I finished a book hours ago (see my last post) and wasn't in the mood to start to start a new one. It's too hot to go for a walk (over 100 degrees here today) and since I've arrived in India I've discovered TV has no real interest to me. So, once I'd read the local paper and caught up with the US news online I didn't know what to do with myself. I decided I'd just cut the lights, lay down and put the iPod on to see what came the little elf in charge of shuffle would deliver. On song 13 he delivered the goods, Kendall Payne's "Scratch" I'm on play 12 and still going strong.
I remember hearing the song on Grey's Anatomy and downloaded it because I'd thought it was beautiful and haunting, it's been a while since I listened to it, but tonight it was the perfect fit for how I've been feeling.
Full of big girl things
And every day I wish I was small
I've been counting on nothing
But he keeps giving me his word
And I am tired of hearing myself speak
Do you get weary
Do you ever get weak
How do you dream
When you can't fall asleep
I used to think I was special
And only I have proved me wrong
I thought I could
Change the world with a song
But I have ended up in India
With no map to guide me home
The strangest place I think I've ever been
And all this time I thought that we were friends
My stubborn will is learning to bend
I played it so many times I finally had to get up and do a little internet search to see if I could find out more about the origins of the song and found a great explanation by Kendall Payne in response to another fan who just couldn't get it out of her head:
Thanks for writing. I remember when I was on tour with the Lilith Fair, and during a press conference someone asked Sarah McLaughlin to explain the meaning behind a song. She asked them, “What does it mean to you?” The girl who asked the question gave a long, drawn out story of what she thought it might mean and Sarah simply replied, “Then, that is what it means.”
That has left a lasting impression on me, as most of Sarah’s actions and words have. Because, songs take on their own life, their own meaning to those who care about them. That is my only fear in ever explaining why I wrote a song. I am afraid it will somehow take away the meaning from someone else. But oh well, here it goes…
I was on tour opening for Dido. This was many years ago. I was not getting adequate sound check time and I was pissed. Like many ‘green’ performers, I decided that throwing a hissy fit might get me what I wanted. So I called my manager and my A&R guy and my boyfriend and I let them all have it.
I remember sitting on a chair in my hotel room talking to my A&R guy at Capitol and he told me a story. He said, “Kendall, when I was a young man I knew I wanted to travel the world. And specifically, I knew I wanted to travel to India. So I saved some money and planned a trip there. The night before I left, an old wise friend came to me and said, ‘do yourself a favor, if you are going to travel to India, leave behind all your ideas of the western world, and simply embrace India for what it is. Do not expect it to be something, because you’ll be disappointed. Simply go there and experience it for what it is.’”
He then went on to say, “Kendall, you have never toured like this before. You have never been on a major label; you have never done all these things. So instead of insisting that it go your way, why don’t you try and embrace it for what it is. Leave behind all your opinions, demands and rights and simply experience it.”
I hung up the phone with him, not comforted in the least. I opted to call my boyfriend, who was even less comforting. He gave me the line, “We need to talk, it’s not bad, but it’s not good.” Which in guy code means, “I want to break up with you, but I don’t want you to make me feel bad about it.” And to top it off, I heard voices in the background at his house. I asked him who was there. He said some girls had just stopped by and they were going to watch a movie. The hot tears flooded my eyes.
I felt totally alone in that San Francisco hotel room. The first lyric literally poured out of me, “It’s a big girl world now, full of big girl things. And every day I wish I was small.”
So maybe it’s a love song, maybe it’s a song crying out to God, maybe it’s song for jaded grownups who have bought into the sham. I think the finds a different meaning for me every time I sing it.
Hope that helps a tiny bit, without stealing your own meaning.
I nearly stopped reading her explanation after the second paragraph, afraid I'd ruin the meaning the song had started to take on for me, but as I continued reading I found the song was enhanced. I didn't just related to the song because I'm in India, but because I'm at a point in my life where I don't know what to expect. There are days where I find myself wishing I could go back to those little girl dreams and try again, but then the big girl in me steps up to the plate and I realize that I may not always know what is coming next, but I know the important things: who I am, why I'm here and ultimately where I'm going.