you think I'm totally high on my own weed with this whole song blogging thing, I'm not. I have no problem harshing on my own stuff: I think this track is mostly just frantic when it should be exciting, there's nothing particularly special about the vocal or the chord progression, and the guitar solo is a rehash of stuff I've done before (except for "My Kickass Life" it's the only lead guitar bit I did on YOU DON'T KNOW ME). To me, the song is sold by the two opening lines alone. Sometimes that's good enough, but I wish I'd spent more time on this one.

Still, the song's sentiment and opening lines seem to be enough for most people, which makes me glad. I honestly believe that sometimes, people do nice things just to be nice, without having ulterior motives at all. Call me naive. And maybe my ambivalence about this song is it's basically about absolute egoless sincere vulnerability, and that's enough to make any singer/songwriter blanch. Lyrically, writing this song is kind of like opening up your shirt and saying "go ahead, stab me in the heart." And we've done this song live with a more rocking arrangement, and it's gone over surprisingly well. So what do I know.

I think the main reason I left this song on the album was Stew's one-take tomfoolery on the fade out. I just told him to start vamping over it; as far as he knew, we were just getting a level...which is the reason for his astonished reaction, "it doesn't stop, does it?" during Kurt's endless drum solo (which, Kurt, will be the first to tell you, I forced him to do). The bit was priceless so I left it in. (The response vocals, btw, are by me and Heidi Rodewald, Stew's partner in crime)

This song is one of John Perry's more prominent instrumental contributions to the record. I was really at a loss to know where to go with this song and he came up with the Farfisa patch idea, and we went with it. It sounds to me kind of like the Judybats' first record, which is what sold me on it.

Postscript: In 2014 I started really changing my life around, and got heavily into yoga and meditation. I began to have a lot more respect for this song than I previously had had, since when I wrote it, it had more to do with a hope and something I was maybe a little embarassed to totally get behind. With a new more positive way to look at the world, I really started to respect and be proud of the message of the song, because it reflects what I now believe and how I really want to live.

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