You Can’t

Singer songwriter Siren Patti Witten has done it again. With You Can’t she’s written another song that give me goosebumps and makes me want to write a novel.

I really did do that after hearing her song Obvious. I’ve only completed the first draft of the YA manuscript so far, but when I tell you her song inspired me to write a book, I mean it. Obvious was the jumping off point, and then I asked, what if . . . and came out with a couple hundred pages. That’s . . . a lot of inspiration. You can read a previous Sirenstories post about Patti Witten and hear the song Obvious here. I’ve listened to the track dozens and dozens of times.

Patti Witten had this to say about her song You Can’t:

You Can’t is a sad-sweet, mysterious lament about girls and boys, family and romance, similar to Paul McCartney’s “Junk.” It incorporates clips from family home recordings of little girls singing “the farmer in the dell,” telling a story, whispered lyrics, studio out-takes, and ends with a lonely ringing telephone.”

In other words, it will give you chills, and make you want to hear more from Patti Witten.

Day 10 on Sirenstories is . . . Obvious.

Singer songwriter Patti Witten gets a 10 out of 10 for her song Obvious.

The tune is killing me—in a good way—with its Elliott Smith overtones.

Patti Witten has an ease to her singing, as if wandering around her wide range is simply a sweet ramble.

Listening to Patti’s casual vocal style, I imagine Joni Mitchell on a lazy day:

She’s on the couch, relaxing, maybe reading the paper. She’s not going to get up just to tell you something you ought to know. She looks at you over the top of her glasses, sighs, and puts her paper down. She gives you another look, then picks up her guitar. Maybe now you’ll get it.

As Patti sings, “You are the one I want, isn’t it obvious?” I’m thinking, she’s got the right idea. Life is short, people like Elliot Smith—who I am now missing so much I feel like crying—vanish overnight, so why play games? Just say it, whatever it is.

Patti Witten said this about Obvious:

“This is what it’s like to have an embarrassing, stupid crush — everybody knows — it’s obvious.”

To me, the singer doesn’t sound embarrassed at all. I imagine her steady gaze as she tells it like it is.

Obvious is such a great concept, I wish I’d thought of it. I’m kicking myself. It should have been . . . obvious.

But okay. Patti Witten is great songwriter and she wrote the song Obvious, so I can’t. However I’m telling you now People, I’m writing the book. YA romance. Totally. Obviously.

Thanks for the inspiration Patti. I’ll mention you in the acknowledgments. And we’ll use your song in the movie, okay?

Obvious has a mysterious guitar part and the drums play a shuffling groove. This simple instrumentation, with what I’m guessing are a few added effects on the layered guitars is perfect, and the song sounds somehow both small and momentous. But it’s the chord progression, with Patti’s voice sliding around on top, that makes me want to listen to the song over and over.

So I am.