Album: Sideways to New Italy (2020)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This love song finds singer/guitarist Fran Keaney meeting someone he likes at an after party after playing at the Darwin Festival in North Australia.

    I heard you talking
    Your voice had an old melody
    Like sweet river water
    Back from the bathroom


    Nothing happens, but as Keaney walks back home, he imagines reaching the person through time portals and spending eternity with them.

    Two figurines on the mountain
    You find yourself again on holiday
    I feel it in my brains, do you feel the same?
    A cameo in your home video
  • Fran Keaney explained in a statement that "the lyrics were pieced together over about a year like a little puzzle." He found the first pieces in the tiny town of Rushworth, where "Not Tonight" is set, and the last pieces in Darwin.
  • I put myself in a letter
    I send myself on the powerlines
    A picture of yourself in the future
    A nation in the plains, beyond the frame


    The line "a nation in the plains" is Keaney's nod to the Australian author Gerald Murnane's 2017 autobiographical novel Border Districts. Keaney explained to Uncut:

    "In the book, he traces through the imagery in his mind's eye, whether it's the shade of a tint of some stained glass that he traces through to the color of a bottle of the lemonade, and the family's house that he was at the time, and the piano there that reminds him of the song in the church when he was married... It's very long-winded and esoteric, but I really got into it. I felt like he was awakening a pattern of thought that I've always had, like a pining for something forgotten or not yet found, and that's really inspired a lot of the songs I was writing. Songs like 'The Second of the First' or 'Cameo' took a lot from that."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger

Kelly Keagy of Night RangerSongwriter Interviews

Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger tells the "Sister Christian" story and explains why he started sweating when he saw it in Boogie Nights.

George Clinton

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

Band Names

Band NamesFact or Fiction

Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?

Jimmy Webb

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."