Solberg’s Best (and Only) Cover Tune! ‘The Tide’ by Duncan (Some Witty Handle) Bain

I listen to it on ‘repeat’ for hours, fearless of being thought a narcissist. There’s something unique happening here, besides the spot-on lyrics: (well-rhymed hints, clear enough to describe the emotion but cool enough to avoid a TMI meltdown), and the ‘right’ chords.

I learned it from a simple guitar+vocal which Duncan must have posted years back, probably on our beloved ‘Site X’, now deceased.
Anyway, perhaps I goose-bump partly by remembering the ‘drop-everything else’ excitement of arranging and recording it. I think it was also intended as a surprise. Duncan’s posts and wry comments (most of which sent me to WIKI in order to ‘get’ the hidden joke) made him a natural for gift-giving.
The arrangement is my fav lineup: Bass, Drums, Piano, Organ, 4-sax horn section plus three-part ‘oohs ‘n ahhs’ backup singers. I especially enjoy the instrumental break half-way through, with an up-modulation I always throw in, hoping for top-40 air-play.
So do me a favor and listen to it at least once. Note: I only learned maybe a month ago the sad fact that few folks these days even still use a ‘real’ sit-down computer which plays music through ‘visible-to-the-nekkid-eye‘ speakers. So if anyone wants an MP3 copy, instead of listening to your wrist-watch phone, just ask.
Bottom line: I kinda love this song, just don’t know exactly why. Hope you feel the same/ JS


1) We left our footprints in the mud
Cost you pennies; it cost me blood
I don’t touch sorrow an’ don’t touch love
‘Cept once in a while.. with a rubber glove.
But who knows? The tide may rise again.
2) Days and nights, nights and days
spilled milk and canapes
The plot is spoiled the secret’s out
I still don’t know what it was all about
But who knows? the tide may rise again

I was asking myself but it wasn’t clear
Telling myself but I didn’t hear
Just wasn’t in my brief
Lost my wallet, lost my heart
Would have torn myself apart
Wasn’t worth the grief
3) You watched the dance; I stood around
Blew smoke; I rolled the window down
Ripped me down, layer by layer
Look at my face; do I look like I care?
Who knows? The tide may rise again

Who did you think you would turn to next?
You think there was some kind of a faint sub-text?
Just find some other suitors
Where did I think I would find the nails?
To board up the windows after the January sales?
Just sit back and watch the looters

4) Too many pockets in this coat

Handfull of keys, handful of oats
Just wade in deeper when I try to forget
Roll up my trousers, but they’re already wet.
Who knows? the tide may rise again
-This tide may rise again -repeat-


12 thoughts on “Solberg’s Best (and Only) Cover Tune! ‘The Tide’ by Duncan (Some Witty Handle) Bain

      1. promisesunshine

        my PA history is on the other side of the state. grew up near the ‘burgh and currently live and breathe in the bastion of culture and drama in the middle of nowhere. Also, thanks for calling me “kid”, there’s was a little kick in my middle-aged step for a couple minutes today.

  1. eleanorio

    ”I don’t touch sorrow an’ don’t touch love
    ‘Cept once in a while.. with a rubber glove.”
    Excellent description of animal husbandry there.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Ha, I thought only ‘cow-ards’ like myself were familiar with what you mention. We’ll likely hear from Dunc on the ‘founding father’s original intent’ at some point. I’m hoping you heard the song, to which the lyrics are simply a ‘guide to the perplexed’. I’m actually keen on feedback from musicians here, although history does not support over-optimism. Thanks, El.
      Hmm.. I do preserve your soaring acapella E.Timor treat in my files, along with 5 nights of busting my brain trying to ‘grok’ the exotic chords underlying the melody.

  2. somewittyhandle

    I was always supremely chuffed that you gave this song your attention, and I love your version of it much more than my own. It may be because you and I move and think in such similar ways, that you seem to have entirely captured the meaning, feeling, and intention of the original song, while giving it new flesh and strength with your arrangement.

