understDNA (1/4/2020)

I’ve decided to revisit and remix my “days of DNA” album from 2010.  “Understand” was the emotional centerpiece but probably not the most successful track.  Here it is below, including the Indian intro.

I composed “Understand” in the summer of 1994 just before I moved from South Carolina to Los Angeles.  During a visit to a science museum I had been smitten by a beautiful graduate student who was doing cool scientific demonstrations for kids in a classroom-type auditorium that the museum had set up.  My friends Alfredo and Brian and I happened to be there in the audience.  She was incredibly warm, wonderfully silly, yet elegant.   I was completely charmed by her—and as electrified as the Tesla coil.  It really was magic in the air.  I mustered up the courage afterwards to ask her out; she said yes.  This was back in the day of actual landline telephone contact (and I did have decent phone skills once upon a time).  Speaking of DNA, I found out that she was studying to be a genetic counselor, a new field at the time.  We had some good early conversations.   A few days later the two of us went on a date to a bar/restaurant called Goatfeathers in Columbia’s Five Points district.  Things went so-so.  It didn’t help that she knew I was moving to California soon, plus she announced that she was torn about possibly reuniting with an ex-boyfriend who had been abusive in the past.  I remember her mentioning that her idea of the perfect man was Harrison Ford, haha.  I think I’m more like Chewbaca, although I did have short hair and was clean-shaven at the time.  Cursed with the memory that I have, I can recall her full name, where she grew up, where she went as an undergrad, what her Dad did for living, and so on.  I can still sense those afternoon and evening rainstorms outside the window as I talked to her.  The song lyrics explain well enough how it all turned out.  The song tapped into other similar experiences I’ve had as well.  It’s about defiant strength in response to heartbreak.  Maybe that’s all unrequited lovers like me have which can get us through this life.
I don’t understand what
you’re doing with him
when I said I’d do everything
for you
do you think I lied,
that I wouldn’t try
with all of my heart?
I can’t comprehend
the change in the seasons
that I see
in your eyes…
I can see my fall
then I can’t see anything
at all
I can’t justify what I’m feeling
for you
and why you don’t
feel the same for me
maybe in the next scene we’ll agree
and there’ll be a climax
come to me baby
and be with now
I’ve got two strong arms
and a world of love
be with me baby
and don’t go away
don’t leave me baby
I can’t see anything all
Understand
that I don’t want you
if you don’t want me

 

 

 


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