FAWM#02: Old Adam! Old Adam!

2 down and 12 more to go! I’ve got a good feeling about this month. I think I might hit my 14 song goal for the first time ever (and this is my seventh FAWM!) I will be pleased as punch if I even make it half way but I think.

Here’s the second song out of February.

I wrote the melody and figured out the theme while sitting on a stool next to my wife as she made dinner. (I do think my wife needs a round of applause for dealing with me during FAWM. There’s a term for her amongst the community of songwriters who participates: a FAWM widow). My cruddy guitar playing lead me to a simple 3 chord verse & melody and actually I’ve been kicking around the title ‘Old Adam” for a while in my head. It’s actually based ever so loosely on my little brother Adam. He’s still a ‘youngster’ of 13 but for as long as I can recall he’s been as grumpy and as salty as an ‘elder’ of 93. The name ‘Old Adam’ struck me as a great name for an old country murder ballad so I borrowed my young Adam for inspiration and wrote him into a song that’s supposed to be 130 years old. My young Adam isn’t so fond of church-goin’ (neither was I at that age for that matter) but he’s still of that age that he’s made to go with ma & pa so I kind of took that thought, matured it and put it on my grown-up Old Adam character…a rowdy old-soul, out looking for vengeance for some wrong done against him and is at odds with God, troubled and weighed down by that God.

Though this is a first draft of a song really, I am fond of the lyrics. What’s a little unclear is the middle bit where the narrator says;

Your mother’s heart’s made of wax
And your heart’s made of red clay
And your sins are like the sun…”

I tried to get the concept through that the sins of old Adam (the sun) are hardening Old Adam’s heart (made of clay) but those sins are breaking his mother’s heart (of wax). I’m not sure that part is all so clear as it’s been pointed out to me. I’ll have to revisit that it seems.

In any case, enjoy the journey with me.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hofftunes
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 10:11:55

    The middle bit and your explanation reminded me for some reason of an analogy I heard about how the same gospel can melt one person but another heart becomes hard in response. “The same sun that melts the butter hardens the clay.”


    • Daniel Jaocb
      Mar 03, 2011 @ 12:03:46

      Actually, that’s exactly where I got it from…the question of how “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” in Exodus to be specific. A pound of clay and a pound of ice (and butter for that matter) react completely different in the sun. Thanks a ton for your comment!


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