SONG: Great Big Love


“Great Big Love” [Download]
. (available as .ogg here)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on The Guardian, 28 Feb 2024, “Humpback sex photographed for first time – and both whales were male,” as used in the post Humpback sex photographed for the first time – and it’s gay.

This story was the obvious choice, I think, for a song this month. I mean, whales in love!

I consulted with my beloved spouse when working on the first draft of the lyrics, because she’s an Asian drama junkie and is always glad to lecture me on the finer points of something about which I know very little, which in this case was the tropes of the boy-love genre. Friends-into-lovers, enemies-into-lovers, forced proximity, “gay for you” … we ran down a whole bunch of them.

Then I wrote them all down, made it all rhyme, and realized I had to cut half of it just to keep this from being my “Last Trip to Tulsa” (Neil Young fans will know what I mean).

This, then, is a boy-love anthem for some of the largest animals ever to exist on Earth, our intelligent neighbors to the seas. I recorded nearly everything you hear except the drums using real-live instruments. I broke out my old, quirky, kit-built theremin for the solo. There are two SoundFont tracks in the outro – a contrabass to add some extra low end (because these are whales, after all) and some mostly indistinct “ooh-oohs” from a soul-vocals voice inside the Timbres of Heaven set. I am sort of visualizing them as krill swirling around our two theremin-channel (left and right) main characters.

Everything from the solo onward brings me intense joy. I intended to fade it out in the 1970s FM ballad style, but I couldn’t bear to — the last 10 seconds made me too happy. So here it is, in its seven-and-a-half-minute splendor. I can’t tell if the music to this owes more to Sebadoh, Lou Reed, Weezer, Pedro the Lion, or being exposed to leaded gasoline during the key years of brain formation. I like to think the whales would understand it. Maybe. I wish them every happiness, and apologize if this seems intrusive. It’d be a good album closer, if I ever assembled any of these songs into albums.


Vs: E-E-C#-C#-A/F#-A/E-A/F#-A/E (x2)
Pre-C – B-B-A-A B-B-A-A A-A
CH – E-E-B-B-A-A-A-A x2 , E-E-C#-C#-A-A-B-B E….
70 BPM

We can take things oh, so slowly
We should stay on our own sides
But blue, blue shadows crowd around us in the deep
You never leave a man behind

I know this isn’t really you
I get tired of fighting too

But we all need a great, big love
There are oceans in your eyes
We all need great, big love
To swim inside

Maybe you can find safe harbor
In distant echoes of my voice
If we have to stick together
Then we don’t really have a choice

This isn’t really like me
To look the way I look at you

CH: (x2)
But we all need a great, big love
In the oceans in your eyes
We all need great, big love
To swim inside
We all need a great, big love (x3)