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The Waitress (version 2)


by

TobinMueller

 Genre: Acoustic

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Description
This is the second version of my cabaret song, The Waitress, for voice and piano. I have added a few lyrics and vocal lines to the first fragment chorus and the second chorus in response to comments from my first version. I like this version better; thanks for your ideas. There are some interesting comments and extended discussions on the first version song page.

This is the first piece I've written for a project titled "Archetypes" (a working title). "The Waitress" represents a doorway to the new... opened to the lonely hearts of the world. That is why the waitress in my song doesn't use a pad to write down orders, she is a great listener and comes to the table with empty hands. I try and create a sense, in the first two choruses, of the vocals coming from the kitchen, or from deep inside the man's mind, something so distant that they aren't quite his own voice, as if he can't say it yet but can only imagine himself saying it. Not until the final chorus, after the meal is over and the bill is paid, can he utter the words aloud... and then it is too late. At least, that is what I was going for on an intuitive level.

For voice and piano - to retain the intimacy of the subject.

This track was remastered and appears on my 2007 release, A Bit Of Light, available through CDBaby.
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Lyrics
The Waitress (Take My Order)

At the edge of my table, at the edge of the world,
a waitress opens her hands.
I see that they're empty... she's able
to recall everything as she stands.

I fold up my life
and place it to the side.
I want to confide,
tell her everything I'd come to hide.

And she listens without effort.
Does she know how much she comforts,
taking everything inside?
And she glistens with an aura
that calls me to collide.

(Take my order.)
Please, miss, come take my order now.
Please, come take my order now.

As the kitchen door opens
all the sounds and the lights that were hidden so carefully behind,
they tumble out after
and I wonder what else these walls are meant to hide?

Is she smoothing her hair as she thinks of what I have said?
Does she wonder, as I, what else I might want,
what lies ahead?

Take my order. (Please, miss...)
Am I ordered enough to know?
Take my order. (Please...)
Can I order your eyes to go?
Make me order. (Don't let me miss...)
Take me where you want to know.
Make me order and I'll know which way to go.

At the edge of my table, at the edge of the world,
an empty plate lies there abused.
There's more than I'm able to say to her now,
there's no time left and I'm too confused.

Does she know there's a cost
in defining the things we must choose?
Would she go there with me
to where nothing like normal hunger rules?

And she listens without effort.
Does she know how much she comforts,
taking everything inside.
And she glistens with an aura
that calls me to collide.

Take my order.
Am I ordered enough to know?
Take my order.
Can I order your eyes to go?
Make me order,
take me where you want to know.
Make me order and I'll know which way to go.
Song Stats
Hits: 8089
Comments: 38
Fans: 17
Plays: 506
Downloads: 352
Votes: 25
Uploaded: Feb 21, 2005 - 06:54:37 PM
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2009 - 07:50:08 AM Last Played: Nov 26, 2015 - 08:37:00 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Roland A-90ex keyboard, Ivory piano AU.
EV 757 mic.
Software:
Digital Performer 4.5. Mastered in Peak 4.1.
Converted to mp3 using LAME encoder. Sounds best in headphones.
Comments
thetiler said 4595 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
To me you can't do wrong
When ever I see your name on a tune in the new songs
category. I know I am in for a real treat.

I really respect your musical craftmanship. What a GREAT
blessing it is to have your presents here at MJ.

I usually don't like to put down swear words in public.
But DAMN your talented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much!

4 10's


Bill
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
To me you can't do wrong
Thanks Bill, I appreciate your careful listening. You music has a big heart and
excellent craft, with each song nourished in a special way, and I value your
reactions.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 4595 days ago (February 21st, 2005)
To me you can't do wrong
When ever I see your name on a tune in the new songs
category. I know I am in for a real treat.

I really respect your musical craftmanship. What a GREAT
blessing it is to have your presents here at MJ.

I usually don't like to put down swear words in public.
But DAMN your talented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much!

