Decide To Stay and Swim - Song #9: Killing Time In The Doubt Department

Part of an ongoing series where I revisit 2003's record, Decide To Stay And Swim

I have a soft spot for this song as it takes me to a time and place. While music often has the power to do that for us, it's not always the songs you create that can work that kind of magic. 

The lyrics start off with 'A cafeteria surprise, was a 4-track spitting lies', which is really the genesis of the song: The line recalls how excited I was to get my first 4-track cassette recorder.

One of the earliest songs I recorded on it, using an old Boss drum machine and the distortion from a Tom Schultz 'Rockman', was the Dead Kennedys 'Too Drunk Too F*ck'.

At the time, I shared it with some close friends in my high school's cafeteria. But in one of those awkward teen moments right out of Freaks and Geeks, to my embarrassment, someone started sharing the headphones around the tables to anyone who would listen. It ended up getting passed around to a few older kids who had no idea what to make of the noise and mocked me for my strange and 'horrible music'. 

The seed of 'Killing Time In The Doubt Department' was planted with that memory. Ultimately this is a song about high school and the struggles we all went through, finding a place to belong.

Lyrics:

The cafeteria surprise 

Was a 4-track spitting lies 

Things were looking good 

And only getter better. 

I read her record buying guide 

And welled up somewhere deep inside 

A thought of her and rock n roll 

And consummation 

Now I feel like a stoned stun gun 

And I know that's impossible 

If the wait's still on 

I swear, I'll get back you. 

A sweetheart gesture coincides 

With the springtime in her eyes 

A dress-up custom built charade 

Was almost waning 

And if I get too close to you 

With lightning rods and paper glue 

I might find a simple plan for your attention. 

Now I feel like a stoned stun gun 

And I know that's impossible 

If the wait's still on 

I swear, I'll get back you. 

So linger on 

Your hopefuls half a million strong 

Collide tonight. 

So linger on 

Your hairspray and sentimental songs 

Dissolve tonight. 

They'll dissolve tonight.

Listen along and follow me on Spotify:

And the original 'Killing Time', from 2003:

Leave a comment

Add comment