Bill Callahan, “One Fine Morning”

Written by June 27th, 2011 at 10:08 am

“One Fine Morning” is the last song on Bill Callahan’s new album, Apocalypse.

Can you talk about how “One Fine Morning” fits in with the other songs on Apocalypse?

It’s a culmination of all that has come before it on the record. The previous songs are instances and then “One Fine Morning” is ‘the now.’ It’s what happened after all the instances. It’s supposed to be happening in ‘real time.’ That’s why I mention the catalogue number at the end, to make the whole thing real and united.

Do you remember what came first – a particular lyric or line, or the melody?

I thought of the title and then the first line, “One Fine Morning/ I’m going to ride out/ Just me and the skeleton crew,” first.

Do you remember where you were when you wrote it?

I was in the shed behind my house, where I wrote the whole album. I kept it very messy and cramped for some reason. There was just a tiny space on the desk big enough for my notebook. And I lit only with electric light. I didn’t want anything natural sneaking in to my conscious, like shadows. I didn’t want to know what time of day it was or the weather.

Did it come quickly or develop over time?

The whole album was written in three months. I think “One Fine Morning” came sort of quickly, used up the least time. It’s a release song, whereas something like “Universal Applicant” is kind of pulling in to itself or folding in on itself. “One Fine Morning” is the blossoming, it’s when the seed finally sprouts and begins to overflow into the air.

“One Fine Morning”

One fine morning
I’m gonna ride out
Yeah, one fine morning
I’m gonna ride out

Just me and the skeleton crew
We’re gonna ride out in a country kind of silence
We’re gonna ride out in a country silence
Yeah one fine morning

Yeah it’s all coming back to me now
My apocalypse, my apocalypse
The curtain rose and burned in the morning sun
Yeah the curtain rose and burned in the morning sun

And the mountains
And the mountains bowed down
In the morning sun
Like a ballet of the heart
Yeah the mountains bowed down
Like a ballet
In the morning sun

And the baby and we all lay in state
Yeah the baby and we all lay in state
And I say “Hey! no more drovering!”
I say “Hey! no more drovering!”

When the earth turns cold
And the earth turns black
Will I feel you riding on my back?
Yeah when the earth turns cold
And the earth turns black
Will I feel you riding on my back?

And for I am a part of the road
Yeah I am a part of the road
The hardest part
The hardest part

Written by Bill Callahan

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