Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“Indiana Wants Me” (I Can’t Go Back There)

Indiana wants me
Lord I can’t go back there
I wish I had you
To talk to

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’ve posted a couple of times about how I often like parts of songs, even small fragments of songs, much more than I like the whole song itself. Today is a perfect example of that.

The song “Indiana Wants Me” isn’t a song I like all that much. I admire it for being cutting edge and including something like musique concrète—police sirens and such—back when pop music was just making the change from bubble-gum music to well-produced interesting stuff.

But mostly I really love the plaintive conclusion to the chorus: I wish I had you to talk to

Whenever I’m feeling sad, I almost always can think back to one or another person from my past and wish I still had them to talk to. And I can feel an emotion that’s as intense as something like the song.

And Indiana has been an important place in my life. I went to a writing workshop there when I was a teenager. I went to college there (for a very brief while). I knew some cool people there.

Whenever I’m feeling sad, I almost always can think back to happy times I spent in Indiana when I was young and I can be tempted to live in the past, rather than feel enthusiasm for the future.

So I really like the chorus to this song. It means a lot to me.

So I made up a simple arrangement of just those cool lines from the song. Those chords are just GM7, Am7, D7 and Em7.

The melody here—the rhythm of the melody—isn’t exact. As sung, and as I would play it, the vocal changes some of the eighth notes into sixteenths, or smaller, and adds similarly short rests. But it makes for a complicated notation. (I’ve seen it—my keyboard can capture a melody exactly as I play it and display it as standard notation.) But this notation gets the idea of the melody across, and then it is easy enough to add feeling to it once it becomes practiced.

Just because these lyrics—or rather these phrases from the lyrics—have always meant so much to me, this is one of my favorite bits of music that I’ve ever put up.

I can play this over and over, like trance music, like a meditation exercise.

More than (almost) anything else I hate being alone, and no lyric or phrase I know expresses the sense of loneliness I feel more than the simple, “I wish I had you to talk to.”

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