On the flipside, “Unstrung” is obliquely about my first exgirlfriend … inversing my feelings so that i’m bitter about her breaking up with me rather than me breaking up with her. I wrote it after having seen Peter Mulvey and Erin McKeown play at a local acoustic club. Peter and Erin are two of my favourite songwriters, and really two of my idols because neither of them are even 30 yet they know how to write amazing moving songs and they have thousands of people who gladly listen to them. I had never seen Erin play before and that night i saw her from barely five feet away and she’s very tiny but her songs were huge and towering and larger than life. So, i came home and tried to be her for a few minutes, with her jazz chords and fancy metaphor. I still prefer listening to her albums over mine, but a boy can try, can’t he?
You broke one of my heart-strings from playing around too hard; did you think it was just like me banging away on my guitar? I forget all the little things – i just know how things are, and i i’m gonna lead by your example and get far away. ’cause you poor little caged bird you never sang for me, but oh how your voice rang out after you got free. i had never before in my life heard such a beautiful noise: it sang the way you’d think my heart would sing if i had a choice, but… i’ve got a fantasy: it’s just you and me. we’re inside your room, in your bed, cause instead of leaving too soon you never left instead. Cause you left me here standing alone in the low tide, and you set out to sea like a ship rolling out with my pride. now i’m standing here all alone on the beach; just sitting here with sand on my feet but – i’ve got a fantasy. in it’s just you and me. we’re holding hands, ’cause you know in this one we never learned how to make demands. You broke one of my heart strings from playing around to hard, did you think it this was as easy as me restringing my guitar?