    The modulation in the middle is very effective, and I would never have thought of it. It freshens the palette between courses/verses. The swirling patterns in the instrumental break make me think of an old steam-powered merry-go-round on a seaside resort, with several competing cyclicities of waves, time, and tide, all waiting for no man.

    It’s intriguing for me to hear this again now, after all these years. The song was written during the degeneration of my first marriage, and until now I’d entirely forgotten the ‘low ebb’ I felt at that time. You know what? The tide did rise again.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      I’m so thrilled to see your comment! Only to look up ‘chuffed’.
      Regardless, hard to imagine a more satisfying ‘audience response. Your thoughts on the 1/2 step up and the interplay of voices are precisely what any song-smith needs in feedback. We’ll both archive it as a docudrama of the vagaries of our human-to-human contacts. Hmmm.. all my own love-lost and/or wasted themed tunes are inspired by just one break-up, now 37 years past. It is gratifying, as in your case, that I am, long-since, on admirably sweet and healthy terms with the female in question. I owe it to her, if only for the musical inspiration, ha.
      Thanks again, Duncan

  3. punkysleek

    I can’t even believe this! I come back to WP because I was going to write about Narcissism. I see you commented on my last post (I’m embarrassed! “Who was I back then?”… I avoided refreshing my memory on what I wrote, but hungrily read your comment). I decide to visit your site to see what you’ve been up to, and I see you write the word Narcissist, here! “Oh, no! He’s going to think I’m copying him!” (is that narcissistic?) I flatter myself. To think even for a moment I could write as intelligently as you! The song sounds like something I remember hearing and liking at a beach pub. It’s got a happy beat going against the sad kind of lyrics trying hard to look on the bright side.

  4. solberg73 Post author

    Hiyya Sweets; Little by little I’m reconstructing ‘the way we were’. You be a nice part of it, I’d say. With your complex but ‘hangs together’ posts, my window into FLA while it’s still above sea level, and grasp of facets of life you could only know that well from experience, Oh, and our mutual love of words and their powers; lots of drones just use them blithely and toss ’em mindlessly like spent hotel matches.
    As to Narcissus, yes, eager folks often search for… and find, synchronicity. Jung, and even my semi-hero Wolfgang Pauli (yeah, in that he ‘wasn’t even wrong’) worked on it. Simple chance, I say. (Oh, plus that I groked that you’d have something to say about it in the future when I wrote my post, ha.
    Thanks for hearing the song. Makes you one of a select elect. Ha, I once thought that ‘if you create it, and post it, they will come.’ Hmm, mebbe my cyber-audience is un-orgasmic? Oh well, no different from hundreds of past beach-pub gigs where my carefully saute-ed Moby Dick songs merited , on a good day, “meh, a tune about a fish” The author of the song here, Dr. Bain of Hertfordshire’s daughter is lately the ‘next big thing’ in the British music scene. Bless her heart, enjoy it while it lasts.
    Anyway, as is obvious, I missed being in touch with you, and so thanks for taking the thyme to re-surface. (I’ve got plenty of oregano here as a replacement: we went from ice on the windshield to 100+ degrees in two weeks this year in Israel; so much for the ‘Arab Spring’
    Take care, precious one/ JS

  5. Roadkill Spatula

    No sooner do I abandon WP than (four months later) Solberg leaps back into action with a short-lived spate of posts featuring palindromes, music, and invertebrates. There’s irony for you.

    Unfortunately I can’t get the music to play, at least not on my POS work computer which is configured to make internet use as inconvenient as possible. I attempted to write a post just now and my Draft screen shows a large white area with no place for my cursor to land.

    But there is always a work-around, as any handyman knows. I can write my draft in a document, e-mail it to myself, and paste it into WP on my laptop at home.

    Or I could just forget the whole thing and go back to FB. But no one over there posts palindromes.

  6. Roadkill Spatula

    Ah — finally able to hear the song! I had changed a setting to keep advertisements from playing automatically, since I can’t install Adblock at work, but it kept embedded audio or Youtube videos from playing properly.

    Cool song! Very penetrating lyrics. I’m very glad Duncan’s tide has risen again.


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