4 10's


Bill
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
legato said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
I want those eyes too...
What a great song to tell. I love everything about it to the
beautiful playing to the talented lyrics and vocals. I really
felt connected throughout the whole song and was a part
of the crowd (which is a nice touch)

Great submission as always Mistral!!

Legato
Check out my latest song called The Hour - Knossos (Live Practice)
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
I want those eyes too...
Minstrel, yes, that is what I was going for on this song, a sense of being the
minstrel, in the honoring, storytelling vein. Thanks for noticing.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
legato said 4586 days ago (March 3rd, 2005)
I want those eyes too...
Sorry for the wrong meaning in mistral (northwind) hehe ughhh yeah... I'm
embarrassed :)

---
patrick
Check out my latest song called The Hour - Knossos (Live Practice)
Tom Atwood said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
Approach to songwriting
For some reason (ego?), it is difficult for me to make
changes to a song once it is written. Once I am finished
with it. The song almost becomes like a child, a son or a
daughter, that is perfect, in spite of its imperfections.

It is an unwieldy, uncollaborative approach, I know.

What I'm getting at is this: I thought the original version
was excellent. I know there was a lot of criticism about
some of the lyrics, but I thought they were perfect, like
little children. I would not have changed a word.

I understand the need for collaboration in songwriting,
especially at the moment of creation. But sometimes, I
think, songwriting by committee is like anything else by
committee. Watered down and not as good.

Still a great song. I just liked the original by Mueller.


Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
Approach to songwriting
I know what you mean, Tom, but as a writer for theater, almost everything I
do has a large element of collaboration so I am used to it. Feed off it,
actually. And, yes, I liked the first version too or I never would have
submitted it. But part of what I want to accomplish with songs like this is to
evoke specific emotions, and the reactions of follow macjammers provides a
nice first reading opportunity. A typical musical is read at least 3-5 times
before it actually opens. Adjustments are made after every reading. I nearly
always welcome the opportunity to make something better.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Jim Bouchard said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
Well, that's interesting...
and how can I not comment? I mentioned that a "please" would be nice, and you put it in there. I think this is a much better version, just right.
I was wondering how much you would change things based on the feedback you'd gotten on the first version, and I think the changes you've made are really well integrated.
I don't think of this version as watered down, but more like a polished gem.
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
Well, that's interesting...
Yes, I added a "please." But I also added a double meaning on the word "miss"
which helped focus the story between the lines on that sense of lost
opportunities, of possibilities waiting. Thanks for the comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
mandolinquent said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
You know what makes this song for me?
... it's that repeated loud note on the third beat of the bar.
Very simple idea but it works so nicely...
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
You know what makes this song for me?
That accented note off the beat, surrounded by repeating notes, was
supposed to represent the sense of buried passion, of something wanting to
break free. Thanks for mentioning it. The Ivory plug-in is wonderfully
responsive for ideas like this.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
That's the ticket
Yep, the added voices to the first chorus are a big
improvement. Then then second and subsequent
choruses--even lovelier! I love how you deftly weave the
voices, combining presence and ambience. Your music
evokes images of graceful dancers. Your Roland keyboard
and Ivory AU render a sound that is pure and organic to
my ear. Bravo.
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
That's the ticket
Dancers... what a great image. I love that you get a sense of human motion
from this. I am always internalizing a sense of motion when I write. Thanks
for the observations and careful listening.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Suzanne said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
highlighting just the songwriting
i love how this song highlights your songwriting skills - its surface simplicity of sound held aloft by underlying passion and unique contrsuction; its great lyrics and tight concept; and your always thoughtful performance. this song is one of your best, and that's saying a lot. i think i like this version better, but there are both unique windows into your many depths.
Check out my latest song called Rock The Baby With Voodoo (w/Tobin)
said 4595 days ago (February 22nd, 2005)
Yes, definitely one of...

your best. I really like it when you sing these melodic
songs of yours. Your harmonies here are perfect and the
change of pace in tempo and vocal feeling make for
compelling listening. Piano... beautiful. And your lyrics
paint a scene, as if from a play or a movie, that creates a
visual, as well as an audio delight.

