25,000 Miles Away
by Kaptain Karl

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I first heard "25,000 Miles Away" in about 2012 on a quick demo Karl recorded. I had a very strong emotional reaction to the song. It is a great demo. It has that "pride in a brand new song" and "still completely in touch with the feelings I felt when I wrote this" quality. I read somewhere that Dan Wilson calls falling in love with that initial, usually lo-fi recording "demo-itis". This was my worst case of demo-itis since "Everything Makes Me Sad".

We've since played the song many times in the Mississippi Seven and I always love it. I love singing the high, sad counterpoint and I love playing that C-am-em-G-am-G turnaround. (It's capoed up two frets so it sounds in D.) And for this recording, I loved adding a high guitar capoed at fret seven, playing in G to get at all those little melodies available on the first three strings, sort of like in Way Out West by Big Star. I loved adding an accordion solo that felt very nautical and, after about 3 dozen takes, appropiately vertiginous with dynamic, slightly arhythmic tumbling.

I had a lot of strong feelings while I was mixing this, so I think I got pretty darn close to what I wanted and what I heard in that original demo. I hadn't had such strong feelings during mixing since "Spirit at My Table" by Jubilant Dogs.

Like Karl's original demo, I did my lead vocal on this version in one take with absolutely no punching in. Even given my familiarity with the song, that is exceedingly rare when I am tracking something out rather than recording it live. Maybe it's something about the story that lends itself to being told exactly once, in order. I don't know, that's probably b.s.; just a coincidence. I just didn't find any immediately obvious flaws for once.

Lyrics:

Oh, the world loves its turnin' and turnin'
And I'm up here watchin' it roll
I remember a time I was glad that I came
But it's far past the time I should go

There were tears, there was laughter and singing
(Here there lies a ship on tears)
When my ship left the homeland that day
But I left my best girl in the harbor
Twenty-five thousand miles away

Oh, there isn't a soul here to talk to
And I haven't a drop left to drink
And I can't make sense of their orders no more
So there's nothing but sit here and think

Oh they said that they'd send a replacement
(We'll send a replacement girl)
So I could go back to my girl
But I haven't had word in a long, long time
And I fear that I'm dead to the world

instrumental on A section

So I'm hangin' up here by a moonbeam
(I'm a hanging moonbeam day)
Lookin' down at the dawn of the day
And I left my best girl in the harbor
Twenty-five thousand miles away

They said it would make me a hero
And I'd be a rich man for sure
But all that I've got is my lonely old self
And a hope and a memory of her

If those bastards don't send a replacement
(We'll send no replacement girl)
Then I'll never get home to my girl
But anyway it's such a long, long time
That I surely am dead to the world

Well I'm hanging up here by a moonbeam
(Hanging looking down away)
Looking down at the dawn of the day
And I left my best girl in the harbor
Twenty-five thousand miles away

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