Chris Kemp White

Chris Kemp White
07/05/2016

Story

I think we’ve all wasted considerable amounts of time in our lives. A lot of this time can be chalked up to learning, but a good deal is spent on “as good as it gets” syndrome: staying in a job or relationship (or band) because you can’t imagine a better version of yourself or your life. What’s more is the shame that goes along with this condition–we want to believe we’re in control and admitting that we, in fact, have minimal power over our trajectory is grossly unsettling. Conversely, accepting our lack of control can be freeing. Letting go of fear (or facing it) makes taking risks easier and opens us up for new possibilities. Never accept “as good as it gets.” If you think you’re in control, think again. 

Lyrics

Wait – wait for the right time

You’ve been waiting all your life

And the right time never comes

 

They say this is as good as it gets

So you stop looking

And life passes you by

Life passes you by

 

So you’re marching to the rhythm

And you’re keeping the beat

But who’s playing the drum?

 

Now you’re out there on your own

Without the nagging voices

Telling you where to go

Where to go

 

[Solo]

 

Wait – wait for the right time

You’ve been waiting all your life

And the right time never comes

 

They say this is as good as it gets

So you stop looking

And life passed you by

Life passed you by

Chris Kemp White
Chris Kemp White

Story

The first verse sprouted while lying in bed. Many times I’ve tried my hand at developing a personal mantra–usually when fighting insomnia–thus the idea of “words that are repeating.” These lines fell short of my goal but did give me fodder for lyrics. 

 

The underlying theme is of collective consciousness–an energy that binds us to each other and to our pasts. Are we disconnected from our ancestors? Though it may be a temporary condition, I feel like we have lost an ancient wisdom that is represented here by a tune: “Used to know the words to all the songs our forebears sang.” Consumed with materialism and industry, we are missing out on life’s key messages: live simply, be grateful and sing.

Lyrics

The words that are repeating

Pluck them from the air

Humming in the stillness

Close your eyes to hear

 

Your mind is filled with chaos

Let your body buzz with life

Letting go of darkness

Grab onto the Light

 

Papier-mâché castles

We build into the sky

They melt into the horizon

And we’re surprised

 

Hum the tune whenever

You forget the words

You are a tiny cosm

In a microcosmic world

 

Used to know 

The words to all the songs our forebears sang

Used to know 

The end and the beginning are the same

Chris Kemp White
Chris Kemp White

Story

Mostly an apology, “If I Linger” makes a good show starter. Just as Ringo sang, “What would you do if I sang out of tune,” this song absolves me of all stage malfunction-related guilt. This includes singing out of tune.

 

Okay, it’s not really about performance at all, but about the failings of a wallflower. I distinctly remember youth paralysis at social events–an inability to simply introduce myself. For years I thought I was cursed, but later realized I experienced the same insecurities as everyone else. Hanging back was my coping mechanism. In later years (around 30) I flip-flopped. Since then I stick my hand out and introduce myself obnoxiously. 

Lyrics

If my hands shake, words fail

If I fail to be clear

If I drift off, eyes glaze

I don’t seem to be here

To be here

 

If my tongue seizes, lips move

I draw a sigh

If the wind blows, trees sway

I move side to side

Side to side

 

If I wander, distracted

I fail to be commit

If I can’t pretend, shut down

I still want you here

I want you here

 

If I linger, too long

And I won’t go home

Forgive me; forget me

And show me the door

Chris Kemp White
10/03/2016
Chris Kemp White

Story

You’re Coming Home: a man questions whether he can support his partner’s decision to pursue a new life.

Chris Kemp White

by Chris Kemp White

Released 2016
Released 2016
Debut E.P. from solo singer-songwriter with captivating voice and creative arrangements explores themes of love, loss and longing, revealing classic and modern influences like David Bowie, Crowded House, and Coldplay.
  • 03:18 Story Lyrics
    If I Linger

    If my hands shake, words fail

    If I fail to be clear

    If I drift off, eyes glaze

    I don’t seem to be here

    To be here

     

    If my tongue seizes, lips move

    I draw a sigh

    If the wind blows, trees sway

    I move side to side

    Side to side

     

    If I wander, distracted

    I fail to be commit

    If I can’t pretend, shut down

    I still want you here

    I want you here

     

    If I linger, too long

    And I won’t go home

    Forgive me; forget me

    And show me the door

  • 04:29 Story Lyrics
    Repeating

    The words that are repeating

    Pluck them from the air

    Humming in the stillness

    Close your eyes to hear

     

    Your mind is filled with chaos

    Let your body buzz with life

    Letting go of darkness

    Grab onto the Light

     

    Papier-mâché castles

    We build into the sky

    They melt into the horizon

    And we’re surprised

     

    Hum the tune whenever

    You forget the words

    You are a tiny cosm

    In a microcosmic world

     

    Used to know

    The words to all the songs our forebears sang

    Used to know

    The end and the beginning are the same

  • 04:32 Story Lyrics
    The Same Man (Who Broke Your Heart)

    A little ill

    It’s not so bad

    I can’t believe I’m the same man

    Who worked so hard

    To be so mean

     

    It’s not my fault

    I’m not as clean 

    This cup collects your pity

    And drunken eyes

    Will turn the grays to color

     

    Just a kiss

    That’s all it was

    That’s all there is

    The way you feel 

    Is way too strange

     

    A little ill

    It’s not so bad

    I can’t believe I’m the same man 

    Who broke your heart

    That wasn’t me

  • 03:54 Story Lyrics
    Trouble on the Ground

    If you think you’re running now

    You’ll move faster when the army hits the ground

    When you climb too high

    Bite your lip when the bullets hit the sky

    If they pierce the sea

    Swim like fish when they chase you to the reef

     

    If you think you’re sure

    You’ll think again when there’s knocking at your door

    When you feel the night

    Don’t close your eyes you may never see the light again

     

    Trouble on the ground

    Take it to the sea

    Trouble in the air

    Take it to the trees

     

    If you think you’re running now

    You’ll move faster when the army hits the ground

    When you climb too high

    Bite your lip when the bullets hit the sky

    If they pierce the sea

    Swim like fish when they chase you to the reef

     

    Trouble on the ground

    Take it to the sea

    Trouble in the air

    Take it to the trees

NOTES
Portland, Maine singer-songwriter Chris Kemp White has been making music in and around the state's largest city for more than twenty years. After performing almost exclusively with bands––The Frotus Caper, Hotel Arrival, The Lomax and An Overnight Low, to name a few––Chris released his debut self-titled E.P. in June of 2016.

In the CD's first track "If I Linger," White sets the tone for the album singing, "If my hands shake, words fail / …
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