I was just a kid when I wrote this.
To the best of my ability to remember, I think it’s about my first puppy love broken heart.
The two women who would probably think they knew who it was about would be mistaken, in all likelihood, because once my brief but tragically deep bout of puppy love was over, I put Donna out of my mind as completely as I could… and, happily, in those days I had a lot of distractions.
But when I was in the middle of it… oh boy. I felt — repeat after me, kids — like someone had reached into my chest and ripped out my heart. (There must be an endocrine gland somewhere in the human body which secretes a hormone that produces that precise feeling — since that phrase pops up in every third account of a broken heart. But, cliche or not, that’s pretty well how I felt.)
Now… in the song, the kid, the protagonist, my alter ego, appears to have somehow caused some sort of blip on The Other’s emotional radar — certainly he refers to it.
But the reality was a bit different, I’m afraid. Sure, Donna made some gentle but firm noises about how breaking up with me was hard for her, too, but it was painfully clear to me that she was moving on and not looking back.
And in a few months, she was barely a blip on my emotional radar.
You couldn’t say that about the next two women in my life… they both owned me entirely — in very different ways — for many years after that… It seemed like whichever was farthest away haunted me. When one was in Morocco and the other was here… my mind was in Morocco. When the first was home and the second was in Germany… I fantasized about showing up on her doorstep in Bad Kreuznach. I obsessed.
And then they were both gone.
I didn’t really know what to do or what to think…
In time, I kind of moved on.
I think this is the oldest song I’ve posted here. I used to consider it the second “keeper” I’d written. I think I performed it the very first time I played in front of an audience. (It was just a lunchtime open mic at my university — but it was about five years before I should have played in front of an audience. I was pathetic. And I say that with the dispassionate distance that more than three decades of playing in front of all kinds of audiences brings. I was truly pathetic. Ya hadda be there.)
As I got a few more finished songs in my folio, this one got kicked into the needs-work file and… like so many denizens of that of that spottedly sunny but ultimately purgatorially gloomy kingdom… it never got finished. Until Now. I changed a chord (or maybe not… I barely remember) and I’m calling that done. It has almost no words? So be it.
[The photo of me in this post is actually about 15 years later, not long after I’d come out of performance retirement to begin playing again as a solo.]
I Was Just a Kid
I was just a kid who’d memorized some lines
I never dreamed I would hurt you
you said we couldn’t run from the pain that would come
now you wear that pain
and it suits you
we picked up out places in the game that went before
the path lay in lies to be burned through
if I could run back home I would lay me back down
and suckle at the breast of virtue
(C) 1972, TK Major