I Meant To Remember  –  listen[mp3]

This mix is slightly different than the one on Songfight. I tamed the big 200Hz G bass-note, so it should sound better in the car.

A couple of points:

NOTE: This song is on Waking Up In August, remixed and properly mastered.

STORY

You can see Waifer smiling in the picture to the right. A little smirk that says “I’ve just napped for 18 hours.”

Sarah’s family found Waifer at Christmas in 1983, huddled under their lake-side cottage. She was a stray kitten, and she’d survived alone even through the first snow. Muskoka turns much colder come January, though, so Waif was fortunate that the family spent Christmas at the lake.

By all accounts, the experience left her not the worse for wear, but stronger. When I met Waifer, she had already lived a life time, yet my first impression was “who’s the kitten?” I remember it vividly: At 14, she was still spry and skinny. I don’t recall my second impression, but it was probably “who’s making all that noise?” Noise was her thing, I learned. There are two constants in the years I’ve known Waif: summers at the lake; and her ability to command the attention of every living thing within earshot.

Much changed in that time, too. I watched her age, and lose the spring in her step, and maybe put on a few pounds. And I got to know her. When she moved in with Sarah and I four years ago, I found myself caring about her more than I expected. I warmed her food for her. I made sure she saw the vet for checkups. I arranged a bed in the car so she’d be comfortable on our summer drives to the lake.

In fact, I’ve even come to think of her as a friend. She’s certainly brought out the worst in me the way only a friend can. I wrote before, about her wailings, “I won’t miss you when you’re gone.” It wasn’t a very nice thing to say, Sarah told me. “Yeah,” I thought, “but she’s so loud, and she wakes me up every night! What’s to miss? … ”

The truth is, I suspected then what I now know: I miss her terribly.

Sarah and I said goodbye to Waifer on March 31st. She was 22 years old, which is a long time even in human years, and I think Waif was simply ready. This song is about returning her one last time to the lake at which she spent so much of her life, that she might rest in peace with the trees and the summer nights and the moonlight.

LYRICS
It’s a long day gone, there’s something in the wind.
I swear I saw you come back again.
3 years on the pattern stays the same:
you keep waking me up

You were wide-eyed girl, lovely as the day.
There’s nothing but a summer night smells this way.
I hear your song out among the trees,
you still callin’ to me …

  Did it mean a lot,
  the way you looked when I promised half the world?
  I didn’t mean it all,
  but I meant to remember you smiling, girl.

And where there’s smoke, there’s fire,
but I could never tell:
You’d had enough when you stopped and fell.
So all we are is everything we do.
You found the worst in me too.

  Did it mean a lot,
  the way you looked when I promised half the world?
  I didn’t mean it all,
  but I meant to remember you smiling, girl

There’s a soul at peace,
out above the lake.
Under the moonlight I’m sure she’s safe.
But there’s no word for all the pain I feel.

  Did it mean a lot,
  the way you looked when I promised half the world?
  I didn’t mean it all,
  but I meant to remember you smiling, girl


This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2005 at 1:15 pm and is filed under Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses to “I Meant To Remember”

  1. SaxManRunning on May 14th, 2005 at 12:04 pm :

    Man, the story helps understand things. Your Songs are amazing, I listen to every one on songfight. You’re definatly my favorite artist. Even though you don’t have any horns going in there ;-)

  2. Don Smith on May 18th, 2005 at 3:26 pm :

    I’m right there with ya SaxMan. I’m a huge Deshead fan. I have all the tracks on my MP3 player and even though they share the 5 Gig with other music, they definitely see the most action. I always thought my main influences would be popular radio/video bands … guess not. Thanks Des, keep rockin’!

  3. MissA-Z on June 7th, 2005 at 4:38 pm :

    This is possibly my favorite deshead song. I’m a big fan of yours, why aren’t you famous?

  4. David Siegfried on June 7th, 2005 at 9:02 pm :

    Good Question, why arn’t you famous, you rock me so hard, bolthoph and I are starting a fan club.

  5. des on June 8th, 2005 at 2:43 pm :

    Thanks so much guys.

  6. Annie on August 1st, 2005 at 2:08 pm :

    Des,
    I have a family band in Southern CA, USA. It consists of myself, 5 siblings, and two extras. My brother put out a cd a couple years back, folksy, bluesy, classic rock styles (loafstuff.com)and he’s currently working on a new project. But the cd sound is totally different from when we play in public. We play a variety of ‘cover’ songs in a couple local restaurants. Most of our shows have been private parties(including a few for the mayor of our city) and charity events.
    Anyway, would you ever consider giving permission to anyone to "cover" your music?
    I absolutely love your style. And love the story behind "I meant to Remember" as I’ve had similar experiences with my pets. No big deal, Just thought I’d ask! Have a good day and keep on making music!

    Annie Spencer
    p.s. I love that your stuff isn’t "over-produced". Keep it pure…it’s magical!

  7. des on August 7th, 2005 at 5:28 pm :

    Annie, thanks very much. And absolutely, you can cover the song. I should make it more explicit that all my stuff is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/…

  8. Stan on May 11th, 2007 at 12:29 pm :

    It would be a pleasure to consider the licensing as being the final recording step and setup process, along with that batch of strong margaritas. 1/2 tequila, 1/2 mixer. A splash of blue curacao. Now there’s something I meant to remember, and did!