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Not My Son


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Description
Composed some time in 1998, after a general impression of the song came to me while walking down a street in Dublin. I adjourned to a cafe and scribbled some ideas down on a piece of paper and together with my writing partner, we fleshed it out later and gave it the structure of a workable song. Many years later, "Not my son" turned into the first song I tackled upon buying a Tascam four track and as such was probably one of the ropiest due to my inexperience with the device. I had some badly played slide guitar on there and completely dry vocals before I discovered the multitude of sins that can be hidden by reverb. It did have it's moments but this incarnation is probably closer to what I always thought for the song.

I'd been listening to a lot of Kula Shaker and Stone Roses so that indian-y style and jangling guitars is what I always had in my head for "Not my son'. Although I liked the riff, I was never that impressed with the version our band performed live as it was always basic compared to what was in my head (and now here..) but I do remember getting a great reaction from the audience at Katy Daly's in Belfast one night which surprised me.

As to the song's meaning ..... I think it's mostly about shirking responsibility and avoiding involvement. I kind of had in my head two brothers, the older saying to the younger "You're not my problem, I don't want to know what you're involved in or have to account for you ... but..' and eventually giving advice or help and then by the end of it, it's the older brother looking for help. Not I don't think quite so literal as that but certainly some sort of relationship between older and younger.

And for the record, I have no sons. =)
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Lyrics
I don't want to be the one they back up to the wall
I'm stepping right down; you know my tears make me small
You've gotta make the best of the way these things work out
Maybe you have to deal with it but you don't have to like it

No, you're not my son. Not my responsibility
You're not the only one trying to make ends meet

You're going to come to learn how to stand on your own
When you fall to your knees in this shallow life
Finding it impossible to try and live the lie
Maybe I gave you some advice but I tell you

No, you're not my son. Not my responsibility
You're not the only one trying to make ends meet

What would you say if you had to leave forever
You know my broken soul's not getting any better
Somewhere down the line, trying to pass the time
Maybe I can give you some inspiration

Although you're not my son. Not my responsibility
You're not the only one trying to make ends meet

And when the people come to point their finger
and you're thinking is it really all worthwhile
Well maybe I can help you out but let me leave you with no doubt
Crying all your tears into a deep blue see
Well take a look around cause you can talk to me

Please can you help me, sitting here all on my own
Please can you give me some advice my friend
Pardon me, but you don't understand me
Crazed ideals and screaming souls calling out the sound

No, you're not my son. Not my responsibility
You're not the only one trying to make ends meet
Song Stats
Hits: 2537
Comments: 30
Fans: 16
Plays: 209
Downloads: 67
Votes: 2
Uploaded: Aug 05, 2010 - 02:56:39 PM
Last Updated: Oct 31, 2011 - 08:25:47 AM Last Played: Mar 18, 2017 - 08:06:30 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Epiphone Les Paul (Main Guitar), Rickenbacker 330/12 string (Rhythm Guitar), Epiphone SG (Solo), Hofner 62 reissue Violin Bass, Boss GT8 effects unit, Vox AC15 amp miked with a Blue Snowball mic.
Software:
Garageband
Comments
edpdx said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
Not my son
This should be on the radio. Your vocals rock!

edpdx~
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Not my son
Thanks edpdx. I'm not the biggest fan of my own singing, so thanks for the vote of confidence!
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
crissew said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
Very good voice
The vocal needs to come up in the mix more though. Very cool song here. The vocal melody is really beatlesque and very good. Great tune man. I am impressed. if you need some tips on getting the vocal right, msg me, I have improved my vocal clarity quite a bit over the last year (if only my singing improved too). Excellent song. Definite download.
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Vocals
I agree about the vocals level. I buried them a bit low to try and let the instrumentation breathe a bit. I always turn this bit up, then that bit to catch it, then that bit... and end up with a big noisy mess! Will end you a msg for tips as you've offered. Thank you!
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alackbass said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
Not My Son
Swinging London. Tremolo guitar, Mccartney style bass, Ringo like tom drum groove, sitar, lazy dreaming vocal. So Revolver era. This is fab!
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Wow
Thank you alackbass! For a Beatles fan, this is as good as compliments get!
Not deliberately Beatles like in intention, but if you get that from it, I'm more than happy!
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mexles said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
Love the...
... progression of the song. Never expected the rock psycho changes in it. Love the sound of the sitar (how did you do it?!?!?!. Love the solo though I imagined a dirtier ike sound in it in order to break with the clean and beautifol atmosphere that preceded it. Don't have any other point except... instant download haha.
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Solo
I agree about the solo but after quite a while agonising over the guitar tone, I was a bit impatient and settled on the next one I liked! The sitar was done via garageband's world music jam pack, played slowly and then sped up. The "Psychadelic sitar" tone had too much reverb and the strait sitar had too little so there was some fiddling to do. Glad you enjoyed it.
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fasteddie said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
Cool song man
Cool vocals and lyrics. Nice spacey guitar work. All works well. Nice one!
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Thanks
Thank you for the kind comments!
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davisamerica said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
i think
there is more of a story here but.... very cool track .. pump up the volume
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Happy you liked it.
It's certainly not autobiographical but if you read into it that improves your enjoyment then that's cool!
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dave_b said 2666 days ago (August 5th, 2010)
Not My Son
Cool vocals. Arrangement is reminiscent of the Beatles. Sitar mixed with guitar is cool.
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Beatles praise!
I love it. Thank you!
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
Symphony101 said 2666 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Dublin streets ....
Aren't they inspiring ? :-) One of my favorite places ...

