Quite possibly, the greatest valentine for not-one's-significant-other is "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos, which successfully won Patti Boyd Harrison, wife of Beatle George Harrison, over to Eric Clapton. I like to think that this song is in a similar vein: a desperate plea from a lovesick fool who is otherwise restricted from total romantic access to their beloved.
While, technically, I have no significant other, I decided to create a hypothetical situation in which I was going steady with someone and spied someone much more fascinating. This led me to seeking inspiration from Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series "Scott Pilgrim" and the film based on that series. Part of the title of the first book, "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life," is borrowed for the title of the song because I liked the idea that love, like many things, can fall into the realm of habit and security and that some people cling to their precious little (love) lives like Linus and his blanket.
Rather than making the song explicitly about the titular character's girlfriend Ramona Flowers, I boiled her meaning to Scott down to its essence: the girl you find so striking, mysterious, and lovely that you become addicted to the mere thought of her. That said, I did include some references to the novels, namely how they met, the fact that Ramona skates through Scott's dreams, and Scott being part of a "sucky" band.
In writing this, I became concerned that I may not make it on time. Earlier in the week, my job forced me to work in late one day, severely cutting into my writing time. By the time I had a written song and was about to begin recording, it was Friday and the song was due that Sunday. It also reminded me how much work it is to record a song by yourself because you have to learn and relearn your song four or five times for each instrument!
Dragged into some friend's lame party
Saw you by a wall, glancing at me
We had an awkward chat or two
Before you left
But in that span of time
I found that I was gobsmacked and obsessed
I cannot keep you, girl
From skating through my dreams each day and night
I need you in my world
Regardless if I have to go and fight
Armies to make you mine
'Cause now I'm bored with my precious little life
Suddenly, my mind's bursting with plans
I'll take you out to see my sucky band
I'll need to make a couple of
Changes before it's time
The real trick is how
I'll break up with that other girl of mine
I'm not some cheating louse, you see
But how to do it amicably?
Even though I know what's in my heart
I just know my world will tear me apart
It might be simpler
If I just forget you
But maybe simple isn't
What I need to make my dreams come true
from SpinTunes #4: Round 2,
released February 14, 2012
Words and Music by Hazen Nester
Vocals, guitars, and sequencing by Hazen Nester
Drum Loops by Logic
I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).