the story behind: “come round again”

I started out writing a totally different song. It happens sometimes — you have an idea, it feels like it’s going somewhere, then you get lost in the middle of the second verse and you’re not sure what you’re talking about anymore. As Leonard Cohen says, the thing is that the bad lines take as much effort as the good ones. So what do you do if you wind up in a song full of bad lines? Well, you cannibalize the good ones and write a different song entirely.

I had read this “Bonnie & Clyde”-style story about a couple who went on a crime spree in the Halton Hills area. Their glorious haul included a floor safe from PetSmart, several spools of copper wire, a purse stolen from a realtor, another purse stolen from a dentist’s office, and a wallet that was stolen from a medical centre. It struck me as the most small-town crime spree I’d ever heard. I had just begun a songwriting challenge thingamajig from a songwriter’s group that I follow, and the challenge for the week was to write a song with two chords. I sat at the piano and started playing the chorus, found a melody, and just in the act of trying to find some words that fit the melody I began singing: “Love is going to come round again”.

I took a little side jaunt trying to find a different lyric, but nothing else fit so nice, so I thought about these two characters, and what they had been through, and for some reason a story emerged in my head. This song finds the characters after one has fled the country and the other is now getting out of prison having taken the fall. Will they find love again? Will it all go right, this time? Will love come round again???

And to go back to the song that I cannibalized — it had the line that starts this song: “If Rio is really the city of your dreams / Well, nothing’s better there but it’s better than it seems.” It neatly fit the story, the melody, and the vibe of the song. Even if love doesn’t come round again, lyrics do.

One other funny sidebar: when I posted a demo of this song to the songwriter’s group as my two-chord song someone critiqued the first two lines of the second verse (which are: “Well part of me is honest, and part of me is false / Part of me has trouble returning your calls”). They said it seemed like I had the second line and that I shoehorned the first line in just to make the rhyme work. Nothing could be further from the truth! I had the first line down and the second line was the shoehorn.

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