I Made a Mistake

Note: This post was written in 2019 and backdated to appear on the date the song was written.

Day two. Tuesday. I had received some positive reinforcement for the previous day’s song, and was eager to get through the workday to get home and write something new. I’d caught the bug.

In 2016, I was still writing my lyrics out long-hand, so there are cross-outs, things I abandoned, verses out of order, and so on. It’s fun to see some of the things I didn’t do.

  1. I Made a Mistake Ray Toler 3:03

For example, the first line on the page reads, “Pull back from the pixels and the image resolves.” I have no idea where that was going. Apparently, I couldn’t make it go anywhere, because I scratched it out and then wrote, “The path split in the woods, I took the one I knew.”

This is a song about risk aversion, dead ends, and mistaken assumptions. It’s also about recognizing that options, even starting from scratch, are always available.

Another simple arrangement, piano, bass, and drums. It almost went horribly wrong, though, as I first was trying to create some pop-punk or emo-dance-pop thing out of it. The vocals were terrible, sounding like a bad impersonation of a 3OH!3 song.

Luckily, I thought better of that direction and pulled it back, opting instead for a simple, slightly folky-country-pop sound. One of the only good things about losing all of these projects in a hard drive crash last year is that there is no way to hear any of those earlier vocal takes anymore. It may even be possible that the drive took itself out to protect humanity.

Lyrics

The path split in the woods
I took the one I knew
So happy to be home
So happy to be with you

Everything was perfect
All according to plan
And then it fell apart
Once again I’m the other man
‘Cause you refuse to stop kicking that can…

Ooo, I made a mistake!
Don’t know what I was thinking, there’s a chance I was drinking
Ooo, I made a mistake!
Good idea at the time, now it’s an uphill climb
Ooo, I made a mistake!
Tried so hard to believe but I was being naive
Ooo, I made a mistake!

But there’s nothing I can do about it now.
No, there’s nothing I can do about it now.
There’s nothing I can do about it now.
So I’ll just move on and start all over again.

It’s so late in the game
To go back to the beginning
It’s not impossible
But my hair… it seems to be thinning

The world is moving faster
The kids are right behind me
When things go wrong, don’t bother looking
You’re never going to find me
This song is just here to remind me

Ooo, I made a mistake!
Don’t know what I was thinking, there’s a chance I was drinking
Ooo, I made a mistake!
Good idea at the time, now it’s an uphill climb
Ooo, I made a mistake!
Tried so hard to believe but I was being naive
Ooo, I made a mistake!
There was so much potential, ended up inconsequential

Ooo, I made a mistake!
Don’t know what I was thinking, there’s a chance I was drinking
Ooo, I made a mistake!
Good idea at the time, now it’s an uphill climb
Ooo, I made a mistake!
Tried so hard to believe but I was being naive
Ooo, I made a mistake!

But there’s nothing I can do about it now.
No, there’s nothing I can do about it now.
There’s nothing I can do about it now.
So I’ll just move on and start all over again.


Copyright © Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved.

Colophon

  • Piano: Kurzweil K2600XS
  • Bass: Roland Fantom XR
  • Drums: Stylus RMX, Kurzweil K2600XS

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