Once In My Life

Album: I'll Be Your Girl (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • This jangling slice of electro-tinged rock finds vocalist and guitarist Colin Melroy hollering to the universe in despair.

    Oh, for once in my
    Oh, for once in my life
    Could just something go
    Could just something go right?


    This track came from Melroy trying and failing to learn a Richard Thompson song that had a complicated guitar part. He said: "It occurred to me that I could go on and try to write a verse and a bridge but I think I liked the challenge of trying to create this entire song around basically one sentiment, you know? A couple of lines."
  • The song's music video serves as a tribute to Meloy's autistic son, Hank. He explained:

    "We were searching for a video idea for Once In My Life that would somehow capture the spirit of the song. In my mind, the song is a meditation, a plea to the cosmos that I imagine everyone, at some point or another, has made.

    We asked our old friend and collaborator Autumn de Wilde to pitch an idea and she came to us with a simple but powerful story: a depiction of her brother Jacob, a man who has lived with physical and intellectual differences his entire life, dancing in the streets of Los Angeles.

    The song, in this light, becomes more than just a 'celebration of sadness' - which I have sometimes called it - but suddenly a longing holler to the universe against one's perceived otherness.

    This idea is particularly close to me as I've witnessed how the world sees my son Hank, who is autistic. When I'm out in public with Hank, I'm acutely aware of the world's attachment to social and behavioral norms; in these situations, Hank's otherness can suddenly be put in stark relief.

    Through the lens of Jacob's joyful and defiant movement in Autumn's video, we see a man shrugging off the constraints of an unaccommodating and judgmental world and truly reveling in his body and mind."

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