Chris Kemp White

If I Linger

Chris Kemp White
Chris Kemp White


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.


Tidbits: this is an early attempt at playing my own drums. At the time I had only a kick, snare, tom and crappy cymbal. Nevertheless, it took me countless takes to play them all at the right times. Also, my grandfather’s mandolin is featured front and center (a little left of center, technically). 


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