“A word is not the same with one writer as with another”, said the French poet Charles Péguy. “One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” Nor is one work the same as another, even when they are by the same writer.
Over You is the ultimate overcoat pocket song. Several of us were making recordings at the Waltworks one day — recordings that ultimately proved loathsome — when up came the cry for a vocal check. On this occasion, instead of the “Testing, testing” or “1-2-3-4” or inarticulate gurglings that usually pop out, it was Over You, complete and fully formed, with no premeditation at all. If only it were always like that.
You might suppose that for Over You — for any song — to emerge thus spontaneously, it must be particularly simple; you might suspect that it’s probably rather repetitive; you might be inclined to condemn it in advance as mundane or derivative. What an unpleasant person you must be, but yes. It is fairly simple and repetitive. It’s a campfire song, I guess, if you don’t happen to be doing a sound check. Moreover, the first half of the tune is not a lot different from Bob Dylan’s even smaller song (a single line, repeated a lot), All the tired horses in the sun. But it came out in real time! Give it a break!
The piano arrangement for Over You starts very simply, and slowly adds elaborations as it moves along. Technically speaking, it is one of the easier arrangements that will be appearing on Walt’s Band, where its sheet music is downloadable at no charge.
Video, details and lyrics are available now on the Over You song page. A space is also provided there for sharing your wisdom; or feedback about the song.
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