If You Must Go… a different version for 2012 – Initial demo [words, audio, story]

by LJ on February 12, 2012

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This entry is part of a series [click to expand]: In Memory of My Dad»

They say that “Timing is everything.” Sometimes you just have to follow your instincts and let things evolve as they are meant to, however long that takes and whatever changes unfold along the way.

History…
This song, “If You Must Go”, is one that is very dear to my heart. It is the song I wrote for my father just before he passed in July 2006. I wrote it on the plane on the way up to New York to see him for the last time.

I recorded the first demo about a month after he died and I’ve recorded a few more demos over the years since. My initial intention for the song was to create a Latin Jazz-flavored arrangement, in honor of my dad, a talented jazz trumpet player who loved this style of music. Once that was completed/released, I would create a more mainstream ballad version. Each of the demos I have previously recorded of the song, since the very 1st one just after he died, has been in a Latin Jazz style.

This song has proven to be an emotional challenge for me to record. In the years since I wrote it, I’ve worked on a few different versions of the jazz arrangement, both on my own and with other musicians. It has a very weighty impact on me, leaving me raw – particularly when I sing it and especially in that style. And each time I’ve tried to record the vocal in the studio, I have been overcome with emotion, breaking down and crying (I’m pretty much toast after that – the harder I try to control it, the more it takes me over… the less I am able to sing). I then put the song aside for a while, hoping that time will make it easier.

Now…
It’s almost 6 years after my Dad’s passing and I really would like to bring this song to completion. I’ve recently been in the studio again, working on an updated Latin Jazz version of the song with a talented musician who was recording a new track for it. All was going well, but once again, when I sang my vocal for the track, I lost it. I eventually finished an initial take, but it wasn’t a great performance… and I sobbed uncontrollably at the end (poor guy, I’m sure he didn’t expect that :)

This was a week ago on Wednesday. I went home and thought about it for a couple of days. I decided that something had to change for me to get past this… so I decided to create and record a different arrangement, this one more of a mainstream ballad than the original Latin Jazz-flavored version. I even changed the key (hey, you never know what the trigger is).

This is the initial demo of the new version. It’s rough… I needed to get this out. I will refine the recording/mix/performance more, but you get the idea.


If You Must Go

lyrics and music by Luna Jade
arranged & recorded by Luna Jade

© 2006-2012 Luna Jade

Listen to the song on ReverbNation
.
Lyrics at the end of this post.

I still intend to finish the Latin Jazz version. Hopefully, this shift of focus broke – or at least softened – my emotional triggers around the song. Time will tell.

Most importantly…
I just got off the phone with one of my sisters a little while ago. I had posted this demo mix of the new version of the song last Monday and she had finally heard it. She played it for my mom and they sat and held each other and cried while they listened. They love the song and they love this new arrangement. She told me that she didn’t know how I was able to sing it without crying.
Oh, if she only knew…

I guess my lesson in all this is that when something holds a deep importance for you, it may take time to get it right. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to give it that time. If it shifts, don’t fight it… just let it be what it is meant to be.


If You Must Go

lyrics and music by Luna Jade
arranged & recorded by Luna Jade

There’s so much to say
but the words won’t come
the time for talk has passed

as I left today
I felt confused and numb,
this time may be our last

If I close my eyes
I can still feel you near
and see your smiling face

what you leave behind
the loving memories
that can not be replaced

pre-chorus:
I know you’re weary
of this world
and all your pain

I would be selfish
if I asked you
to remain

chorus:
If you must go
then leave in peace
the time has come
for your sweet soul to be released

connected by
the ties that bind
please know that
you will never leave my mind
If you must go

With a saddened heart
I bid you farewell
and wish you on your way

never far apart
you’ll be with me still
until the end of days

pre-chorus:
I won’t pretend
that I won’t miss you
when you’re gone

but you have
given me the strength
to carry on

chorus:
If you must go
then leave in peace
the time has come
for your sweet soul to be released

connected by
the ties that bind
please know that
you will never leave my mind
If you must go

One thing I know
That if you must go
I’ll miss you so

© 2006 LunaMusika



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