Song for You: A continual work in progress

Of Gentlemen and Cowards has a song that we’ve been working on since the early days of Murphy Slaw, and “Song for You” has continued to see the light of day during our live sets and it’s for good reason. I’m not sure how it happens, but we’ll sit down to take apart this song and put a bunch of sweat and work into it and then sit back to be wow-ed by the product of our labour.

When we returned from New York we sat down to discuss what our next step is and we’ve decided to pump out one more single before approaching the task of developing an album. For this single we’ll include two songs on it, of which “Song for You” will be one of the sides.

We learned a great deal about efficient song deconstruction and development while preparing “Save Me” for New York and applied it to “Song for You,” which is a song that twice previously has been considered ‘complete.’

Alas, the calibre of our newly developed lens through which we criticize our work has lead us to discovering more stuff hidden inside  our song. My guitar line, not Simon’s rhythm part with the beautiful chord voicings but the arpeggiated electric part, was written by the Slaw’s bassist Will Stone back in the day.

Since going to New York, all of us have really begun to learn how to communicate to one another what it is that we value in each as musicians and what we want to see brought out from one another and it was within these discussions that the boys pushed me towards a specific mindset about playing guitar that I don’t fully understand it yet, but one that I’m beginning to grasp. This specific creative outlook which is not just reflective of my own ideas but of the band as a whole when applied to my original guitar line from the Slaw days lead me to some interesting things.

I’ve never really given Jack Johnson the credit he deserves for his influence on me as a guitarist but he definitely makes an appearance through my playing on my part after our bridge. On the whole, I feel Johnny Marr provided me with most general influence on this song. Not necessarily his playing technique but I really felt a connection to his use of pitch space to develop songs and approached my part for this song to develop a part that is amicable with what the other guitar is also saying. I’m not playing anything too complex, and in fact forced myself to limit my use of playing to accentuate the the song’s features. I really admire Mike Einziger from Incubus for his ability to write sonically stimulating guitar parts that don’t attract too much attention to themselves and I hope to develop and retain this quality as I continue to write music.

At this point I believe that we’ve only done it live once or twice as its current composition but I’m quite looking forward to getting this song finished and playing it more live!

-CF (05/10/12)

–Originally posted on

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