Get It Right-A Request for Forgiveness

Why must I view life so pessimistically,
Leave only destruction in my wake?
Deep inside she may still be missing me.
I dropped the stone that made her heart break.
Chorus A
And (But) I never seem to get it right.
I’m called upon
To write these songs
Deep in the night
And I wonder why.
I learned more about her in a few short hours
Than I imagined in the months that we dated.
I  never even once bought her flowers.
It took years to realize who I hated.
Chorus A
Chorus B
I could never love her.
I could never give her
What she needed from me.
She was so patient with my trying ways
And I was too young to admit it.
She grappled with my most persistent phase.
With no help from me, she kept it lit.
Chorus A
I was young and proud, but I feel neither now.
The drought that followed her lasted years.
I learned a lesson well that only time will allow
And punctuate the verse with my tears.
Chorus A/ Chorus B/ Solo verse/ Chorus A
A love by anyone should not be treated so light.
The penalty is dark isolation.
So I sit alone on these silent nights
Longing for misplaced adulation.
Chorus A/ Chorus B/ Solo verse/ Chorus A

This song was written about a girl I broke up with. We were working in a drive-in theatre (remember those) in the Summer of 1982. I was still nursing a broken heart and she ‘consoled’ me. We dated for a while, but I wasn’t very interested in a long-term relationship. We dated through the fall and winter into the Spring of 1983. I still remember the bouquet of heart-shaped balloons she gave me for Valentine’s Day. I was pretty screwed up emotionally and I thought it would be an interesting experience to break off a relationship rather than be dumped for a change…so I dumped her. To make a long and painful story short, I regretted what I had done and the whole experience festered inside me for almost 3 years before I wrote this song as a sort of apology to her (she’s never heard it) and also because it really did bother me so much I couldn’t sleep that night until I’d written the whole song. I did talk to her once since we broke up. She was still pretty pissed off…and rightly so.

I’m sorry, I screwed up, I learned something, and I never forgot. I want forgiveness.
Musically, the song is fairly ambitious. It’s based on a finger-picked guitar with some tasty strings laid over the chorus and three-part harmonies. It doesn’t really sound like “Lilliput”, but the structure is almost identical with the diverging guitar countermelodies (it’s even in the same key). The last chorus is pretty rough, but I left it that way to emphasize the theme of the song (…never seem to get it right.).
The song was recorded in my parent’s home in Southwestern Pennsylvania on Wayne Ackman’s TEAC Tascam 4-track. I had also borrowed a polyphonic synthesizer from my friend JD Taylor for the strings and solos.
I played all the instruments and sang all three harmonies.
Originally recorded in 4-track mono. Mixed to stereo cassette (2-track) in 1986. Re-engineered to digital from the stereo mixdown using Cool96 September 1999

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