human

Release Date: 6/13

Album: THE OWL AND THE FULL MOON

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Lyrics:

What have I done?

Why am I down here?

What have I begun?

Why am I still here?

Every time I feel safe and secure

There's someone waiting to close the door

To tell me once more: to be human

 

What have I done?

I'm so lost and I've been searching all my life

There must be a way I can feel a part of the things that mean so much

They say I've got brains, but they do me no good

I fall down the well, and I cry for help

Misunderstood

It's no good to be human

 

Mom I want my happy ending dammit

Musicians:

Eric Summer - strings
Adam
- all vocals, all other instruments

Adam sez:

I might have mentioned (repeatedly) that I wasn't in a very good frame of mind for the recording of OWL, and that about half the basic tracks were recorded (and to some extent written) on one particularly bad day where I forced myself to record just to keep myself out of a self-destructive place. I did it, but it doesn't mean I was in a very good mood, and when I started tracking the music for what would become "To Be Human", I just had a meltdown at the end of the track. The big "A Day In The Life" style ending is for real - the piano track is me just losing it emotionally and taking it out on the keyboard, after which Eric Summer and I had to figure how to overdub something that made sense to it.

"To Be Human" is a dark fricking song, and like a lot of the songs on OWL, deals with stuff -- a sense of isolation, being different and having difficulty connecting with the flow of humanity -- that I had been wrestling with, and written about, for a long time, but where it used to be poetic and obscure, now it was blunt and upfront like an exposed nerve. I didn't need to think very hard about what I wanted to say, and in fact, "To Be Human" is 95% improvised. Only the "happy ending" part was worked out beforehand. The lyrics were not just written on the spot, I simply set up the mic and sang without anything prepared. What you hear is what came into my head and that's what went on the album, no retakes, no reconsiderations. After listening to it, I really didn't have anything I wanted to add or change.

The nice thing about having had this many years to develop my craft was by the time 2013 rolled around, I really could just put something out there without too much effort or thought and it would work. This allowed me to be much more spontaneous and direct with the writing and recording. That's evident no where as much as "To Be Human," which is to me what "Mother" is to John Lennon. Pretty much a primal scream from the psyche. Whether it moves you, or seems incredibly self indulgent, doesn't matter much to me. It is what it is, and it's for real. I'm glad, though, that "Song 11" came right after it on the album.

One thing I enjoyed about OWL was its brevity. Whereas GO WEST took its own sweet time to explore all its themes, OWL just moved right through without dwelling on anything, rather like vinyl albums in the early '70s did. I thought that was cool.

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