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Better than I Am


by

chronologic

 Genre: Folk-Rock

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Ok this song is one of my favorites. I have been trying to learn the harmonica for a few years now, and I've been able to use it on two songs so far. My grandfather gave me one of his harmonicas before he died, I couldn't play it, but it is kind of a tie to him so I have tried to learn. The main thing I have is a CD teaching set from Jerry Portnoy I think his name is, and I have been able to learn something from it.

The song itself may seem cliche` to some, including the title, but it doesn't matter to me. I do what I do. I do it because I feel like I want to do it. So I do hope your own preconceptions don't get in the way, they really are bothersome things and it's good to try not to listen to them. Anyway, the song is just funny because I have a strong visual in my mind, more than really understanding the meaning, I just see something and I guess the rest of it is at attempt at bringing the image into the audible 'scape.

The image is like in a train yard somewhere. It must be the 1950's or 1960's, and the image is almost totally black and white. I am sure there is some psychological reason why I see it that way. There is a man, sitting with another man and his dog on the ground around a small and smoky fire. I don't really see the second man. I don't think he's important. The dog though is quite visible, he is a black lab, a male. The dog is seated, and is mostly looking at the fire but may turn to the man in focus a little. All of this is very apparent in the image. The man in focus is wearing a felt Irish style cap, as if he is an Irish immigrant, and he is quite old. He has a scrubby/stubby gray beard, and wispy gray hair. He is wearing worn out work boots and is dirty. He is wearing a worn but warm shirt, followed by a thicker coat, but he is still cold. You can tell because he is bent over and into himself. On the fire is a pan, with 2 eggs in it. He is holding the pan handle with one hand and attempting to manipulate the egg with a stick in his other hand. He has a cigarette package next to him on a rock, it is empty.

Why do I have that image? I don't know. And I am not sure if it exactly predates the song or if it was born simultaneously with the song. At this point I don't remember. Anyway, that's all I know about it.

I found an image on the net that is at least kind of similar, though also quite different.
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Lyrics
All my life
searching for the answers
biding time
missing the truth
Living lies
slipping through the backdoor
and I don't know if I can go home
no I don't know if I can go home

Nobody knows what I've done
No I don't think they'd understand
Though I tried to be a better man
than I am

It's a long way down
and I've licked every bone
There's no way out
This is my home now
I wouldn't know a preacher from the devil
and I don't know just where you stand
the action will reveal the man
But my story was written in sand
You'll never know the end
Song Stats
Hits: 2648
Comments: 38
Fans: 11
Plays: 49
Downloads: 88

Uploaded: May 23, 2009 - 11:55:24 AM
Last Updated: May 23, 2009 - 11:55:24 AM Last Played: Aug 01, 2019 - 01:56:56 AM
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Comments
sheilad said 3768 days ago (May 23rd, 2009)
never
disappointed on a tune of yours these days... and since I LOVE harmonica... keep on learning it! Awesome.....d/l for sure!
Check out my latest song called Nana Lives
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Harmonica
The instrument has a real "folk appeal" doesn't it. I like it a lot also. I is a pleasure to put it to use somehow. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
Feter said 3768 days ago (May 23rd, 2009)
Better than I Am
Man ..did I love this harp? ..I love all of your songs very thoughtful ...
good structured ..well sung ...nice lyrics ...you really succeed with this
harp ..I never manage to do this with a harp ...you sound lil like NY with it !!
kudos ...thnx alot for sharin !!!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
harp
We never called it that where I am from, but I've noticed a lot of people do. I don't know what might be correct or what the history of the terms are. I am curious but haven't checked it out yet. I appreciate the comparison to Neil Young. I'm not a big fan of him, I just never got over his "girly voice" I guess. I like his music otherwise, and you know I'm no judge of anything but my own heart, and hardly that.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
davisamerica said 3768 days ago (May 23rd, 2009)
oh yeah ...
The quality on this is just crystal. I keep telling you "intelligent music" .. this is a great example of what I mean. Really solid work here !
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Crystal
Geometric Perfection. Yeah, I'll take that compliment. Thank you!!!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
Char said 3768 days ago (May 23rd, 2009)
Hmm,
very thoughtful. Nice visual imagery and good lyrics. Well done. Good mood music.
Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Great
I appreciate your visit Char. You are fun in the chat rooms so I have gotten to know you a little. I'm glad to have you come by, listen, and help me understand myself.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
Vic Holman said 3768 days ago (May 23rd, 2009)
better man
direct tune, dude.

has a good mix of Neil Young meets Bon Jovi. all good by me
Check out my latest song called Life In A Car
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Better Man
Yeah I know that there is a subtle reference to the Perl Jam song. I do think that the lyrics to that song influenced me to think about that kind of thing. You know, the idea of not being appreciated, or of things not ever lining up right. And I guess there are not too many ways to clearly say that!

