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HeartSongs - 20170724

  • Written by  Marky Edison

Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Kim Ware from Americana/indie-folk collective Good Graces about their recent single ‘Remember The Old School’

"I'm a member of a Facebook group called Theme Music. I haven't been as active recently as I once was, but the group inspired about half the songs on the new album, including "Old School." The way the group works, once every two weeks we're assigned a new "theme" to either write a song based on or cover an existing song that fits it. Then you record and produce a video for the song, and post it to the group. "Old School" was inspired by an "Old / New" theme if I remember correctly. The title just popped into my head, followed by the idea of writing a song from the perspective of someone older who still plays music and perhaps doesn't feel like they are getting the recognition they deserve for it, but then remembers that what really counts is being passionate and honest about it. They aren't getting rich from it, but that's ok, and perhaps it's just as important that they realize that and understand what they ARE getting from it.

So it's sort of a song about saying, "Yeah, what I do might not be trendy or cool, but it's me, and I love it."

I guess it's a bit autobiographical in that sense, but I also wanted to add some humor to it, kind of make it my "Get off my lawn!" song. I think as we get older it's easy to fall into the, "My music is better than yours!" thing, and brush off anything new in favor of the music we used to listen to when we were growing up; I especially see it around country music. Folks pointing fingers at what's being played on Country radio but saying, "That's not "real" country!" I think that is so silly! I kind of wanted to poke fun at that, too. Near the end of the song, the lyrics in the chorus subtly reference one of my favorite bands, R.E.M. A lot of what I hear in current Americana / folk stuff they did with Automatic for the People, which is kind of amazing. That was 25 years ago! All of those things inspired the song in one way or another.

Initially, all I really knew was I wanted it to be very punk rock! Or at least more punk than anything else I had done. I felt like that genre fit the resentment and resignation that you speak of. Then when Jonny and I started putting it together, I referenced Rilo Kiley a bit in my head. I'm a big fan of their arrangements, and how some of their songs seem to have a strummy acoustic foundation but then incorporate a drum machine, or sometimes lean sort of punky, or at least have a little attitude. So I wanted the song to reflect all of those same elements.




We’ll make the rules up as we go

And we will break ‘em and nobody has to know

We’ll drive too fast, get there too late

And we’ll believe the others didn’t mind the wait

And we will try to cover up our worst mistakes

We’ll tempt our fate


Are we hanging out, or just hanging on

Have I forgotten all the words to my own song

I’m not expecting you to try to sing along

That would be so wrong



Yeah I may never be in fashion, I don’t know the latest trends

But at least I have the passion, or at least I can pretend


When every shoulder seems so cold

We’re not getting rich, we are only getting old

Our fingers bleed, our muscles hurt

Can’t see the shine underneath all our own dirt

And all the good guys never seem to finish first

And it just gets worse



Yeah we may never be in fashion, we don’t know the latest trends

But at least we have the passion, or at least we can pretend


We win the game, but lose the fight

We save the day, but we never spend the night

We only wanted someone there to hold us tight

It would be so right


We can’t go big, so we just go home

And then we stay up watching Netflix all alone

And we’d call a friend but we can’t find the phone

‘cause we’re too stoned



Yeah we may never be in fashion, we’ll never be that cool

But we’ll still talk about their passion, and remember the old school



Yeah I may never be in fashion, and I might look like a fool


But I’ll never lack the passion, ‘cause I remember the old school

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