The Legacy Music Project: To Get Next to You

a couple sit on a dock, kissing. It is a dark, overcast day, with a body of water and land across the way in the background.

To Get Next To You is one of my recent ones. In a miraculously prolific year (thank you 2023, for this part, anyway), I’ve written eight new songs – music and lyrics – and six instrumentals.

For perspective: I hadn’t written a complete song in more than two decades. (Which is another story for another time.)

I also taught myself to play the electric guitar – my now-beloved Fender Stratocaster, Dolphin Gray. (At least for me, playing an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar are two very different beasts.) At the same time, Gina and I were spending months recording with engineer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Fett at Azalea Studios, working with incredible session musicians like Ron de la Vega, Myles Thompson, and Dave Hoffner.

Fett and I have recorded (and continue to record) some of these new songs, and then we “opened up” songs that I had recorded but never finished ten years ago, adding mandolin, violin, bass, percussion, piano and keyboards, cello, and backing vocals. Then, inspired by the favorable results, we “opened up” tracks from our first CD, A Step Along the Way, and re-imagined them with some enhanced instrumentation and production.

Getting me back in the studio was Gina’s suggestion, because a year ago I couldn’t “play my tunes, sing my words,” according to a lyric of another new song, So Much More To Say. My fingers couldn’t find the chords anymore. My brain couldn’t bring up lyrics I’d written myself, to songs I’d sung hundreds of times. I couldn’t physically play my Martin D28, the same and only guitar I’ve used for fifty years.

That’s because I have vascular dementia. I forget things easily. Days feel like weeks, and weeks feel like days. My confidence in any number of my reliable competencies has been significantly rocked.

So I embarked on a Legacy Music Project. I wanted to leave completed recordings of my songs, both old and new, for Gina, for our “kids,” Skye, Bernie, and Gillian, our grandboys, Theo, Samuel, and Phillip, and any other people out there who have enjoyed or wish to explore my music.

Somehow my weird, dementia-addled brain rewired itself (I love this medical theory promoted by Gina and my neurologist), and I am writing music and lyrics, and playing things on Dolphin Gray that are beyond the skills I had before. Gina bought me the Strat. Then she bought me a lovely Taylor acoustic that I can play. Then she “bank-rolled” all of the recording sessions.

Because she says she loves me, and I love her too. Tonzabells. That’s why all of my new songs are about her…

…which brings us to, To Get Next To You.

I am really proud of this song. It’s such a culmination, for me, of so many treasured influences who have molded my music – Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Van Morrison, Marc Cohn, Bob Dylan, to name but a few. It is folk. It is country. It is what Gina and I call Civil War-era music (maybe Americana?), like Mumford and Sons, Alpha Rev, The Lumineers, Peter Bradley Adams. And, when the exceptional Myles Thompson put down his mandolin and violin parts, it immediately conjured up The Band, a “sound” and ambience that I had emulated since Music for Big Pink. (Oh, to have Levon Helm sing this!)

On the surface, the song is about someone desperately needing to get back to their other half; at any cost or risk. Or someone nearing the end of a long sojourn away from their loved one. But I was writing from the perspective of someone who had passed and was in a purgatory of some kind. Desperately needing and wanting to get back, but unable to travel the distance.

Here are the lyrics, for those of you who want to read, or maybe sing along. Extra credit for those who sing along and then grace me with your performance!

Thanks for listening. Let me know what you think.

To Get Next to You

Music & Lyrics by Ned Andrew Solomon

Verse 1:

I’d climb over mountains

Swim the ocean blue

I’d crawl through a tunnel, baby

To get next to you

Verse 2:

I’d learn a new language

I’d swing from a star

I’d give my last dollar

To get where you are

Instrumental interlude

Verse 3:

I’d say ten Hail Marys

Then ten thousand more

Then I’d fly through the ages

To be at your door

To be at your door

To be at your door

To be at your door

Instrumental interlude

Verse 4: (repeat verse one)

I’d climb over mountains

Swim the ocean blue

I’d crawl through a tunnel, baby

To get next to you

To get next to you

To get next to you

To get next to you

Instrumental outro

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Comments

  1. Wonderful. You’ve hit a high mark, Ned Andrew!

  2. What a beautiful message of love. May your legacy last for generations to come…

  3. Wonderful. And I love how boldly you are sharing your journey. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, Beth. And thank you for saying so. I have always been an open book. It drives my sister – three years older than me, crazy.

  5. Patrick Duffy says

    This is absolutely wonderful, as is the rest of your catalog. Stay strong friend, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

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