Don't tell anyone, but I really like Bon Jovi, especially New Jersey. The band doesn't get a lot of respect but I always liked their metal meets country sound. Also, my first rock album was Bon Jovi, the first album. Before that, I didn't know anything about rock music! My dad worked at a school doing maintenance work, and he found the tape in the bathroom! When he heard it he didn't want it but I did! I was stunned by such stuff. The other tie I have is that when I was 13 and my dad died, I was in the middle of a project to make my own bunk bed. I finished it by myself, and I listened to New Jersey probably 50 times as I was drilling holes and painting stain and such. It was a very cathartic time, as you can imagine and the album is blasted into my mind in a way nobody else could understand, and I don't actually really give a crap what they understand. So... if it has impacted me then that's great I guess. Why not!!!

Thanks very much for the visit! See you soon on your next gem!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
Relic67 said 3767 days ago (May 24th, 2009)
Good one
Nice recording job on the acoustic guitar.
Vocals well done, harmonica sounds really nice.
it is a tad Neil Youngish in the best possible way.
I like how it ends. Good post!
Check out my latest song called Dead Archive
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Awesome to have you over
You're on my list of "hopefuls" for one day working together. I'm a fan of yours for sure.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
lengold said 3766 days ago (May 25th, 2009)
I really
love that soulful harmonica, fits the song perfectly.
I am not surprised that this is one of your favourites. Great song and performance.
Cheers
Len

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Pales
I'm telling you buddy Brenda Govenda is the SHITE! But my song is ok too I hope! I really like the harmonica, and I played it ok I hope. Like a lot of my efforts it was recorded pretty much live and improvised, so it may not be "perfect" but I am trying to seek the perfection of the accident. Like the way DNA formed in a pile of muck (so they say).
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
Livingstone said 3765 days ago (May 26th, 2009)
Wow Chron!!
I feel this tune deeply! the bass works the song , the acoustic strumming sets the tempo (nice), the harmonica at the beginning creates a lonesome tune.. then the guitar and Harm together!! great piece, Im gonna be listening to this one again and again for study in production and arraingment... Im impressed!! gimmiee more!!
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
The bass
and the slightly off timing, I actually agree. To me that is the real "song" under the hood. It's funny, because it's like two notes really. But that is how it is for me. I'm glad you noticed. I am really glad that you got the "lonely" image from the choice of instrument and the way the line was played. That's what I feel and want to try to make come alive.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
MarkHolbrook said 3763 days ago (May 28th, 2009)
Wow
Sorry to be so late! As far as the harmonic goes... are you sure you are just learning! I mean those are choice harmonica licks played by a pro... Man simply great!

The whole song is magnificent! Vocals great... Clean/crisp production... Guitar sounds great. Drums fit right in.

Top shelf all the way!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
chronologic said 3762 days ago (May 29th, 2009)
Welcome
Come on in. Late is fine by me! Please don't be shy! But you are too kind. I'm just trying to get better!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
ramonaji said 3746 days ago (June 14th, 2009)
This is GREAT!!!
I love it, fantastic work... MUCH enjoyed at this end!!!
Check out my latest song called Trump's America
chronologic said 3745 days ago (June 15th, 2009)
aw shucks
Thanks for stopping in.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
daibhre said 3742 days ago (June 18th, 2009)
Wish I could...
...but I can't. My voice just doesn't do that. The BonJovi/Niel Young comments are what came to my mind, too. Cool.
Check out my latest song called We Wish You Love
chronologic said 3742 days ago (June 18th, 2009)
probably the backwards strum
is the only real Bon Jovi link? I think they lead with that on that dead or alive song. But it is kind of burned in the mind of pop music listeners that were into 80's rock so I can see why it evokes the thought. I did it here just because I just liked the texture of it I guess. I don't know that I was really thinking about it.

