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Jenny Biddle: Hero In Me - The Story Behind The Songs - Track 8 'The Finish Line'


By Jenny Biddle.



Continuing the TEN-YEAR Anniversary of my album "Hero in Me", each month I'm diving into a track from the album to chat about all things songwriting. Today we're diving into Track 8: "The Finish Line".




This song depicts the relentless chase for success. Since I was 4 years old, I dreamed of being a rockstar. I used to run down the hall and burst onto the imaginary stage in my living room with a bright red microphone, singing John Farnham’s “Set the Wheels in Motion” at the top of my lungs. Exploring this dream as an almost-40-year-old conjures a set of complicated thoughts; no longer am I flying high on youthful enthusiasm and naivety. I was raised to work hard and push myself to be a better person today than I was yesterday. That mindset has been both a blessing and a curse. At school, I was an over achiever. In music, I have had many triumphs that align to my rockstar dream: I‘ve performed well over 1500 gigs, toured internationally, won awards, built guitars by hand, released 8 albums, played multiple instruments on those albums, taught people to play guitar and ukulele, I’ve made money off my own songs… and yet if I confess the hard truth of it, it never feels like it’s enough. I never feel like I’m enough. If I ever reach that ultimate goal that my 4-year-old self embarked on, I still don’t think I’d feel like that was all enough either. It’s the curse of the hedonic treadmill. This song attempts to highlight the costs and consequences of relentlessly chasing a dream. Sickness, financial issues, relationship issues, loneliness on the road, depression, anxiety, health issues, sleep issues, and never feeling like you belong in any one place, to name a few. I suppose the song was my wake up call to pause and smell the roses, count the blessings that are around me, and relieve myself of the exhaustion of the chase.


Do you feel a sense of urgency in the song?

Do you have relentless pursuits in your life?



Guitar talk:

I recorded this song on a resonator guitar. I used guitar tuning: CGCGCD Capo 4. Talking of youthful enthusiasm - the guitar solo in this song is one of the fastest, most dextrous guitar parts I’ve ever composed and played. I recorded this song just over 10 years ago, and it would be a hard ask to play at that speed now… If you’re up for a challenge - adjust your guitar for the tuning and see if you can work it out.


To tie together the rapid guitar parts, producer Sean Carey played something called an ebow. The ebow is a small electronic tool that hovers above the electric guitar string and creates a long sustained note, similar to a bow on a cello. They’re great fun to mess around with if you get the chance, but there sure is a knack to it.



Spotify:

You can listen to the studio recording on Spotify (and other streaming platforms)

The Finish Line open.spotify.com/track



Lyrics:


They raise you from your cradle and they point you to the light

They say listen and learn, hold all you can fit inside

Cos you’re up against Mother Nature and all of human kind

The sooner you make the jump you can race to the finish line


No don’t waste your time

You better start the climb

Don’t just stand at the bottom of this mountain

Head straight to the finish line


So I carved my way through the masses, I jumped aboard a hollow train

On my hot pursuit for the end of the game

And in my hands I hold nothing, see I’m on the fly, I’m always on this chase

But in my rushed, tenacious drive, coming up behind, heading straight for first place


No don’t waste your time

You better start the climb

Don’t just stand at the bottom of this mountain

Head straight to the finish line


Success is a fleeting myth, no, you can’t hold it steady in hand

It’s just like greed we all want more than we can ever have

And you’ll find you’re forever running with no time to be satisfied

All the while we’ll all wind up at that finish line

All the while, we’ll all wind up at the same line


No don’t wait

Don’t hide

Don’t you stand at the bottom of this mountain

Head straight to the finish line




Credits: Song written by Jenny Biddle Recorded, Mixed & Produced by Sean Carey at Trackdown Studios, Camperdown, NSW, Australia 2012 Mastered by Don Bartley, Blaxland, NSW, Australia Album Art by Katrina Leighton Album Photograph by Raditya Fadilla Released 2013

Jenny Biddle: Vocals, resonator & electric guitar, banjo

Sean Carey: Bass, ebow

Michael Quigley: Drums, percussion




Read more from Jenny...


Track 1 - Hero In Me

Track 2 - Across The Nullarbor

Track 3 - Pockets

Track 4 - Running Out Of Lies

Track 5 - Chasing Stars

Track 6 - Somebody To Love



Jenny Biddle is an Australian, Folk, Blues & Roots musician, she is a well seasoned guitarist, witty storyteller, poignant songwriter and winner of the Blues & Roots Radio International Song Contest 2020. Jenny fashions an infectious mix of down to earth modern folk for the wandering soul. Her 8th album 'Hoping For A Hero' is out now.

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