Ep. 48: Song “Elephant In The Room” (Influenced by Kelly Clarkson)

This week, I’m sharing a track called “Elephant In The Room” from my upcoming album, which should be out this fall.

Most of the time when I write songs, I start off by playing something on the guitar or piano, then come up with some sort of melody on top of it, then add lyrics. This song is a little different, in that I had the melody in my head and come up with lyrics before I even picked up a guitar. Then, I kind of figured out what the chords were gonna be after the fact. I think because of this, the melody is a little stronger than some of my other songs.

I always thought the phrase “elephant in the room” was sort of funny expression. The image I get in my head of an actual elephant is sort of cartoony like dumbo or something and I thought it made an interesting phrase for a song. I think most of us can relate to being in awkward situations where people sort of pretend things are normal when they aren’t. I also liked the idea of using other phrases that have both a literal image and metaphorical meaning so I say things like “sitting on my hands” and “holding my tongue” and “getting under my skin” – phrases that we say all the time but don’t really think about literally but they all kind of fit with the theme.

As I thought more about the arrangement for the studio recording, the Kelly Clarkson song “Since U Been Gone” came to mind. I specially like the guitar strums and drum machine at the beginning and how big and catchy the chorus is.

That was sort of the idolized type of pop arrangement I had in my head. I quickly realized I don’t really have the vocal power to pull it off plus the production was a bit outside my usual territory. As worked on it, it sort of morphed into sounding a bit more like Nada Surf.

With those two influences in mind, I think I was able to come up with something fairly catchy that both fit my vocals and stayed true to my sound.

Lyrics:
There’s an elephant in the room, nobody says a word
And when I say it now out loud it sounds so absurd
I’ve done everything that I can to try and let it go
And now it’s getting under my skin and starting to show

Well I’ve tried this a million different ways
It’s not like me to admit to my mistakes
But I just can’t get the words to come out right

Well I’m not gonna be here any more
Cause every time I take a step I fall to the floor
And I’m not hanging round here for the score
It’s just with everything that I give you’re asking for me

There’s an elephant in my head knocking at the door
And it’s getting much too loud for me to ignore
I keep sitting on my hands, trying to hold me tongue
I think I waited far too long but I could be wrong

Well I’ve tried this a million different ways
It’s not like me to admit to my mistakes
But I just can’t get the words to come out right

Well I’m not gonna be here any more
Cause every time I take a step I fall to the floor
And I’m not hanging round here for the score
It’s just with everything that I give you’re asking for me

Well I’ve tried this a million different ways
It’s not like me to admit to my mistakes
But I just can’t get the words to come out right

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