"Shining Armor"

Last night I got to see Liz Longley and Brian Dunne in Berkeley. It was a great show, but like most times when I go to see singer/songwriters I get an itch to write songs again. So this time I jammed out a whole song’s worth of lyrics on the train ride home.

Unfortunately I got up today with a slightly sore throat (from staying up late), and then found out my guitar skills really aren’t good enough to handle the song I had written. So instead I just played the thing on my piano keyboard, rather than guitar+singing, and that’s what y’all get here. (Lyrics below, since they’re not in the recording.)

Huh, I think this is my first posted piano recording. I’m not exactly self-conscious about my minimal piano skills, but my limitations do feel a lot more obvious than they do for guitar/singing, where people regularly do fairly minimal things and post them anyway.

Although it was Liz Longley I went to see last night, the song is more in the style of Alex Wong, Paul Freeman, and Aaron Long, all musicians in the “Vienna Teng songwriter circle” that my group of friends follow. There’s also some chords in there that I picked up from *cough* the Lion King, and after the fact I realized there’s a bit of one of the Umineko main themes in there too, entirely by accident.

And the actual subject? Primarily inspired by Revolutionary Girl Utena, a fifteen-year-old anime purportedly about a middle school girl who gets drawn into a series of magic duels over a fellow student. The first season sets up the duels and the characters, the second takes a detour to lay some themes and groundwork, and then the third builds on that groundwork a spaceship which then flies to the moon and blows it up. Seriously, the third season just goes off the rails, and that’s where all the real discussion is. (Note that there’s also some disturbing sexual content in there as well, especially in season 3; the earlier episodes will not prepare you for it.)

Besides Utena, the song also has relationships from other stories I’ve read mixed in, with similar-but-different problematic dynamics. And like any artist, at least part of the song is based on real-life personal experience. So, uh, there’s that.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I wrote a song. Enjoy.

Oh, and I did finish NaNoWriMo. I’ll write a post about that soon.


You don’t have to be the savior
You don’t have to be the prince
You don’t have to be the knight in shining armor
And you don’t have to deal with this

You don’t need to get involved now
You think it’s just what you can do
You don’t see yourself as any kind of hero
You think but only think of you

Cause that girl you love
She isn’t me, she isn’t me
And those selfless acts
Aren’t what I need, what I need
Did you ever think, ever think
Of asking me
If I wanted your help in the first place

You see the role in the story
You try your best to fill those shoes
You’re brave and kind, which is hard to find these days
And you will never ever lose

But that girl you love
She isn’t me, she isn’t me
And those selfless acts
Aren’t what I need, what I need
Did you ever think, ever think
Of asking me
If I wanted your help in the first place

Don’t get me wrong, I see what you’re trying to do, it’s appreciated
You could have asked me first, maybe this is what I wanted, you could have waited
So I thank you for your support
But take your hands off
Your story isn’t what my life is for

Yeah, that girl you love
She isn’t me, she isn’t me
And those selfless acts
Aren’t what I need, what I need
And I’m hurting, I’m in pain
And you know you shouldn’t blame yourself
This isn’t something you can just fix

Yeah, that girl you love
She isn’t me, she isn’t me
And these selfless acts
Aren’t what I need, what I need
And if you treat those last lines
As an invitation that’s not fine
Because I ain’t gonna be
Your latest project of the week
Cause it’s up to, up to me
If I want your help in the first place

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