“War, she can’t give to another, she gave her baby boy to the one before”
In the late ‘80s, I woke up in the night, having just had a dream of Tracy Chapman singing “she can’t give to another war….” I went back to bed thinking that was a good song, closed my eyes and then suddenly realized, Tracy had not sang that song, I just created it channeling Tracy. I dragged my ass out of bed and into the little home studio, fired up the Fostex R8 and sang the melody. She Can’t Give would be my baby.
The verses have barely changed since the inception, but many different chorus ideas. She Can’t Give survived countless arrangements and every musician I would meet and jam with since the beginning. Every ‘band’ got a crack at it, several singers sang their version of it. I even won a song writer’s award and was financed to have it recorded. In 1993, with The Resistance, with Tony on drums, Pete on bass, Darko on lead and Elaine singing, produced by Jamie Stewart ex Cult bassist the song was recorded.. However with The Resistance and Lunchbox Social, it was never up to par and rarely played live and didn’t make the cut for either of the two albums.
It wasn’t until Rob came up with his intro bass line that the song had a new life.
This song is all bass.
The guitars are merely filler as Rob holds this song together completely and the build to the last pre-chorus is one of my favourite moments in all of the songs, which is sad as most people will listen to the music in little ear buds.
“If there is a way to tune out everything and just listen to the bass, the tension and when Rob gears down and unloads in the outro, you feel the need to put your hands securely on the safety bar and hold on!”
Another song, that would have various different versions, none of which made us particularly happy. There was a glitch in the recording and we were going to have to record from scratch. So, I decided to be true to the inspiration of the song and re-record all the guitars and mix so as to have nothing but acoustic and clean Telecaster and it was at that time, that the new melody and words came for the chorus. It’s kind of ironic that for all these years that I tried so hard to arrange this song loud right off the start, it would be the version that came to me in my dream that would be the arrangement the song would be recorded.
Not a lot of special tricks or exciting/interesting tidbits for the recording and mixing, which was a welcome relief. One day, I asked Lisa to record the snare drum solo that is on the outro, as her gig with the Fort Henry, Kingston Drum Corp would be used as I wanted a lonely, sad feel and then fade out.