As for the voice, I don't know how it works that way. I was just able to sing with the gravely style since I was young, and it has matured nicely I hope. I still can't really crank out the very high notes but I have found a nice slot I think. I don't have any idea what my actual range would be, as I have never had any professional training. I really don't like the super high singers as much anyway, I tend to place the high shots selectively for emphasis not sing the whole song that way. I think of myself as a cross between Eddie Vedder and Mike Ness I guess. But nobody ever mentions those names when they hear me! I guess I sound differently than I think I do! As long as it is bearable! Thanks for coming by.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
ElPeruano said 3738 days ago (June 22nd, 2009)
wow
its about time I stopped by to check out your music! You've been mighty helpful in the forums by the way. I appreciate it.

great tune!!!! the guitar sounds so rich and the way the harmonica cries is wonderful. vocals are grungy and fit the song really well.

what happens to the guy in the end? jk. ;)


Check out my latest song called you must be crazy
chronologic said 3735 days ago (June 25th, 2009)
the story

If I ever find out I'll be sure to post an update.... ;)

This song was almost an afterthought actually... it's pretty simple in construction but I like the style and the recording came off pretty good. Really I just wanted a chance to throw a harmonica in somewhere and this song popped out one day when I didn't expect it and seemed to fit the bill. I really appreciate your comments and stopping by. I have a really eclectic taste -- actually you might not believe it but I have done some of my songs in several versions... I may have a rap version and a folk acoustic version of the same song! I just experiment. But when it comes time to piece the album together I usually stick to the guitar-based folk/alternative or whatever it is. I am not huge into rap/hip hop but I have a few favs I always respected. KRS and Boogie Down is one of them, along with Public Enemy, Digable Planets, and YES PM Dawn. I actually love PM Dawn and Public Enemy the most. Chuck D is the man, I like his style. Crayola was awesome (not to mention 4 albums of coolness before that). I wish PM got more respect I always thought he put his heart into it and did his own thing, which is really the hard/honorable part. He is no poser, despite what they try to say. He's tops in my book! Anyway, it was nice to get an update from you. And thanks for stopping by.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
ElPeruano said 3733 days ago (June 27th, 2009)
you know
I actually am embarrassed to say I haven't heard much of either PM or Public Enemy (besides the infamous F*** the police..) PE is on almost every hip hop heads top influences though.. so I should really check that out...

as for eclectic tastes, Im the same way, although usually any given song will only take one form, but my catalog ranges a bit. Im really into the hip hop thing as of late, but if you check out my old songs youll notice some pretty different stuff. If I were to every release an album, it would most likely be in the hip hop genre and work as a cohesive piece, so I knøw what you mean. I'll definitely be checking back with your projects! take care
Check out my latest song called you must be crazy
chronologic said 3728 days ago (July 2nd, 2009)
Do check out Public Enemy
For sure, for sure. Their beats and their sounds are really cool, not repetitive mostly and very interesting. My favorite is still Apocalypse '91, the Enemy Strikes Black. The reason why is because everything just came together on that album, the beats are seriously "dope" as they say. PE mastered their style of using noises and other things to create a "cacophony of sound" that is mesmerizing. The band always used a live drummer (AFAIK) also and had an incredible stage presence. Flava-Flav was maybe just a little bit controversial, but his style complemented the band and ChuckD very well most of the time.

