Patterico's Pontifications


The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Things I Never Said”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am

On Friday I debuted a song that I wrote in early 2018, which was recently re-recorded by Jamie Woolford of the groups The Stereo and Let Go. If you missed it, here it is again:

As I said on Friday: the background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

Below are the lyrics to the song.


In spite of all this time
There is no reason
The things I want to say
Cannot be said

I could weep that
The old is out of season
Even though you’re gone
The words stay in my head

Everybody said
You were their best friend
But only when they knew
You could not hear

There’d always be tomorrow
Or the weekend
How could we have known
That you’d just disappear?

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

The picture is erased
Before it’s drawn

In spite of all that’s been
And all that’s coming
In spite of all those dreams
We never shared

What you are
Is now what I’m becoming
I know if you were here
You’d tell me
“Don’t be scared”

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

You’re here
For a moment
And then you’re gone

I should acknowledge that I stole the line “I could weep that the old is out of season” from Yeats, from his poem titled “The Arrow”:

I thought of your beauty, and this arrow,
Made out of a wild thought, is in my marrow.
There’s no man may look upon her, no man,
As when newly grown to be a woman,
Tall and noble but with face and bosom
Delicate in colour as apple blossom.
This beauty’s kinder, yet for a reason
I could weep that the old is out of season

So as I hinted at on Friday, the songs is about things never said — in this case, the things I never said to my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who is one of the people I have admired most in my life.

In recent years, my mom, whom I love and adore, has given me as a birthday present a trip to Fort Worth in May, to watch the Colonial golf tournament and hang out with my brother Kerry. (My mom made it to the tournament one year recently, two or three years ago, but it’s tougher for her to do so these days as she lives with my sisters in Bryan and it’s a nearly three hour drive to get to Fort Worth.) (I don’t think the tournament is happening this year. Another victim of the dread disease whose name I refuse to mention in this post.)

The last time I saw Bram (which is the name the whole family gave Mrs. P’s grandmother) was on one of those trips. She was living at a managed care facility and, as in years past, I used my presence in town as an excuse to go see her and play 42 (a traditional Texas dominoes game) with her and her son Mike (Mrs. P’s uncle) and his wife Glynda. It was a great time, as any time with Bram always was.

At the end of the evening, she made a special point of telling me how much she loved me, and said very nice things about me. It was the kind of thing someone says when they worry they may never see someone again. She had said similar things the previous couple of times I had seen her. As on those previous occasions, I told her I loved her. But, to my shame, I held back on giving her a long speech about how she was one of the people I admired most in the world.

Do you know why? Here’s why: and don’t let this happen to you. The reason was: I always felt as though, if I said those things right then, I would be signaling to her that I thought I would never see her again. And I wasn’t going to do that! By gum, I was going to see her again! It was an attitude of denial. And a couple of times, that attitude worked!

Until it didn’t.

In the short time between when I saw her and her passing, Mrs. P. and my daughter had the chance to visit Bram. Lauren interviewed her for a school project. They got to give her a hug goodbye — like me, not knowing if it would be the last hug they would give her, but wondering nevertheless.

Bram was always so kind, to everyone. She suffered a lot at the end, both in her health and in her treatment at the hands of the people where she was staying. But my memory — which I acknowledge may be imperfect, but this is my memory! — is that I never heard her complain. At all. I never heard her criticize anyone. At all. I never once heard her curse. And indeed, she was famous in the family for not cursing. She would say, at most, “Oh spit!” Everyone knew what she really meant — but Bram would never ever say that word. She was, as a personalized domino set given to her long ago attested, “the sweetest.” And she really was.

I wish I had told her that. I hope she knew it’s how I felt. How we all felt.

I think she did know.

Don’t think or wish or hope about your loved one who is still alive. If they are near you, give them a, I dunno, an elbow bump or something. (Don’t kill them for goodness’s sake! There’s no vaccine yet!) If they are remote, pick up the phone and give them a call. Tell them all the stupid things that, if they were gone tomorrow, you would wish you would have said.

Do it. For me. Thanks.

5 Responses to “The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Things I Never Said””

  1. I think she knew, even without you saying it. If not, she knows now.

    DRJ (15874d)

  2. Reticence has never been one of my faults. On the contrary. There are thousands of things I wish I had never uttered.

    nk (1d9030)

  3. Lovely, absolutely lovely. Thank you for this, Patterico.

    Dana (4fb37f)

  4. Typical pop song with a bunch of triads and a dominant 7.

    BillPasadena (e482e2)

  5. It has notes and also chords, just like so many other songs. So typical!

    Patterico (115b1f)

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