In keeping with the rich tradition of lyric misinterpretation, some listeners got an entirely different meaning from my tune "The Well" than I thought I had written into it. I took the discrepancy as a success and a sort of game. If the meaning is specific to me but open enough to a different perspective then maybe it's worth more.
Parsing meaning doesn't have to be a laborious or scholarly pursuit. It serves in the realm of puns, double entendre, and the ever popular innuendo. I once heard the songwriter M. Ward turn one of his lines, "I'm not your chestnut, I'm not your mole, I'm not your DJ on late night radio" (from his tune "I'll be Yr. Bird"), into a pop-culture reference "I ain't Vic Chesnutt, I ain't Bob Mould..." (dearly departed Vic). Point is, the listener has an important role that insures that the songwriter doesn't work away for nothing.
Misunderstandings have made for classic literature and classic situation comedies. We need to understand each other but we fail. We're at odds with ourselves let alone each other but that doesn't have to be a discomfort. Can it be comforting to be reminded that we all experience moments which are perfectly clear to us and absolutely clearly something else to someone else? Is that clear? We're aliens together.
I guess the artist's job is to be clear in what they're expressing. If you are you, then why should someone else have any say over how you are? This question is built into the song. But really I just wrote it instinctively and pretty quickly. I often find the tunes that come out all at once without a lot of self-judging and self-editing along the way frequently capture not only a central idea but the background noise -- which is what generates the need to express the central idea in the first place. --Philip Lynch
"The Well" was originally released as part of Philp's EP Four Songs (WBR 03) before this website was launched. But as Workbench's partnership with Masterdisk was developing, it occurred to me that it was time to give each tune a feature, in the hopes of finding a wider audience for them, and because they could be presented in better sound than before. I remixed "The Well" as there were a couple of things that had been bugging me about the original version on Four Songs, and then I sent it over to Scott Hull at Masterdisk for finishing touches. Scott made a couple of suggestions, which led to a little further tweaking in the mix, and the end result is a tremendous improvement on the original. As with last week's track, "Astral Law", this is music that has a wide dynamic range. The mp3s, in my opinion, sound damn good, but the FLAC files are even better. --James Beaudreau