Maybe the music pro's out there will find points to quibble
over, but to my ear this is much better than reflected in
many of the votes posted.

Jack
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
Yes, definitely one of...
Thanks, Jack. One of my favorite parts of this song is the way the melody and
right hand piano interplay, both the countermelodies and those chords in
verse 3. The little things in songwriting have always been very important to
me, valuing as I do the great songwriters of an earlier generation. Thanks for
noticing just the writing in this piece, which is what I am most proud of.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Del said 4594 days ago (February 23rd, 2005)
Transcends from details into the mythic
At the risk of repeating myself from my comments on version 1, as a bartender, I may be partial to your subject matter. (You should use a bartender as a subject on your next one! call me...) The details of these lyrics are mythic, transcending the moment in a wonderfully poetic yet familiar way. And when you hit that last solo chorus at the end, my god, devistatingly powerful. This version is even better than the first. Pulls even harder at me (or maybe its just that I've heard it more times.) More than brilliant. All I can say is, keep them coming!
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
TobinMueller said 4553 days ago (April 5th, 2005)
Transcends from details into the mythic
Thanks, Del. I always appreciate those who can wait for a payoff later in a
song, who understand the set up. Thanks for all your careful listening.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
EdensEve said 4594 days ago (February 23rd, 2005)
At the edge of my world
I said what I felt last version, the thrill in listening to this song. I just want to say, on relistening to this version, which never lets me question what is happening and has such a strong visual side to the writing, that the line "Is she smoothing her hair?" really gets me. At that moment, I feel it is about me. I love all the double meanings. At the edge of your piano... thats where to be.
Cameron said 4594 days ago (February 23rd, 2005)
masterful
The sound of the piano merges perfectly with your vocals,
creating a very pleasing aural combination. This is the
best example of the Ivory piano thus far, to my ears
anyway.

I particularly like the accented off-beat chords in the
piano, which added a perfect spice and "zing" to the tune.
The repetition of it is almost hypnotic, matching the
intensity of the lyrics nicely.

I was enroute from Madison to Ft. Myers while your earlier
version of this was posted, so I hadn't heard it. I decided
that it was better to go ahead hear the later version
without comparison; let it stand alone in my ears.

The lyrics have a great deal of depth; the subject matter
delves into a very interesting dimension "above" the usual
level of perception. Very provocative.

This is one of those tunes which continues to ring in the
ears long after the last chord has faded away.

