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about

Says Robi: This one I started years and years ago. It even had a jaunty, silly sort of melody line and started: "You say, 'You never turn and wave when you walk away.' I say, 'It's more a matter of not falling on my face. Honestly." I liked "on my face" and "honestly" together like that. But this version of the song stalled out after that opening. Shortly thereafter I swapped things around to fit the chord progression that makes up the bulk of what is the modern version of the song. "Honestly, honestly..." I wrote the first verse and a half fast; but subsequently everything else I wrote was dreck. The litmus test is always: Would I really want to sing this in front of an audience. The resounding "no" meant I kept shelving this number despite repeated attempts to get it finished. I reckon I first came up with the idea for the song in the late 1980s. Sigh. Last year, messing around again, I began to form the idea that this story concerned two lovers finding each other and escaping against all odds -- or trying to. I worked in the dance metaphor and tailored the boy-meets-girl story around it. I think it matured over the course of this latest rewrite: Musically I added the bridge, which may or may not be about the couple; story-wise, I removed other characters and put all the responsibility on the pair. I can't answer for her at the end of the song: Does she come along or do the two split up forever?

lyrics

"Honestly, honestly
You never turn and wave when you walk away."
"Honestly, honestly
It's more a matter of not falling on my face."
"Do you do impressions?" I said, "Sober's my best one.
We could make it through the afternoon if we both get drunk."

Honestly, honestly
There's other pretty faces like your own
Honestly, honestly
They flicker and they fade but you still glow
Bumped into someone and I turned and it was you
Could we make it through a lifetime, girl?
Could we make it through a single afternoon?

Some saving grace pushes open the drapes
And they twist and dance on this tacky wallpaper
Out the window it's a fractured day
But two kids hold hands and plan their escape

"Honestly, honestly
You always turn and wave when you say goodbye."
"Honestly, honestly
Well, don't let on: I kind of like your style."
"I feel like Valentino."
She said, "Easy, Twinkle Toes;
I can show you three kinds of kisses."
"I know a fourth one, here I go."

Honestly, honestly
I think I know the next few steps by heart
Honestly, honestly
Like all the things that end before they start
"If I had to leave here now, would you follow me?"
She put her coffee down
Took my hand and answered, honestly
Honestly

credits

from Everybody's Going Away, track released June 12, 2009
Robi Polgar: guitar, vocals
Patrick Lopez: bass
Andy Macleod: drums
Shane Lewis: trumpet
Sacha Crosby: harmonies

Recorded, mixed and mastered at Alta Vista Recording, Austin, Texas with the help of Tom Johnson and Colin McDonald.
Words and music by Robi Polgar.

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The Late Joys Austin

With influences that include The Beatles, The Kinks, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Jam, The Clash and a slew of '80s and '90s Brit-pop guitar-based trailblazers, The Late Joys put on a high-octane show that's groovy, melodic and infused with fun.

The Late Joys play infectious sonic confections with literate lyrics, catchy melodies and unabashedly progressive political sensibilities.
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