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07 Daylight Savings
Goh Nakamura

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photo by Jay Jao

There are three things that inspired this song- Bob Dylan. Highway 280. My Uncle.

I was a late bloomer concerning Dylan’s music, but I saw the light after seeing the documentary about him entitled “Don’t Look Back”. A few days after seeing the movie, I was determined to know everything about him, and went to a bookstore to literarily stalk him. Little did I know that I would be literally stalking him in a few hours. (Well, not “stalk” him, but follow him… and watch him closely. That’s not stalking is it?)

Anyhow, I ended up buying a book about him, and while paying for it the cashier asked me if I was going to “the show”.


It turned out that Dylan was performing that evening in Santa Cruz! A sign from God! I immediately called someone to cover my bartending shift that night, so I could see the man in the flesh. To make a long story shorter- I drove to Santa Cruz and waited 6 hours to buy a scalped ticket (it was sold out). I watched the entire show a few feet away from him. I left the building a changed man.

So what does all this have to do with the song Daylight Savings? Well, it forever changed the way I wrote lyrics and listened to music. I’m not saying that Daylight Savings is as good as a Dylan song… (Hell no!) but it was the first one that I really sweat over the lyrics on. Also, since I was driving so much (especially on highway 280) I found myself writing a lot of melodies in the car. Daylight Savings was one of them.

I had the tune cycling in my head for months and months. I was banging my head against a wall to write lyrics for the melody, but coming up dry every time. I was certain that it was going to be a love song… only problem was that I was not in love with anyone at the time!

One day, I got one of “those calls”. The kind that completely drain all the blood out of your body because someone is sobbing on the other end. It was news of the sudden death of my 50 year old uncle in Japan. My dad’s little brother. The last time my dad spoke to him, he expressed concern that he was living alone and told him that he should “find a wife” in case something should happen to him.

I never really got to know him as well as I wanted, and felt robbed that I couldn’t say goodbye. I picked up a pencil and this song came out in a few hours.

2 Comments so far
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At first, I thought this is a very light-hearted song. But after I read the story behind it(while listening), the melodies just saddened me all the sudden…I know how horrible HWY280 is…and of course the lost of beloved ones.

Comment by Miki 02.22.06 @ 7:14 pm

Your song “Daylight Savings” absolutely captivated me before I even finished listening to the whole thing. It sounds like such a bare, honest song that really shows the world how deeply you loved your uncle. This song describes that very specific sick emptiness that everyone has felt and can relate to when a loved one dies. Some may see this as depressing but I think that if we take another slant, it is rather soothing and comforting. Trials can be today’s midnight, a conclusive end that leads us into a tomorrow of sunrises and new hope. This song so perfectly describes what some people cannot even verbalize, but rather keep trapped inside of them. “Daylight Savings” is that special connection that the world has that speaks to all of us in different yet equally meaningful ways.

Comment by Tally 10.18.06 @ 3:44 pm

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