Great song, and you used great sounds here. Good vocals too.

Much enjoyed !
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Dublin...
is certainly one of those places. Anything that helps a song along is always good. Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
tf10music said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
This is excellent
This totally sounds like it could be on Nuggets Artyfacts...

vocals are very strong, but I love the instrumentals even more. I'd like the vocals, at times, to come through louder.
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Saltaireguru77 said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Vocal level
Will definitely be looking at the vocal level further but glad you enjoyed it.!
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
sloparts said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Very good back tracks and lyrics.
Unfortunately, at least for me at least, the vocals are too quiet in the mix.

Keep in mind as I say that, I have a hearing problem in both ears. I do have a hearing aid in one of those ears which helps a lot, but even with that it sounds drowned out by the guitars.

I would listen to the mix again if I were you and make sure your vocal is clearly bringing the message of the song across. And you might also want to have a few mates listen to it as well, with the express intention of seeing if they can understand the lyrics, without reading them or any coaching on your part.

It would be a shame for a song this good to be ignored for something so fixable as the volume on the main vocal track being too low.

In all other respect this is a great song.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
Saltaireguru77 said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Good critique
Thanks Ed. The vocals are definitely one of the things I'll be looking at - it's not your hearing! =) I think they just need a nudge up slightly. very good advice about getting others to listen to it and seeing what they can (and can't) hear. I usually go one way or the other - vocals too loud or backing. It's a fine balance!
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
Ibstrat said 2665 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Wow
I really like this!
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Saltaireguru77 said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Thanks Ibstrat
That's all I hope for!
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
drakonis said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
sweet stuff
Very nicely thought out piece of music, has a Beatles-esque quality... as for critique, the vocals are a little soft in the mix, and perhaps boosting them and adding some harmonized vox in the chorus would sound even better. But overall, this is very cool.
ttfn,
Drakonis
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Saltaireguru77 said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Thank you
Cheers Drakonis. I very much appreciate the critique and advice. I'm working on a better mix at the moment and will certainly consider harmonies, not something I'd thought of for this track.
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
RAVENS said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Finally
I listened to this song the other day from my iPhone, but couldn't comment. So, I had to backtrack to find you again.

You have a great mellow voice, which I dig. Maybe you can bring the vocals up just a tad in the mix. Terrific track as well, overall this is an awesome song!

RAVEN ;-)
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Saltaireguru77 said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Thanks RAVEN
Vocal compliments from yourself mean a little extra as I'm a big fan of the songs you've done here, so when you say you like it ... that's a big smile on my face. Hopefully I'll get a mix I'm happier with and repost here when it's sorted. Thank you again for the kind comments.
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
papag said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Psyched by the delic
This song has a definite psychedelic feel with a twist of indie. Makes me wanna light some incense :)
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Saltaireguru77 said 2664 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
=)
Heheh. Glad you liked it Papag!
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
tford said 2601 days ago (October 9th, 2010)
Another One
Great tune-I wish your vocals were a little louder, but still really nice. Some nice chords
changes. Peace, Tom
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Saltaireguru77 said 2600 days ago (October 11th, 2010)
Thanks Tom
There's a "version 2" that I did that has a louder vocal and a slightlyl better mix overall. I always have a bit of trouble exporting to this site! Glad you liked the tune - thanks for stopping by to post a comment.
Check out my latest song called Tomorrow
Artist Info
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Name: Stephen
Location: Great Britain
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I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and still consider myself a learner. I started recording on a tascam 4 track portastudio ten years ago and once I got a Macbook, moved on to Garageband as a means of having more tracks to play with and avoid... [see more]

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Genre Info
Psychedelic music is a musical genre inspired by or attempting to replicate the mind-altering experience of drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, and especially LSD. It is not rigorously defined, and is sometimes interpreted to include every

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