From the recording Red Plaid Umbrella
Certain styles and fashions come and go, some come back around again as ‘retro’ or ‘timeless classics’. But I saw something on the street one rainy day that grabbed my attention simply because it suddenly occurred to me that I had not seen anything like it since I was a child – a lady was carrying an umbrella made of fabric in a plaid pattern. Perhaps that was nothing unusual and I just don’t get around much, but it was one of those things where you say to yourself “ I haven’t seen one of those in years ! ”
And maybe because of the dark, rainy day or perhaps because the memory was filtered through the lens of the dimming past, it captured for me a mood of lonely solitude somehow, and I used a portion of music I had been playing around with to start exploring that thought.
A thought, a mood, a feeling, general concept, turn of a phrase; call it what you will – but the woman in the song is a fictional embodiment of a lot of memories and recollections of the senses where a rainy day brings us a slightly somber feeling; not disagreeable but certainly not happy. Maybe pensive, or introspective; a slightly cooler occasional breeze, warm rain, the smells of the wet grass and leaves, muted sounds, distant thunder in the background . . . the feeling of being alone – even in a crowd.
Red Plaid Umbrella
( R. P. Maddox © - 2014)
Distant thunder, dark clouds, city bus crawling through the puddles
Lonely park bench made for two
Warm Spring rain just made for walking
She’s been here before . . . Deja’ Vu . . .
Makes her way to the stop down at the corner
Coffee, stale cigarettes . . . same old crowd
Stifles a scream from deep inside her
Who knew silence was so loud ?
So she walks in the rain with her red plaid umbrella
And she waits, but the call never comes
Maybe she should have known but nobody would tell her
So she wonders what she’s doing wrong . . . all alone
She has no pity for that woman staring at her from the mirror
She would not listen to her warnings
But each day her message is getting clearer
All she wants is someone who will care if she's coming or going
Someone to hold in the night
A man she can trust when he tells her
Everything's gonna be alright . . .
But the world doesn’t care
And the years they just keep on rollin’
The trees in the park pay her no mind
Same old path she’s always taken
Going nowhere – marking time . . .
So she waits in the rain with her red plaid umbrella
And she checks, but her call didn’t come
Now her cover is blown but nobody will tell her
So she sits and she stares at her phone . . . all alone