Recording and Mixing Dates: September 26, 2010 and March 23, 2016. Mixed March 23, 2016.
Genesis: I came up with the music in 1974 when I moved a simple chord position on the second fret of the guitar to the fifth fret. The progression became the core of the verse music. I then added a simple three-chord progression for the refrain.
I wrote the lyrics in 1975. I am not sure at this point where they came from. They suggest at first glance someone who is in the midst of a bad drug trip, but I know that is not what I was consciously going for at the time. Today, the lyrics make me think of a person who is caught up in an intense situation and realizes there is no way to exit it safely. The night sky imagery plays into the song’s title.
The proper arrangement of the song has bedeviled me for decades. It started out as a solo guitar arrangement, then moved on to two acoustic guitars. Six years ago I worked up a heavy rock arrangement with blasting electric guitars. I finally settled on an acoustic arrangement that features a clawhammer banjo in the background and a fiddle for the solo sections.
Production: Acoustic Bass, Drums, Acoustic Guitars, Banjo, and Fiddle.
Can’t Come Down
Night has come to surround me
It holds me tight and warm
For I have been out traveling
High and mighty in the storm
I can’t come down
I’ve come this far to learn
I can’t come down
There is no safe return
Once pale in dim reflection
The stars erupt to show
Points of fiery crimson
Hearts of white-hot snow
Arching lines of fire
Carom off the sky
Ablaze in one great fever
They twist and lunge and die
Cut off from all behind me
I take the path towards light
It leads me close to morning
Then bends back to the night
Copyright 2016 Fred Grittner All Rights Reserved
7 thoughts on “Track 12 Can’t Come Down”
Good song, well written and played, can´t tell you why it grabs me a little less than some of the others. Maybe because I am not that fond of fiddles as lead instruments? Will listen again.
Thanks for the comments, Jan.
I really like this one, Fred!
Thanks, Henry. See you in August.
I LOVE the lyrics! The music doesn’t seem to fit well with them to me….not as mournful as the words feel (for me). Teresa shared your music this with me.
That’s funny. I remember the song well but I can’t quite remember the exact treatment you gave it way back in the 70’s. Pretty sure it was that bluegrassy type picking you always did. I bet you still have a recording from the old TEAC 4 channel. I do like the low key presentation you gave it here.
Thanks, Dale. I may have a tape recording of a guitar and vocal–definitely not bluegrass though. Congratulations on your retirement!