Music Monday: Blue Afternoon

About the Song

‘Blue Afternoon’ is track 3 on my latest album, ‘Resultant Motion‘.

Blue Afternoon by reed weimer

The song begins with a thirteen year old boy watching a small plane from his friend’s suburban backyard before walking into the kitchen of his aunt’s house in New Mexico and then into the shade-darkened living room of a college house, hearing a song that reminds him of a family car trip to Wisconsin before walking out the front door of a house in Durango to his own car and realizing that he’ll have to change his plans because he’s forgotten that’s he’s out of gas. It takes ten years, four houses, three States and two cars to get there.

I wrote the lyrics as a poem using Stanislavsky’s method acting technique of “Sense Memory”. The idea is to recall an experience of smell, sound, sight, taste or touch that evokes an appropriate response. As is often the case, the original poem was altered quite a bit to make the song. I’m also very interested in finding just the right words to convey a story with the exact meaning and moods.

About the Composition

I began this recording with some “scratch tracks” intended for my band, Moe Perdue’s, second album. However Moe Perdue ran out of steam and I began working on these orphaned tracks one night a week with my friend, Gregory Hill. For over a year, we added and subtracted. I invited friends to join in, and when Glenn Taylor added his pedal steel guitar tracks, we were done.

Blue Afternoon about lyrics composition etc
‘Resultant Motion’ – Album Cover

The album’s title, “Resultant Motion,” comes from Newton’s First Law of Physics, otherwise known as The Law of Inertia (v = u + at) which states “there you were, just minding your own business when Wham, out of nowhere . . . !”

The music was written on the banjo and transposed to guitar because I wanted that extra string to complete the melody.

Lyrics: Blue Afternoon

Single-engine overhead
Crossing in between,
roofs and trees in the backyard
when you were thirteen.
The screen door hisses behind you,
as you walk into
a kitchen that smells
like spoiled fruit.
In a blue afternoon
a blue afternoon

A fly buzzes past your head
into the next room
where you hear the radio
playing some old tune.
It’s a song (that)
makes you remember
a rainy July day
When you got into the car,
you drove away
into a blue afternoon
a blue afternoon
oh blue . . . mmm afternoon

Pull the front door shut
the song is over now.
Blink into the sun
that is setting down
another car is waiting,
but the tank is low
sometimes you’ll have to stop —
before you go,
into a blue afternoon
a blue afternoon
a blue afternoon
a blue afternoon.

Credits: lead vocal, Reed Philip Weimer; acoustic guitar, Reed Philip Weimer; pedal steel guitar, Glenn Taylor; bass, Gregory Hill; banjo, Reed Philip Weimer; percussion, Reed Philip Weimer; backing vocals, Gregory Hill and Reed Philip Weimer; bass drum, Gregory Hill.