Today for Music Monday, I wanted to talk about the song “So Long You Pretty Thing” by Spiritualized.
I thought that maybe for my music Mondays, I’d start giving you little stories that accompany the songs.
When I first heard this song in 2012, I was going through a difficult time. The whole first part of the song really spoke to me.
Help me, Lord,
Help me, Jesus,
Cause I’m hurting inside,
Help me, Lord,
It ain’t easy,
Cause I’m living a lie.
I spent the majority of my twenties trying to “make it” as a musician as I’ve blogged about before. But in 2014 on my 29th birthday, I played my “final show” in the context of trying to “make it” as a musician in Atlanta. I was hanging up my hat, so to speak.
I booked some of my best friends in the Atlanta music scene to play before and after me that night–the band, Finster, and Juliana Finch. And I had my Pocket the Moon partner, Geoff Goodwin, and Noah Dennis accompany me on drums and bass.
Back to the song “So Long You Pretty Thing.” So at the end, it picks up in this more upbeat refrain:
So long, you pretty thing,
God save your little soul,
The music that you played so hard
ain’t on your radio.
And all your dreams and diamond rings,
and all that rock n’ roll could bring you,
Sail on, so long.
The lyrics were effing perfect for me and how I felt I was saying “goodbye” to the Atlanta music scene and my dream of ever “making it” as a musician.
I decided to cover the song, and I asked everyone–Geoff, Noah, Juliana, Finster–to join me for the last part. We didn’t rehearse and it took us about three times repeating it before we all “got it”, and none of them really seemed to understand why I asked them to join me, I don’t think.
But there was a moment when I was playing keys and singing my goodbye to music, and I looked over at Aaron from Finster who was singing and Juliana who was singing and I heard Adrian (also from Finster) come in with his electric guitar and I thought “We’re doing it!”
It was one of those amazing moments. I don’t think anyone in the audience really got it, and I don’t even think anyone playing with me really got it, but that was one of the most spectacular moments for me as a performer. It was bittersweet and nostalgic and thankful and melancholy all at the same time, me saying goodbye to music through a song with my Atlanta musician friends.
So enjoy the song, my friends.
If you feel lonely and the world’s against you
Take the long way home past the scary Jesus
And you’ll find my door with your name in diamonds
And you’ll feel lonely no more
Help me, Lord, help me, Jesus, ’cause I’m lonely and tired
Help me, Lord, it ain’t easy ’cause I’m living with the blind
I got no reason to believe in anything
Help me, Lord, help me, Jesus, ’cause I’m hurting inside
Help me, Lord, it ain’t easy ’cause I’m living a lie
And God, I’m hoping for a reason to be here
Help me, Lord, help me, Father, ’cause I’m losing my mind
Help me, Lord, it’s getting harder ’cause I’m losing all the time
I got no reason to be living anymore
Help me, Lord, help me, Father, ’cause I wasted all my time
Help me, Lord, it’s getting harder ’cause I’ve made a mess of mine
And God, I’m hoping for the reason to be clear
So long you pretty thing, God save your little soul
The music that you played so hard ain’t on your radio
And all your dreams and diamond rings and all that rock and roll can bring you
Sail on, so long…