Monday, September 6, 2010

CHRONIC TOWN: GARDENING AT NIGHT

There are two versions of this song lyrically.  Why?  The lyrics have evolved.  In the official Chronic Town recording and the later Eponymous release there are a couple of discrepencies.  It mostly centers around pronouns, but the line after "...busy in the rows" seems to be different in each version.  This is, I think, the beginning of Stipe and company changing little bits of a word or line in a song when there is a repeated phrase.  There are numerous examples in the songs to come.  For all intents and purposes, Stipe sings "we (or I) fell up" live, this therefore has become the correct lyric.  I have emboldened and italicized the changes on the second version.

This song is one of the earliest REM wrote.  They had been playing it on the early Tyrone's recordings with much the same structure.  It has to do with one of the eccentrics in Athens who would literally garden at night.  I used to think it was about gambling ... who knew? 

GARDENING AT NIGHT (Chronic Town version)
I see your money on the floor, I felt the pocket change the wall
The feelings that broke through that door just didn’t seem to be too real
The yard is nothing but a fence, the sun just hurts my eyes
Somewhere it must be time for penitence, gardening at night is never where

Gardening at night, gardening at night, gardening at night

The neighbors go to bed at two
Call the prayer line for a change
The charges changing every month
They said it couldn’t be arranged

We had got up the garbage sound, but they were busy in the rows
They were not to see the sun, gardening at night just didn’t grow
I see your money on the floor, I felt the pocket change the wall
The feelings that broke through that door just didn’t seem to be too real

Gardening at night, gardening at night, gardening at night

You’re sister said that you’re too young
They should know they’ve been there twice
The call was 10 and 51
They said it couldn’t be arranged

I see your money on the floor, I felt the pocket change the wall
The feelings that broke through that door just didn’t seem to be too real
We had got up the garbage sound, but they were busy in the rows
We fell up not to see the sun, gardening at night just didn’t grow

Gardening at night, gardening at night, gardening at night


GARDENING AT NIGHT (Eponymous) (Recent live variation Italicized)
I see your money on the floor, I felt the pocket change the wall
The feelings that broke through that door just didn’t seem to be too real
The yard is nothing but a fence, the sun just hurts my eyes
Somewhere it must be time for penitence, gardening at night is never where

Gardening at night, gardening at night, gardening at night

The neighbors go to bed at two (TEN)
Call the prayer line for a change
The charges changing every month
They said it couldn’t be arranged

He had got up the garbage sound, but they were busy in the rows
He failed (WE FELL UP) not to see the sun, gardening at night just didn’t grow
I see your money on the floor, I felt the pocket change the wall
The feelings that broke through that door just didn’t seem to be too real

Gardening at night, gardening at night, gardening at night

You’re sister said that you’re too young
She should know she’s been there twice
The call was 10 (TWO) and 51
They said it couldn’t be arranged

He had got up the garbage sound, but they were busy in the rows.
He failed (WE FELL UP) not to see the sun, gardening at night just didn’t grow.
The yard is nothing but a fence, the sun just hurts my eyes.
Somewhere it must be time for penitence, gardening at night is never where.

Gardening at night, gardening at night, gardening at night.

This song took a while to sink in.  I have to thank the numerous recordings on You Tube of Peter Buck's hand movements.  I mentioned that I was going to post a version of this that you could play with one finger, but I will not bore you with dashes.  It can be played as a second guitar line along with the basic chord structure.  This is what I think we hear on the Chronic Town recording:  with high E tuned to D, start on the B and slide down 8-7-5-3-1, for the verse on the G slide these notes: 7-5-7-4-7-6-7-6-7.  You can play the whole song this way and it's fun, but why not play it like this ...

Gardening at Night
Pre-Intro: x4
e|-------------------|
B|-------------------|
G|----2---4-2-0-2----|
D|-00---0------------|
A|-------------------|
E|-------------------|

Intro and Outro: x4                  2nd Guitar: High e tuned to d
e|-3-2-0-0-0------0-0-0-0-0--|
B|-0-0-0-3-1------8-7-5-3-1--|
G|-0-0-0-0-0-----------------|
D|-5-4-2-0-2-----------------|
A|-------2-3-----------------|
E|-------3-0-----------------|

Verse: x2
D5-C-G(add B)
e|-0-0-0--00000000000000-----|
B|-3-1-3--33333333222323-----|
G|-2-0-4--00000000000000-----|
D|---2-0---------------------|
A|---3-2---------------------|
E|---0-3---------------------|

Chorus:
     "Gardening at night ... "
e|-0-0-0-0--|
B|-3-3-2-3--|
G|-2-0-2-2--|
D|----------|
A|----------|
E|----------|

Bridge: Picked x4
   "The neighbors go to bed at two ... "
e|-0-0---|
B|-3-2---|
G|-4-2---|
D|-------|
A|-------|
E|-------|

Riff to Verse:
"..arranged ..."
e|-0000000000000000---|
B|-3333333322222220---|
G|-0000000000000000---|
D|--------------------|
A|--------------------|
E|--------------------|

Riff to Outro:
e|----------|
B|-3/5/6/5--|
G|-2/4/5/4--|
D|----------|
A|----------|
E|----------|

End:
e|-------3---|
B|-------3---|
G|-4-2-4-0---|
D|-------0---|
A|-------2---|
E|-------3---|

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