Wonderful concept and performance.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
TobinMueller said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
masterful
Thanks, Cameron. I wanted the lyrics to be the focal point, but the clarity and
versatility of the Ivory plugin really make it a joy to sing to. I think one of the
reasons it sounds purer-more real on this track is that I am not dealing with
hold pedal vs. normal chording sections (which makes ambience more
realistic), and everything is evenly played throughout the piece so that
variations in style don't highlight differences in the samples. Singing over the
top helps make anything sound more real, too.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
giovanni said 4593 days ago (February 24th, 2005)
Hmmm...
Firstly, I really love the song... I've listened to both versions several times now and have come to the conclusion that this version doesn't encompass your description as well as the first version. Especially when you say you're going for "a sense, in the first two choruses, of the vocals coming from the kitchen, or from deep inside the man's mind...". To me it seemed that the first version really did this... especially in the first chorus... I do think though that this version is more orthodox and therefore may have wider appeal. There are a lot of things I like in this version... the second chorus really does it for me. If it were possible I'd take the first chorus of the first version and the second chorus of the second version and make a third version. However I don't think the second chorus of this verison would work without its accompanying first chorus. Confused yet??? Nevertheless... it is a fantastic piece.
Check out my latest song called You Monster
cjorgensen said 4554 days ago (April 4th, 2005)
Photo?
What's the cover art from? Yummy.
Check out my latest song called Gardens
TobinMueller said 4553 days ago (April 5th, 2005)
Photo?
Yes, a photo. Black and white with extra colorizations, making the life within
more subtle.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
cjorgensen said 4554 days ago (April 4th, 2005)
Photo?
What's the cover art from? Yummy.
Check out my latest song called Gardens
inmotion said 4447 days ago (July 19th, 2005)
Beautiful
What a wonderful story song :) The Piano is beautiful in this song.
The lyrics in this song are spectacular. Reminds me of something Billy Joel might write.
Isak Sherwood said 4257 days ago (January 26th, 2006)
Like a movie, full of sonic images
I saw the whole thing, like a movie. The little laugh sold me on this mix. The reverb sounds lke you're in the kitchen. The piano like it was near the bar. The sounds of glasses, just right.
Joe Brady said 3860 days ago (February 26th, 2007)
I love this one
I fell like I'm sitting in the theatre falling in love with the characters. This song is at the same time familiar(who hasn't fallen for a doe-eyed waitrees) and yet intriguing; I want to know where the story goes and I want to know more about the protaganist singing these lines. Beautiful.
Wonderful compostition Tobin!
Check out my latest song called Long Way From Denver
TobinMueller said 3859 days ago (February 28th, 2007)
familiar yet intriguing
Thanks. I spent many hours alone in small restaurants, this was easy to write, but does imply much more than surface details. Thanks for not being put off that the deeper unspoken mysteries/innuendoes needed to come from the listener, or are waiting to be spoken later...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 3377 days ago (June 24th, 2008)
Great!
Very wonderful piece and I was really glad to see it under MJ Coffeehouse list, fits very much. Great performance as usual and loved the live cafe additions in the background!

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
FlatRock2 said 3377 days ago (June 24th, 2008)
big tip
This order deserves a big tip!
Wonderful performance, great story.

thanks for sharing this beauty.
Check out my latest song called One More Time WIth You
Nick_Flash said 3369 days ago (July 2nd, 2008)
Another great
This is another great song Tobin. The words are sang with such feeling and the story is captivating. The melodies are top notch.
Excellent performance. Love the piano playing too.

Nick
Check out my latest song called Questioning Authority
Char said 3367 days ago (July 4th, 2008)
This was
beautifully executed. Simply stated, I felt what you were dramatizing.It was theater. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
sloparts said 3344 days ago (July 27th, 2008)
What a wonderful song Tobin.
The simple act of going to a restaurant to eat, you turn into possibilities that have crossed our paths in real life, but went unnoticed. And how many of we men have not at sometime or another been stunned silent by the presents of a waitress who attracted us in ways we didn't understand.

An excellent story my friend and the music fits it beautifully. My only complaint is that I had some trouble in a few places understanding your vocal, but I'm sure it's because of my hearing, and not your levels in the mix.

This is a very nice piece of work Tobin. Almost like something you would hear in a movie about how a young man was captivated and drawn in by a fetching young lady.

Thanks for pointing this one out, I would have hated to miss it.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
TobinMueller said 3164 days ago (January 23rd, 2009)
Like something in a movie
Thanks. I always try to be visual in my music, altho I tried harder on this one, or at least more visually obvious. I try always to to enunciate, too, but sometimes unusual or slightly longer lines of poetry make understanding lyrics much harder, which might be the case in this song. But I spent the greater part of my life writing imminently comprehensible songs for the stage, and my recent work has tried to break many of those rules that make for mainstream music success. So, consider the lines in this song my careful attempt to experiment, which might also add to its difficulty curve. I appreciate your honesty.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ktb said 2996 days ago (July 10th, 2009)
always
a joy to listen to someone with great craft sit down with just an instrument and their voice and create such imagery and a story. Lyrically compelling and your voice sounds terrific here.
Check out my latest song called Blackwater (by Tokai)
jojodoo said 2889 days ago (October 25th, 2009)
What?
Suck my order!
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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