I Remember Thinking (They Don't Even Live Here)

by @andygetch

Liner Notes

The lyrics to this song were written to the viewers prompt 'A song about a changing neighborhood' during the @unknownbecky one-hour-ish long songwriting Twitch stream https://www.twitch.tv/thisisbeckyw (see the video titled 'Mrs. Turner') so a sort of #feast or #skirmish. As I was writing lyrics I had mood chords in mind however the melody kept changing and I was doing my best not to unconsciously borrow melody ideas from the stream though I did work in a couple of the concept phrases discussed 'waiting in line', 'luxury condos'. The second take felt good enough for doubling with an #electric_guitar Garageband tremelo effect on one side and a sort of blended echo/reverb/compression/ #distortion effect on the other. Posting the general idea though there are a few rough spots.


Chorus 1
[A] I remember [E] thinking
our house had [D] been empty for a year
[A] Sidewalks were [E] crumbling
41 traffic [D] rumbling
We decided to [G] move in

[Am] Roads are under constant [Em] construction
Told it's gonna be [G] better
New water and [D] sewer lines
[Am] Serving future [Em] citizens
They don't even [C] live here

Chorus 2
[A] I remember [E] thinking
our house was [D] the biggest on the block
[A] Sidewalks were [E] replaced
41 overpass [D] moving traffic
Widening to [G] 6 lanes

[Am] For sale signs going up taken [Em] down
before the [G] paint is dry
[Am] Realtors blowing up balloons set up an [Em] open house
For a place with [G] broken windows
Not even a [D] porch garage or pool
[Am] People standing [Em] in line
They don't even [C] live here

Bridge (3/4 time)
[C] Meanwhile back in my [F] home state
Hardly [G] nothings changed
Except new hotels by the interstate
And a [Am] Wal Mart by the overgrown ballfield
[C] Closing all the small [F] businesses
Repressed and angry [G] so strange
To be driving those crumbling streets again
They were newer the way I remember
I feel the [Am back to 4/4] desperate vibrations start again

then its time to [C] leave
For home where [G] there's
[Am] New luxury condos and McMansion's under [Em] construction
Telling us it's gonna be [G] better
New roads and [D] overpasses
[Am] Serving future [Em] citizens
They don't even [C] live here

Half chorus 3
[A] I remember [E] thinking
Things were gonna get [D] better


The somber, unsettled tone of the lyrics fits the autopan and reverb treatment you've applied here. Some unusual tricks with the changing time that also work well to keep interest going - message recieved!


Yeah, change is not always for the better. It can be hard to go back and look at an old neighborhood. Very relatable lines in this. Cool prompt.


Whoa, getting dizzy in the headphones!
Your lyrics remind me of my daughter's neighbourhood; until recently she had a literal crackhouse across the street. Now it's been turned into a high-end luxury home.
And my small town in the past few years has had its population doubled by quickly-built subdivisions covering the farmland.
Oh man, your words are so sad. Melancholy and nostalgic.
I really like this one a lot.


Wow, I love your take on this prompt! I especially love how you took the bridge into 3/4. That was such a cool feel, and really helped emphasize the stark images in your bridge. I'm gonna have to remember that trick and try it some time!


Love the title. And the tremolo effect is wicked in headphones. Clever song!


Cool progress for a skirmish! I especially like the lyrics cause I never hears a song about real estates and city planning. The build is super cool and I like the change of signature.

I hope you don't mind a technical comment. I'd split the strumming guitar from the picking part, route the tremolo to the picking part only (setting as is). If you want a tremolo effect on the faster parts, you can try to record another guitar with full strums only on chord changes or full bars and pass it through tremolo. On vocals, I'd be very careful and implement as send. This could clean up the mix and keep the dreamy psychedelic vibe. I think this song is a keeper!


I have to agree with this being a fantastic yet melancholy protest song. The doubled up effects are well... super effective. Mind bending in the headphones, but sounds great in the stereo as well.

In the morning (a few short hours from now) I have to go to a little town that even 10 years ago had a pretty vibrant downtown with all sorts of little mom and pop stores and shops, and now it's all box stores, chain restaurants, casinos, and hotels right by the interstate.


This is a great protest song, Andy. "Progress" is not always for the better!