Subtitled: “Love, Hate & the White Whale”
Since its creation in 2007, “The Real World” has been my songwriting equivalent of a white whale.
Guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with the song.
• The “love” part has to do with the essence of the song….the lyrical message & my vision of how the finished version was supposed to sound.
• The “hate” part is simple. I was never able to achieve that sound. Try as I might, I could never produce a version that lived up to my original expectations.
Unfortunately, white whales are something that songwriters encounter from time-to-time. That one finished product that’s never quite right.
You can allow it to swallow up huge chunks of your creative time & energy, or you can decide in advance how far you’re willing to chase the whale.
For me, the chase has been a long, sporadic one. I’ve spent more time than I probably should have, but spread it out over a number of years.
Alternative arrangements, additional editing, rebalancing tracks & remixing have all been explored in past attempts.
In 2012, I re-recorded 100% of the vocal tracks. When it was all said and done, it still fell short of my expectations.
On more than one occasion, I swore I was done with it for good!
Inevitably, I’d talk myself into just one more attempt.
For the past several years, there hasn’t been a version of this song available online.
I was tired of being dissatisfied, had plenty of other material & was tired of thinking about it.
Then it happened….that nagging thought in the back of my mind telling me that one more time might make the difference.
So I went to work on it again, incorporated a number of fresh ideas.
I finished it up last week. (April 2016) Only time will tell if this is the "final version", but I certainly hope so.
I can tell you this....it’s the closest I’ve come to what I originally intended.
So, with any luck….I’ve slain my musical white whale!
Recording, editing & mixing were done with a *PortaStudio 2488….a 24 track Tascam system. (*rear-center, photo below)
• Guitars, Bass, Organ, Piano – Tom Hoffman
• Vocals – Tom Hoffman
Since I was a child, I’ve been hopin’ to find
Something that I’ve always had here in my mind
A niche, a place, a group, a time that lets me see
The world, the way I always thought, that it could be
A fair & honest world, a kind of Promised Land
The one, as children, we believed was close at hand
But instead, what I get is the real world
Cold & hard, it’s the let’s make a deal world
Fairness lives in fairy tales in the real world
Growin’ up, I learned about things wrong & right
Good & bad, no in-between, just black & white
Cut & dried, no shades of gray, all absolutes
No compromising of beliefs, no subtle truths
Older now, I look around & see a place
Built on rules I never learned, but have to face
Once again, what I get is the real world
Watch your back in the let’s make a deal world
Things are rarely what they seem in the real world
Life’s one never-ending surprise
Each day’s a lesson that opens my eyes
Watching, imitating success
Hearing what’s said, but learning what’s best
Now-a-days I view the world through cynic’s eyes
Skeptical, but hopin’ that I’ll be surprised
Still lookin’ for a niche, a place, a group, a time
The image of a better world, still in my mind
Mostly though, what I get is the real world
Suck it up in the let’s make a deal world
Still I hope for better days in the real world
Copyright 2007- Tom Hoffman
You Tube Video Version (*includes full song) - https://youtu.be/IOYcgVdICbs