SONG: Good People Grow


“Good People Grow” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Science 29 Sep 2022, “This lagoon is effectively a person, says Spanish law that’s attempting to save it,” as used in the post “Legally, this Spanish lagoon is now a person, with all the rights a person has.

A day and a half late, but I think it sounds pretty good.

This was a song that had an early start, but then went through a whole strange transmogrification that threw all my momentum off, but wound up being for the best. Three weeks ago, this was a mostly ambient soundtrack piece that would have been more than five minutes long, based around a gender (that gamelan instrument I used last month) playing a descending progression in D minor, with a lot of floaty synth pads way down low in the scale.

Well, there’s a D minor progression in this, and the bass is a synth track with a delay on it, but a Beatles earworm killed pretty much everything else. What happened was “It’s Only Love,” a song I used to play out when I played out on my own, got lodged in my head and wouldn’t get out, so I just sat down on a different laptop than I usually use for music and, in an effort to exorcise the song, programmed a drum track for it, with changes at all pre-chorus and chorus bits. That mostly worked. I moved that track, which was made with a Windows-friendly drum VST called “MT PowerKit,” back to my Linux laptop and couldn’t get that VST to work in here at all. So just took the MIDI and made it work with the SoundFont drums I had, and, ha ha, added a second track with a basic beat triggering tom and snare hits sampled from Abbey Road.

The progression transformed itself to fit this new skeleton, and a lead guitar riff suggested itself (which I started to hate after I realized it was basically the bastard child of the main riffs from “Watching the Detectives” by Elvis Costello and “Crazy On You” by Heart. Then I grew to love the bastard child again. The chorus flip-flopped around until an F worked its way in there and all was fine. Except the story.

Writing words… well, they almost got done in time. I had the first line, and a thought that it would be a story about a divorce or at least a strained relationship between a narrator and a lagoon which was also a person. I mean, once a place is legally a person, I think that means marriage and prenups can enter the picture. I’ve known some places I would marry….

Anyway, there was another bit of lines about fiddler crabs being the lawyers who leave nothing but bones but it seemed too mean, too cliched. And nothing scanned right. So I stuck with the person who is a place, and the idea that you can have friends who you keep inside you *literally* when you’re a place, and that’s an encouraging idea.

Along the way, I got earwormed by another bunch of 1960s songs, thanks to the A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs episode on “Waterloo Sunset.” So I had Ray Davies and maybe a little of the Village Green Preservation Society echoing in my head when the lyrics finally came out.

For the final mixing, although the vocals are genuinely double-tracked for the choruses, I’d like to thank the makers of the Martin Duet effect, which made the lead guitar and the vocal mix sound as much like I wanted it as possible, given all the usual hurdles with after-hours bedroom recording.

Now a couple of penitential covers.

And I know I’m going to be out of internet contact for more than two weeks around the time the next original is due… not sure what I’m going to do about that quite yet, but I’ll come up with something.


When you’re a place you never have to look someone in the eye
A range on a map never cares who stares and who says goodbye

You’re never lonely as long as you’re alive
Hide your friends somewhere inside
But good people grow

Good people grow / in shoots with roots deep underneath
Good people grow / like coral heads in ocean beds
Good people grow…

When you’re a place you’ll never be able to run away
When they tear things down, they break new ground at the break of day

No one wants to take a stand
Without a claim to own this land

But good people grow / in shoots with roots deep underneath
But good people grow / like coral heads in ocean beds
Good people grow…

Good people grow…