So, we’ve established how pretty much everyone i know has heard “Under My Skin,” right? And, why not? It’s cute, it bops, it’s got some background vocals, and i’m singing it like i mean it (because i do). Tonight as i took a quick scroll through my lyrics folder i had to remind myself that there was life before “Under My Skin,” and that life included writing and singing and playing guitar just as much as this one does. There is one song more representative of that than any other, and that is “Touch.”
Life was on a smaller scale when it came to my guitar Senior Year… writing a good song sometimes meant that three or four people might hear it ringing out against the tile of the basement hallway, and “Touch” was my relative success. With it’s nonexistent nonsense lyrics that were practically ad-libbed every time and it’s chiming verses that spun out to the simplest of choruses, “Touch” was just about the utmost of what i could offer, and hardly anyone knew about it. Three years ago this week a mere handful of people had heard it, and two years ago the number had only improved by another couple handfuls. And, now, this once-stalwart of my collection is buried under dozens of songs that i like more with little hope of anyone ever really getting to appreciate it. My life is weird that way… hits rise and fall in my own mind. The chances of “Under My Skin” making a repeat appearance on my next demo recording are slim to none, which means a year or two from now even it’s listening public of over a hundred people will (hopefully) pale in comparison to what songs like “Excuse” or “Tangling” will know.
Radiohead mostly stopped playing “Creep” after everyone screamed for it at every show, and at last month’s Ani DiFranco concert the oldest song she played was from her fifth album. Point being, not even fame necessarily cures the case of lost songs because they are either “Under My Skin” or “Touch” — you’re sick of them, or have too many other songs crowding them out.
And, so, i am almost afraid to write down what i feel, because it will have a life so much shorter than mine despite my attempts to immortalize it. I sang “Touch” tonight because it had somehow slipped through the cracks of Trio for over a year despite its only being two years old last fall. I wonder if it’ll ever appear again…