Nick Harper Before They Put Me In The Ground (Harperspace) Before they put me in the ground I’d like to make a sound for someone I’ve got something to say In the middle of last night I turned on the light and stared into space And her song began singing me Her music was playing me And I heard myself say I hope she’s okay I remembered my life living me And my smile even smiling me Far and away When the distance between us pulled itself tight Wrapping us round our butterflies In a beautiful way And then more than a memory Her name came out of me And I heard myself say I hope she’s ok An aura around us fused us into one Lifting us high flying us on But in one mad rush of blood I seized the future and I shook it I remember the day And her groove has spun my spiral since then Out of her into her again every day And my destiny offers me up like a lamb My will surrenders it’s a sham I’m given away my love Now they can out me in the ground I’ve made a sound for you in my own little way My love I hope you’ll be ok I know you’ll be ok This is a song that means a lot to me. It touches on several levels, both lyrically and musically. I can’t remember where or when I first heard it, just that it is one of my top five of Nick’s songs. In other threads on here when board members have been naming personal favourites, BTPMITG has been included by more than one person, yet sadly it is a song little heard live (I’ve only done so three times in the last three years). We are softly lead into the song with deep, resonant guitar chords, for 40 seconds before the lyrical refrain comes in of the narrator wanting ‘to make a sound for someone’, after the person has come into his mind the night before. Haven’t we all been here? In the quiet of the night, betwixt wakefulness and sleep when thoughts are still lucid, but drifting, someone we once knew – an old acquaintance, a past love – crosses our thoughts; for awhile we ponder on where they might be now, what they’re doing and hope they’re okay… The deceptively simple and plaintive recall of past remembrance, of how the narrator once was (‘I remembered my life living me and my smile even smiling me’) and how a relationship was both born and two people brought together (‘an aura around us fused us into one’), before the narrator breaks the connection (‘but in one mad rush of blood I seized the future and I shook it’). But there is still the memory of that time in his mind (‘her groove has spun my spiral since then’). The final lines have him saying well, now I’ve said this, about what was; I’ve put it down in words. The song builds up in tempo as it proceeds, with vocal range and raw, yet gentle, emotion as he sings, ‘and then more than a memory her name came out of me’, so that the listener becomes a willing aural voyeur of this personal statement of the narrator; flowing into, midway, a flamenco-ish interlude and the peak with the third chorus, before after five minutes, all has been said and, ‘now they can put me in the ground’. Is this song a reflection? A lament for what was/might have been? What is ‘a sham’? Is it merely the narrator having something to say to himself, directed inwardly more than as a verse to someone else? Only the lyricist has the answers. N.B. Members please refer to the STORMCOCK SONG CLUB thread if you missed it for details of how to post your own song.