Boy Was Waiting

Origin

Boy Was Waiting is one of the oldest songs that I still carry around, written around 1994-95.  I was in college and enjoying a relationship with my first girlfriend.  I was also inspired by Toad the Wet Sprocket‘s song “I Will Not Take These Things for Granted” and wanted to write a song that expressed gratitude — a feeling that, surprisingly, seldom shows up in popular music.

But I am so not into sappy love songs, I was determined not to write one.  So I intentionally avoided romantic elements and made sure the song was open enough to be applicable to many situations.

My friend Judd Sather played this song for us as the bride’s processional during our wedding — and yes, I did marry the girlfriend I wrote this song for.  Yes, you have my permission to go “awww” and accuse me of being corny & cheesy.

Music & Production

Having been written before much of my growth as a songwriter occurred, musically this song is among the simplest and most straight forward.  Toad the Wet Sprocket and Michael W. Smith were my main role models for this song, and the song is very comforting in its traditional, predictable form.

What’s not so comforting, though, is that the main acoustic arpeggio features an unusually voiced E chord that’s high up on the guitar neck, jumping down to F#m chord that’s low.  It takes a real strong, manly (ahem) hand to pull off clean, flat-picked arpeggio, and you can hear that I didn’t have the chops to deliver in this recording, which contains numerous faltering.  The bridge does call for a bigger production to heighten the drama and contrast, but you get the point even in the stripped-down version.

Lyrics

The words strike me as fairly pedestrian to a decades-older myself.  But naïveté is part of the charm here, so there was very little revising as we set out to record this song.  I am fond of the vagueness, though, as I can see this story being about a child & a parent, or one’s relationship to God.

I, I couldn’t see you
When my height was way too low
I, I couldn’t feel you
When my heart didn’t have a soul

Did you see me when I was crying
Did you see me when I was looking, oh looking for you

Down the country road where leaves were dancing
The boy was waiting for the coming
With one hand on his heart and the other to hold his fears
The tears flow where no one can see

There’s a fire in a misplaced fireplace
How am I supposed to know?
Let me tell you about my secrets, how can we keep the faith?
And how am I supposed to know that I know?

Did you see me when I was crying
Is that why your song came through to me

Down the country road where leaves were dancing
The boy was waiting for the coming
With one hand on his heart and the other to hold his fears
The tears flow where no one can see

Down the country road where leaves were dancing
I was waiting for your coming
With one hand on my heart, and the other to hold my fears

Down the country road where leaves were dancing
I was waiting for your coming, your coming home
With one hand on my heart and the other to hold my fears
Oh I’m so glad to find me in you

With one hand on my heart and the other to wipe my tears
Oh I’m so glad to find me in you

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