Liner Notes for “We Never Saw the Southern Cross”
If you've talked to me more than once, you probably know I have a habit. I will keep thinking about something that you said for minutes or hours after you've said it. And I will respond when I respond, even if I've responded already, even if it's tomorrow. In other words, my steady state, in moments both mundane and dramatic, is l'esprit d'escalier. For a long time, I assumed I'd eventually meet a person, a conversational soul mate, who was the same way. We'd finish the thought we'd started last week next month. We wouldn't spend half of every conversation apologizing or explaining. All that's about how the lyric is structured. The bones, my son tells me, give you a decent sense of the form, and that gives you a decent sense of what the dinosaur may have eaten or been eaten by and how fast it may have been. The bones tell you what its needs might have been. "We Never Saw the Southern Cross" is about need. And love. And sorrow. And the sense that, given enough time, you or I might find the right words. Given enough time, we might put them in the right order. Inevitably, then, it's a song about circling back to the thoughts still somehow, after all these years, baking on low, in a hundred-and-twenty-degree oven, behind the sofa pillows and bottle rockets.