The story and the meaning behind The Narrative's song 'Don't Want to Fall'

Around some months we posted a archive from The Narrative where the band talked about the meaning of their songs. Jesse wrote about Eyes Closed, read here. And now, Suzie posted a letter about the song 'Don't Want to Fall' that is also one of the most listened song from the band. You can read the full story below:

I started writing "Don’t Want to Fall" around the same time I wrote “Waiting Room.” It just took me a lot longer to finish it so it was never in consideration for the Just Say Yes EP. When I write lyrics, it’s partially conscious, partially subconscious. It can take me a few weeks, months, or even years to understand exactly why a lyric came together the way it did. I tend to write music when I am feeling something, even if I don’t quite know exactly what I am feeling. It helps me figure things out. Sometimes it takes a while.

To answer someone’s specific question, yes, this song is about a specific person. Once upon at time, I had a short-lived relationship with one of my really close friends. It was a roller-coaster: highest highs, lowest lows, twists and turns, and finally a completely abrupt ending (I didn’t want it to end, but it had to - I am pretty sure he was still in love with somebody else and it led to him doing some pretty hurtful things). It was tough losing a relationship and a best friend at the same time. It did get me into songwriting though which pretty much changed the course of my entire life, and through songwriting and music, I met the love of my life who is now my husband (yay!)

Here is something you might not know about me: I’m obsessed with closure. To me, closure means everyone is happy and friends again! I realize that this is slightly crazy but hey, color me optimistic! So, this song is about making the decision to meet up with someone I used to be in a relationship with because I wanted closure and reassurance that I was definitely totally over it, and I wanted to get over the awkwardness of seeing that person again. Some small part of me was a little terrified that I might not actually be over it, which is where the chorus of the song comes from. Spoiler alert: I was over it!

The lyrics of the song are a combination of imagination and reality. Once we set the plans to meet up, I had some narrative in my head about how everything would go. Things would be awkward initially. He would be sort of clumsy as usual. That’s the first verse. The second verse is a bit more literal, it’s about walking around in the East Village which is where I lived when we were dating. 

The bridge is one of my favorite parts of the song, particularly because of the time signature change (nerdy musician stuff) and that it feels super nostalgic to me, which is exactly what I wanted it to feel like. Actually, the bridge was half as long originally. I added the lyric “And now we say that we were young and what we had has come and gone” when I played the song for my voice teacher who encouraged me to extend the part because she liked it so much. 

I think my favorite lyric in the song is “You’re not easy to forget.” It’s really simple, but it always makes me feel something. It also didn’t occurr to me that it might be super weird to repeat a technical word like “intercom” in an airy falsetto. Looking back, I am always a little amused at that decision. 

I remember playing the song for Jesse and asking what he wanted to do with it. We decided to keep it almost exactly as it was written - no additional instrumentation, just piano and vocals. I love doing alternate versions of our songs (ahem, B-Sides & Seasides) but I think if we recorded this one again tomorrow, I would keep it just like this all over again.

Hope you all enjoyed this... if anyone made it to the end of this post, let me know!

Suzie

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