Ok, here we go, another song with vocals. I had been in the studio for only a short time when, for some inexplicable reason, I started singing the old “The bear went over the mountain” song from my childhood. That started morphing in my head and I fired up the text editor.

I think I may have a genetic ability to rhyme couplets. It’s something for which my mother had a strong talent, and she was often asked to write new lyrics to popular songs for community or school functions.

Couplets are a weird thing for me. I’ve never really “gotten” poetry. I appreciate the craft and the skill to create novel metaphors or precisely use language in ways that evoke emotion, memory, and so on. But I’ve never been an afficianado. I glaze when I start reading most poetry and would usually rather read a critique or analysis of a poem than the poem itself. It’s something that I wish were different about me, but there it is.

  1. Pigeonhole Ray Toler 2:56

That said, I’m pretty good at writing rhyming lyrics, pedestrian though they might be. My trouble is figuring out what to say, not how to say it. So when the first line of this song popped into my head, the rest quickly followed. The lyrics guided themselves and by the time I’d finished the first verse, the subject had manifested itself. It’s a somewhat rare example of me saying exactly what’s on my mind without trying to gussy it up in fancy words and imagery.

It wasn’t terribly late when I started playing in the parts, but I knew I couldn’t do the complicated production that was in my head. So demo quality is what it is. I don’t know that this is a song I would do anything else with unless it became really popular or perfectly fit a placement opportunity. I also have no idea what genre this is – Pop? Folk? It’s vaguely countryish, but not really… I don’t know. I’ll leave that to others to decide. I can’t keep up with all the microgenres these days, anyway.

The only thing that bothers me about the song aside from the rough quality is that I repeated the chorus at least one too many times in the last batch. It’s already a short song, and even with the extra chorus repetition, it’s still just under three minutes. Time was up, though, and it got posted as is.

I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback on my tracks this year, not a surprise since there are almost 30 songs being posted every day. This one, surprisingly, did generate a response which made me smile:

“Pigeonhole needs to be the outro music for a Studio Ghibli movie.”

I am 100% in favor of that!


I went over the mountainside
To see what I could see
Looking for a place where I could stay
I hoped I would find others
Who think a bit like me
It seems that they all up and moved away

Did the world change around me
While I remained the same?
Did the rulebook get rewritten
Or did someone change the game?
Even though I’ve never crossed a line
Or hurt another soul
I’m being forced to live
In this pigeonhole 

I’m not the kind to see the bad
In everything that’s new
Even if it’s not my cup of tea
But everyone I come across says,
“It’s not me, it’s you!”
And somehow I became the enemy

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


  • Drums: Stylus RMX
  • Bass: Trilian
  • Guitar: Omnisphere
  • Electric Piano: Keyscape
  • Organ: Kurzweil K2600
  • Effects: Soundtoys Microshift
  • Mastering: Ozone 9

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