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Doc Schneider: Music

Marie

(Eugene Ruffolo (Ben Wisch -Producer))
May 18, 2006
Words & Music by Doc Schneider
Marie

Your voice was like a river
rolling out across the land
and some times I could hear you
calling for my hand
calling for my hand

Just to take me past
the bars and walls
that locked me up inside
and then at last
I'd see it all
if only for one night

Oh but I did not believe that dream
I never thought I'd ever find my way
When it seemed too late
you opened up the gate
and set me free
I can't believe that you came back for me

Marie
I have loved you forever
Marie
we can walk out together
Marie
I can't believe you came back for me

And so the wheel is turning
that turns this world around
and all the stars are burning
that once fell to the ground
that once fell to the ground

Here beneath the sky
you begin to dance
like I dreamed you danced before
only you and I
in an old romance
what else are chances for?

Oh and now I do believe that dream
I never thought I'd find my way
And when it seemed too late
you opened up the gate
and set me free
I can't believe that you came back for me

Marie
I have loved you forever
Marie
we can walk out together
Marie
I can't believe you came back for me

I've got a pocketful of songs to sing you
I have this heart that I never gave away
I have a headful of dreams to bring you
and now these words I finally get to say

Marie
I have loved you forever
Marie
we can walk out together
Marie
I can't believe you came back
Marie
I have loved you forever
Marie
we can walk out together
Marie
I can't believe you came back for me
You came back for me
You came back for me

Doc Schneider -- Copyright 2003,2006

I wrote this song in 2003 for reasons unknown. All that is for sure is that the story is imagination. But I wanted to write a song about some locked up fellow who fell in love with the hometown girl who had long ago left and had a life but had somehow come back for him. And so I did.

The song is hard to sing, and so I never recorded it after writing it in November of that year. I have not gone back and researched timing, but I believe I had heard John Mayer's terrific song "Wheel", and how life brings people together and takes them apart -- and there is a little nod to that song in here.

In 2006, I decided to release a collection of "second chances" for my songs, all performed by terrific musicians. In a fit of hubris, I wanted to have a painting of me and my Olson (a James Taylor signature model!) for the cover of the CD.

We asked our good friend and fantastic artist, Lu Steed, if she would undertake a painting, and she agreed after years of negotiations. Lu is the kind of painter who walks into your soul, finds whoever the true you is and paints you. Like the good and curious detective she is, she asked to see a collection of my lyrics and the scribblings that constitute my songs. So I handed them over.

Lu called me one day in April 2006 to ask me about a song called 'Marie" she found in my notebook of lyrics. She asked if there was anything sensitive about the song, and whether it was anything Helen (my wife) would get upset about if she did anything with it. I told her it was a song from a few years back that I wrote and abandoned, and that there was no real Marie, Helen would have no problem, etc --and I thought that was that.

But when I went to take a look at her painting in progress, I was quite surprised to see that she had layered the beginning sketches of her painting on the screen of a 4 foot by 5 foot canvas that consisted of a painting of my lyric sheet for 'Marie".

As I left that viewing, I knew I was going to have to dig out that lyric sheet and see if something could be done with that song.

I had already begun talking with the talented producer, Ben Wisch, about listening to my collection of songs and seeing if he had any ideas for tweaking the mixes.

When "Marie" began bubbling up, I got up my courage to ask Ben to work on it, and then I went completely crazy and asked Ben if he could possibly get Eugene Ruffolo to sing the song. I had only recently discovered Eugene -- and his three albums of beyond belief material. He writes and plays with the best in the songwriting pantheon and his voice is amazing as well.

But before asking Ben about it, I made a very rough recording of the song one morning on GarageBand at my desk at home. I sent that MP3 to Jeff Jacobs.

Jeff Jacobs is the producer for most of the songs that will come out on the Second Chances CD. Jeff is the keyboard player for Foreigner. He also played with Billy Joel for years, and played on the Storm Front and River of Dreams album. He is a great producer, arranger and muse. I stumbled upon him in 2003 after seeing an ad in Performing Songwriter for his music production company. That was the beginning of a very productive exchange in which he turned my dented little songs into shiny new creations. We got along so well that we ended up co-writing Jeff's solo debut in 2005, a tight little blues rock album called "All Blue To Me." An interesting little fact is that on the same page as Jeff's ad in that 2003 Performing Songwriter magazine was an ad for Ben Wisch and his services as a producer.

I knew of Ben Wisch, of course, from his work on Marc Cohn's eponymous debut album, which featured the monster hit, "Walking in Memphis." I also knew he had produced David Wilcox's 1992 "Home Again" album -- which is a masterpiece of songwriting and record-making.

As Jeff and I got the collection of songs ready for "Second Chances", I decided to take a second chance of my own, picked up that old ad and tracked down Ben Wisch to see if I could get him to do a little work on this project as well -- listening to the mixes and seeing if there were cuts he thought he could improve. And then, as noted, I decided to reach for a little more and see if we could work together and actually produce a song from scratch. "Marie" became the unlikely candidate for that collaboration.

To get started, Jeff took my stumbling home demo of 'Marie" and knocked out a powerful little version that made me think it might be worth pursuing.

I sent both my home demo and Jeff's demo to Ben, and asked whether he would take it on. I also asked if he might be able to work a miracle of getting Eugene to sing it.

The song you hear is the result. Eugene gives it his trademark heartfelt vocal and a lilting, captivating guitar part. (He has his high string tuned down to D, which lets that string chime through the song). Ben has added a Wurlitzer and all the other "just right" touches, with Eugene doing harmonies and background vocals that give the song a prettiness that brings Marie to life.