THE FACTS OF LIFE – 11. MISTAKEN

MISTAKEN COVER

Liangmaqiao Diplomatic Area, Beijing. Music, lyrics, musical and vocal arrangements by Kennie Ting. Photography and artwork design by Kennie Ting.

I intended for THE FACTS OF LIFE to be an experimental album.  Each of the songs explored a very specific emotion in the life cycle of a relationship between two people – joy, sadness, desire, anger, disappointment…

While the album as a whole flirted with pop, dance and electronica, it mashed-up and was inspired by a huge variety of influences: Broadway musicals, Big Band, hip hop, jazz, Britpop, Cantopop, ‘80s New Wave, Japanese Noh Theatre, Shakespeare, The Odyssey, science fiction, Bali, Musandam, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, London, Shanghai, Venice (in particular – a good number of the photographs that constitute the album artwork were taken in Venice) and so on and so forth.

Some of it was somewhat autobiographical. Most of it was entirely fictional, though some appear remarkably prescient today, given that I wrote all the songs almost 10 years ago now.

MISTAKEN almost didn’t make it to this 2019 version of the album. It was the song I was least satisfied with when I wrote it in 2009. But after massive edits, I’m finally able to get it to a shape I’m satisfied with.

*  *  *

MISTAKEN is a journey.

It efficiently crams into a 4:30 min duration, the resentment and disappointment one feels in the immediate aftermath of the break-up, the anger, angst, grief and self-doubt that ensues, and the point where one finally gets over the breakup and decides, optimistically, that “life has to go on.”

In style, it is inspired by the smooth ’80s vibes of the (soundtrack of) Miami Vice, mashed up with baroque music, specifically Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major – the one with an extended harpsichord solo. As a matter fact, in place of words, I use an extended electronic harpsichord solo (or at least a simulation of a harpsichord) to express the churning and roiling our protagonist feels as he gets over the breakup.

The song starts off dreamily, evoking the clear-blue waters of Miami Bay, but quickly reveals a latent, seething anger that builds up but never overwhelms.  The final few moments of the song see the chords resolve themselves from minor to major key, and the mood of the song shift from turbulent to hopeful and optimistic.

Life has to go on. Closure at last.

Best with earphones.

LYRICS:

Wish I could say… / I was so mistaken…

Wish I could say how and why it was over / When did I know that you and I just weren’t meant to be? / That baby, you were poison to me? / Wish I could say it’s a fairytale ending / Why am I here, waiting, always waiting? / But you never know how things could go. / These are things you just don’t know. 

CHORUS: I had believed “forever” / Not knowing it meant “never”. / Just a naive idea / Don’t mean nothing. / Where is my “ever after”? / If I knew you’d hurt me so / I would’ve let you go / At the beginning. / There was something broken. / Worked just for the moment. / How could this have happened? / I was so mistaken. 

I can’t forget all the time we spent together. / Spain in the Spring and in Winter, the Maldives. / Or were we both just killing time? / What would we do if we didn’t have each other? / Who would we have to mutually torture? / I admit that sometimes it was fun. / But this is how our love was undone. 

CHORUS

[Interlude]

There was something broken. / Worked just for the moment. / How could this have happened? / I was so mistaken.

I’m a little shaken / Damn this mess I’m makin’ / Time now to awaken / ‘Cos life has to go on!  Yeah…

© 2010 / 2019 Kennie Ting. All Rights Reserved.

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
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