PM Dawn is incredible. I have every album from him including the very hard to find last album about the birth of his son Christian. I am not aware of any other. My favorite is still "the Bliss Album". But the first one (of the heart, the soul, the cross - or something like that) and the third (Jesus Wept) are also both cool. The first album was different in that it was almost somewhere in between spoken word, r&b, & hip hop. I still don't think ANYBODY else has done it quite like that -- PM was totally unique. The Bliss album is much more melodic, including a remake of "Norwegian Wood" by the Beatles! And PM did a great job on it. Again, I don't know any other band that sounds quite like PM Dawn, a very unique guy and he deserves much more credit and respect that I have seen him get. Listen to "Plastic" on the bliss album and you hear him defend himself, basically saying NO I WON'T SELLOUT. You tell me what you want me to be and I won't listen. If you really don't want a sell out, here I am. If you really do - move on, go find somebody else. Well, that didn't end up selling him records. But I respect the man. He IS truly a unique artist and his stuff was really cool.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
chronologic said 3728 days ago (July 2nd, 2009)
PE
"Muse Sick In Our Mess Age" is also really cool.... the next one after Apocalypse. After that the rap started to settle down, a little less "cacophony" and I started to get less interested. It was their unique brand and it started to fade. But don't get me wrong, still good stuff. Just not MY personal favorite. More like their early work and more like traditional rap and hip hop.
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
ElPeruano said 3718 days ago (July 12th, 2009)
school me homie!
school me homie! lol. those are both albums I'll have to pick up! right now im digesting some KRS-one (i got next) and the ROOTS (Organix). Its great to hear older albums and artists... you can really hear how they influence the younger guys.

see you around bud.
Check out my latest song called you must be crazy
Char said 3723 days ago (July 7th, 2009)
This is wonderfully
done. You are very good. Glad to come back again. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
chronologic said 3723 days ago (July 7th, 2009)
It's always nice to have a visitor!
Thanks!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
drakonis said 3723 days ago (July 7th, 2009)
nice nice stuff
Love the guitar/melody lines on this, strong stuff. The harmonica adds spice... and is very well played. Nice mix, easy to hear the words as you sing, but you also give authentic emotion in the delivery.
ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
chronologic said 3723 days ago (July 7th, 2009)
hi Drak
Thanks for the comment. Now, about your profile picture...it reminds me of something but I don't know what! Is it on purpose?
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
drakonis said 3723 days ago (July 7th, 2009)
profile picture...
I dunno what it reminds you of if *you* don't remember either! I'm not very good at reading minds when they are blank like that! :-) The psychedelic computer-generated photo was my "author picture" for a book I wrote a long time ago about 3D computer graphics, and it got swapped up here on MJ recently because of some trouble Sheila and Jack embroiled me in, and I was dared to leave it up awhile, so I have. :-) I'll switch it back out soon.

Check out my latest song called Miwok
chronologic said 3719 days ago (July 11th, 2009)
book
it is possible I have or had or at least viewed the POV-RAY book in a store. I have one called Ray Tracing Worlds but I don't think that one was yours. I bet seriously that I am remembering seeing your pic in the book!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
MotherofMeursault said 3721 days ago (July 9th, 2009)
Beautifully recorded
Good song; perfect length, too. I think you are a fellow who wears his heart and intentions very honestly on his sleeve.


Which makes laundry day for Mom very difficult!
Check out my latest song called Useful Idiots
chronologic said 3719 days ago (July 11th, 2009)
Mother mercy!
Yes I believe in being honest or genuine, I do try. I have a hard time picking favorites but the word "genuine" is really up there with my top words, maybe #1, in the dictionary.

It is kind of you to visit. Sorry to make your life difficult!
Check out my latest song called Walk with You
crissew said 3673 days ago (August 26th, 2009)
Very Awesome
I got more of an axl rose vocal myself in this song. Not so much Neil Young. Enjoyed and favd it
Check out my latest song called Runnin' On Empty
chronologic said 3673 days ago (August 26th, 2009)
crissew-ish
Dude thanks for stopping by! I think the Neil Young comment was referring to the writing and the harmonica, not so much the vocals. I get compared with Axl a lot and can do a pretty good impression if I try, but I have tried to have my own sound more than copy. But if I sound how I do and that is like him then maybe "that pandejo sounds like me". (in the words of Johnny Hickman... almost). I'm good with it!

http://www.lyricstime.com/cracker-what-you-re-missing-lyrics.html
http://www.rhapsody.com/cracker/forever/what-youre-missing


Check out my latest song called Walk with You
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Note: I am mostly checked out of MacJams right now. I am up to two little trouble-girls now and they keep me busy. Talk to you soon. This is the bio I pass around: ------------------------------------------------ At the young age of 12 JC... [see more]

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Genre Info
Folk-rock is a musical genre, combining elements of folk music and rock music. In the original and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and Canada around the mid-1960s. The sound was epitomized by tight vocal

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