HERE I AM AGAIN

Words and music by Steve Mann

            A7             Ab7
Well here I am again,

            A7                                      Ab7
It's so long since I've seen a friend,

A7                                            Ab7                                            Ab7,      A7
Everybody's packing up to leave this old lonesome town;

D7                         G7
I've got to flag a ride,

C7
There's a city left I haven't tried,

         F7                                                                                E7, E7(+5)
And lately things around here keep on dragging me down.

A   friend I used to know
Once told me long ago
That going and leaving are sometimes different things;
Well I found out what that meant,
And I wonder where she went,
But when I get to New Orleans we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Well I never had much luck,
And I'm tired of this local shuck,
And I don't have eyes to play a money game;
I've wandered 'round Sunset strip,
And I don't think that strip's so hip,
But even if it was, I'd be leaving just the same.

There is no ambiguity in the mood of this song. It does not follow any standard blues progression, but it has a very bluesy sound. The use of dominant seventh chords is one thing that characterizes blues, and half-step moves between chords is a common jazz device, so in some ways this song is like a Mose Allison tune that fits into both categories at the same time. A favorite device of Steve's is pedaling around the cycle of fifths in his chord arrangements. This one is a fine example of that.

For those unfamiliar with American slang:

Sunset strip is refers to the main street in Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard, where there are a lot of music clubs and action of various kinds..

Flagging a ride is hitchhiking (autostop?) . And of course "hip" is by now an old-fashioned word for praise like " cool" or "groovy."

The word "Groovy " probably comes from "in the groove," which is old-time musicians' talk for a good sound, from the days when records were played on turn tables. If none of this makes sense to you, then you are too young and should go home and do your homework and clean your room.

"Play a money game," means getting a job to Steve, who just wants to play music, not work a day job at a desk.

The depressed feeling of "Here I A m Again" is timeless, and together with the slow tempo, the seventh chords, the sense that everyone is leaving town and I'm left behind, and I wonder where my gal went--it all adds up to the blues, one way or another.

                                                                                              --JS

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