This track was written and arranged by, Vivienne Bern and sounds a bit like Steve Earle.
There was somewhat of a pow-wow between Lynzy and I . . . a disagreement of sorts . . . about what the opening track of, Listen, should be. Of course, if you read the previous 'behind the music' you will already know that Lynzy won this argument and indeed '52 Reasons' preceded 'This Road' which I eventually learned to accept and agree with in the end. (kind of!).
52 reasons is a song about the amount of reasons needed before making the decision to leave a long term relationship after wearing your heart on your sleeve for many years.
I was in a bit of a trashy and slightly sarcastic mood when I wrote the lyrics for this song, as they just appeared one day when I was messing about with double drop D in front of the fireplace. I will mention the little riff that opens the song, and I say riff as it is repeated throughout the song (a lick would be a one off).
I played it round and around dozens of times until my fingers did what my ears wanted them to. My memory is in my fingers and I never write anything down so I have to rely on my muscle memory for guitar playing. I didn't know what I was wanting to say, however I knew I wanted an uncomplicated lyric that didn't overcomplicate the already intricate finger picking riff.
The meaning behind a few of the lyrics could be analysed with the outcome of them becoming quite deep, however for such a fun song (a rarity for me) I think that it should be up to the listener to decide how deep they wish to go.
Based around a pack of cards (where someone usually wins and someone usually loses), relationships can be about how you play your cards. Sleight of hand, show of hand, pick a card (any card) or play the patience game? create some magic or practice tricks and illusion? or maybe you prefer to play alone with Solitaire?. Regardless of what you choose, every game involves hearts, your heart, someone elses heart and requires patience as we try not to end up with the scabby Queen, or as The Old Maid!. I might have felt like the King of hearts at the start, however I was definitely the Joker in the end - and the words rolled out thereafter.
Sliding up and down and a bit of string bending later, I felt that it was sounding trashy and sarcastic enough - like I really couldn't be bothered but still had something to say ! I might have lit up a cigarette (if I smoked), get a whisky chaser (you know me by know), put my old boots on and tell you how raging I was at realising how someone you trusted could make you feel. The irony being that the song ends up showing how tolerant (naive?), devoted (repressed?) and enamoured (disciplined?) I had become. I wonder if 'love' does that to many of us.
The instrumental of the song where the mouth organ and the violin are playing hard against each other is proof of what I was trying to demonstrate for years within my relationship. That even although two very different instruments (or people) can sound completely contrasting yet if they are given the freedom to play, to breath, to live, then they can exist beautifully together. No instrument instructs the other in this song yet they seem to be having the time of their lives. Why can't relationships be like this? They would maybe work better and last longer creating catalogues of beautiful albums together.
Post funky instrumental where you might be compelled to dance your heart our regardless of what cards you've been dealt, the song bends back into a last little bit of seriousness. A reminder to you that even during good times, always pay attention to the game. Don't be scared to wear your heart on your sleeve however also keep a few cards close to your chest, watch out for that Queen of Spades and NEVER give away your Aces.
As the tempo changes into the outro of the song, the change in rhythm provides a final frolic to the apathy of the writer (that will be me then), a few hand claps with friends and a middle finger all the way to the end. The little burst of mouthie is a further flick of the few hairs I have left on my head, as I drive out of the dust storm and into the long road ahead.
This song seems to be a crowd pleaser live and is very often asked for by listeners. We have had people up dancing in pubs when the fast bit kicks in, a group of ladies in a snake coming round the side of a tiny stage, toddlers bouncing and grooving at festivals, and almost a mini line dance session at one point. The clapping at the end always gets folk going - and us too - if it is in time of course thank you very much! I'm sure there are many versions of this song lying about on mobile phones (and we hope they stay there), however our version in 'Listen' is the only fully recorded version and we are very proud of it. It also seems to get quite a bit of radio play.
Did you know that I recorded the opening slide guitar part on Lynzys new electric guitar and didn't want to keep it in but was convinced to keep it by the team. Also the clapping that you hear at the end was recorded in my works canteen with three of my handsome colleagues on a tiny wee recording device. Not one of them has any rhythm or timing and could not hear what they were clapping along to, yet we did that in two takes. Firstly their hands and then their thighs and we combined the two takes in the studio. It makes me smile every time I hear it. It's the 8 hands and thighs bit.
V1: If you had the chance to shuffle, baby, and I had the chance to deal,
would you reach out your hands to me,
and then crush what I reveal? V2: If you were the joker, baby yeah, and I was your magic trick,
would you hide my heart inside your sleeve,
and then watch it turn to brick?
C1: Ooooh 52 reasons
V3: If you were the king of pleasure, baby, and I was the Queen of Hearts,
would you build me up a house of cards,
and then watch it fall apart.
V4: If I was the Jack of Diamonds, baby, and you were the King of Spades,
would you dig me a great hole to fill
and then watch me make a grave.
C2: Ooooh 52 reason, ooooh 52 reasons
V5: If you had the chance to shuffle, baby, and I had the chance to deal,
would you reach out your hands to me,
and then crush what I reveal?
V6: If you were the joker, baby yeah, and I was your magic trick,
would you hide my heart inside your sleeve
and then watch it turn to brick?
C3: Ooooh 52 reason, ooooh 52 reasons 52 reasons, 52 reasons, 52 reasons, 52 reasons.
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Lynzy & Vivienne The Coaltown Daisies
The Daisy Chain What's going on in the banterful world of our membership community? We've been taking a bit of downtime from our membership endeavours; life most definitely got in the way, however, we have lots in store inclusive of a new content schedule. Stay tuned folks and we'll be with you soon!