Arizona

04:23 Download
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

taken from the RPM Challenge blog: "As I am running out of time I knew I had to put a good amount of time in to this project today. As I did not have anymore 1/2 finished songs I wanted to finish I decided to write a new song. The songwriting process is truly amazing and something I have studied and discussed with other songwriters. I know that part of the RPM challenge is not waiting for inspiration - just doing it. I have definitely tried this method in the past. I read this interview with Nick Cave and he said he no longer waits for inspiration - he goes to his music writing room and clocks in as a songwriter. I have had some success with this - I once gave myself the assignment of writing a song in Spanish and a murder ballad that takes place in a brothel. Both of those songs turned out quite good and made it on to my last album. Overall, however, most of my songs have been the product of waiting for inspiration. I decided not to finish the song I started writing on day one of this project because it was just not haunting me the way a good song does. What usually inspires me to start writing is coming up with an instrumental part I like. As I have been in love with the sound of the banjo (that I have only been learning to play throughout the course of this project) I picked it up and started playing with ideas. A song surfaced that is tentatively called "Arizona"- it is a companion song to another song of mine called "Tale of a Missouri Girl". "Tale of a Missouri Girl" is about a girl from Missouri in the 1940's who is the queen of her hometown parade and the star of all her high school productions. After she graduates from high school she moves to Hollywood to become and actress. She ends up being a waitress at an all night diner. At the end of the song she wonder why she ever left Missouri. "Arizona" is about a seamstress from Ohio who moves to an Old Western town in Arizona to start a new life, only to become a drunk and a prostitute. At the end of the song she goes back to Ohio, realizing she liked her former self much better. "Tale of a Missouri Girl" kind of seemed to surface out of nowhere - until I realized it was about myself. I am from Chicago and moved to Seattle (the 1990's version of Hollywood for a young singer/songwriter) many years ago. I am also a waitress. So when I wrote "Arizona" I was aware that this song was coming from the same place in my psyche. As I am new to the banjo, it took me a long time to record a really good take. I did a vocal track, but I need to redo it - I want to rehearse the song some more and play with the melody. Overall, I am happy with my work. I managed to write a song in a few hours and record the main instrument track. I love the banjo and am getting better at it - it hasn't been that hard to learn since finger picking has always come pretty naturally to me." *Tale of a Missouri Girl appears on the Bakelite 78 album, What the Moon has Done.

Lyrics

You don’t feel right in your own clothes The days grow shorter and cold wind blows You hear winter’s cruel footsteps heading toward your door You jump on a freight train with no baggage of your own Cause a freight train has plenty of weight of it’s own Anything not rooted down rolls to the west Goin’ to Arizona Gonna start a new life Leave behind Ohio and winter’s cold and strife And I’ll find me a cowboy who’ll make everything all right And ride off in to the sunset You find work sewing and mending people’s clothes But at the end of the day you find you’re still alone While the purple mountains loom high Over an endless sunny sky You start working on some dresses for the girls at the saloon They’re so much more pretty and exciting than you A seamstress is not a glamorous trade You think it’s time for a change Your goin’ to Arizona gonna start a new life Leave behind Ohio and winter’s cold and strife And find yourself a cowboy who’ll make everything all right And ride off in to the sunset The years pour by like whiskey on the shelf You try to drink enough to disolve yourself But underneath all the garters and the lace Your just a seamstress from Ohio - drunk and out of place The hazards of the trade have become too much Hangovers and ills and every stranger’s touch Your not the fragrant flower that you used to be Seven years older an bitter as can be You jump on a freight train with no baggage of your own Cause a freight train has plenty of baggage of it’s own Leave behind the canyons and the dust storms and the heat You miss the seamstress from Ohio that you used to be.