1. If I Linger

From the recording 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