I'm Writing A Novel - Father John Misty

from the album Fear Fun (2012)

Master songwriters have the ability to use visual imagery in their opening lines to set the scene and hook the listener.

Bob Dylan is always stellar, with openings like "Early one morning the sun was shining, I was laying in bed / Wondering if she changed at all, if her hair was still red."  Willie Dixon offered "Gypsy woman told my mother, before I was born / You got a boy child coming, he's gonna be a son of a gun."

Bob Marley spoke for an entire race with "Old pirates yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ship / Minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pit."  And then there is a personal favorite from Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five "Broken glass everywhere, people pissin' in the streets, you know they just don't care."

Of all the new music I've listened to lately, none firmly plants and image in my head like this opening to I'm Writing A Novel by Father John Misty:

I ran down the road, pants down to my knees
Screaming "Please come help me, that Canadian Shaman gave a little too much to me"

Oh my.  Image firmly planted.  Glad he is comfortable singing about it.

I dig Father John Misty for creating a modern hippie vibe that makes me want to load up the VW camper and head for the mountains. His songwriting craft allows him to channel great '60's threads while remaining current.  The thread that runs thru this song winds back in time, past a psychedelic San Francisco, touching classic other songs like Last Train To Clarksville and The Ballad of John And Yoko.  That ain't easy.

I also dig the sound of the instrumental performances, both for their technique and their tone.  The strumming of the acoustic guitar, the banging on the piano keys, and the beautiful sustain on the organ are masterfully recorded and add to the experience.  Climb in the camper and enjoy the ride.

Click Here for a live version from Jimmy Kimmel Live

Click Here for a live version from played at a Portland, Oregon radio station


  1. That one part totally sounds like The Ballad of John and Yoko...fun song!

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