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Don't You Tell Jane

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Disclaimer: My wife and son gave me a quiet house for a few hours, and I'm working madly at acoustic guitar and vocal tracks. I'm really working on new things...

This, on the other hand, is the first song I ever wrote that was worth a damn. I still remember being in my parents' kitchen, calling my friend and guitar mentor Joe, saying, "Hey, after all the times I've tried, I've finally got some chords that sound good together!" Silence on the line, then Joe said, "Let me guess. It's C-Am-F-G." Silence on my end. "A minor?!? You mean I could put an A minor in it?!?"

For this recording, we set the Way-Back Machine for about 1978, and an early version of Wheatstone Bridge. After having failed to ignite the world as an electric quintet , Wheatstone Bridge is fractured. Phyllis and I got together with a young woman named Julia Wilkins, who had a really nice lilting soprano, and tried some to do some demo tapes at a place called Le Studio on Boylston Street in Boston. Behind the Dunkin' Donuts, I remember that. I haven't been able to find any of those tapes, but this is us working up the song in rehearsal, at my old apartment on Symphony Road.

This is about the oldest and roughest tape I think I'll put up on MacJams, but all these years later I still enjoy Julia's singing, and the way she and Phyllis harmonize on the last verse.

And for such a simple song (C, F, and G, over and over), I still rather like it...
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Don’t You Tell Jane
© 1976 Ed Hannifin

It’s more than a change
Something more than a fall
You kinda lose touch
You don’t return calls
But don’t you tell Jane
Tell her nothing at all
If someone you love
Has your back to the wall

Got a feeling for spring
And a hoping for rain
But there’s talk of more snow
And you’re feeling no pain
But don’t you tell Jane
When the wine’s running low
‘Cause she don’t have the time
And she’s bound to say so

Say your shadow got long
At the end of the day
Say you’ve given up song
And you’ve started to pray
But don’t you tell Jane
When the going gets tough
‘Cause the tough’ll get gone
And she’s been gone long enough

It’s more than a change
Something more than a fall
You kinda lose touch
You don’t return calls
But don’t you tell Jane
Tell her nothing at all
If someone you love
Has your back to the wall

Song Stats
Hits: 4981
Comments: 34
Fans: 11
Plays: 300
Downloads: 153
Votes: 8
Uploaded: Oct 22, 2006 - 06:48:15 PM
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2006 - 06:48:15 PM Last Played: May 17, 2019 - 06:05:47 AM
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Recorded long ago live to what was then a somewhat expensive TEAC cassette deck with two Radio Shack SM-58-wannabe mics in an X-Y configuration.

An acoustic guitar, too...
Peak LE
GarageBand 2
Vic Holman said 4597 days ago (October 22nd, 2006)
everyone remembers dunkin donuts
love the simplicty and directness. can't believe how well you have cleaned
this up, for as old as it is. believe it or not even though i do alot of
layering on stuff i'm also a big fan of hearing the basics of a tune. i'm
sure most songs on this site started this way.nice!

Check out my latest song called Stuck Here In Your Past
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
I DEFINITELY appreciate...
...the simplicity and directness of Dunkin' Donuts. (I wonder if I'll start getting
Dunkin' Donuts ads from Google on this page now.) You CAN hear some drop-
outs on this old tape, but, really, for a tape as old and as kicked-around as this
one was, this is near-miraculous...

Thanks and thanks and thanks again, Vic, for your consistent listens and
feedback. I enjoy hearing from you, and I'm grateful.

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
thetiler said 4597 days ago (October 22nd, 2006)
What I love about you music is that
you are stuff is extremely melodic and really does have that feeling of
larger instrumenation potiental. That is a real sign of a great song when
you hear it in your mind, and it jumps at you like it wants to be played on
all the folk stations around the world. That is what I love about folk, is
that when it is oozing with melody and rhythm it works as does this one.

Thanks for sharing precious folk music Ed, it is a great blessing to have
that available here at MJ. It helps make "folk" live on and on !
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
Thank you, Bill.
I think you've listened to every thing I've posted, and you're always appreciative
and encouraging. Coming from a guy with your kind of chops, that's an ego
boost... I have to say that, even though I've got a pretty limited singing range, I
HAVE always tried to put attention to melody and rhythm. And, aware as I am of
my vocal limitations, I've tried to write and arrange things so that better singers
(Phyllis, Nan, Julia) can show up and save me when the harmonies kick in. As
happens here. Thank you for your kind words and for listening...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Feter said 4597 days ago (October 23rd, 2006)
Old Tapes ... !
see what memories can bring it diamonds and rust ..!
if anything grab me to sit and listen is to hear
those folkies ...willing so hard to sing and give
honest tunes out of there simple equipments ..always
fund to hear your singin and songs as well .your song
brought back years of me amd my band sat around
a cassette recorder and a simple mixer two mics thats
all ... the fun to do it .worth the listening ..simple
but rich hearted verses and lyircs .. thank you so much

Check out my latest song called Roll with it
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
Thank you for listening again, Feter.
I think I spot an old Baez fan... I'm glad you find my stuff 'simple and rich-
hearted'... That's pretty neat. I certainly remember gathering around a little
mixer with two to four mics, trying to get 'air mixes' on the fly with voices and
acoustic guitars... Good times, for all the aggravation...and all the takes... and
hiss... I'm pleased that you stopped by to listen, Feter, and to leave me your
thoughts and impressions. Always appreciated. Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Tadashi Togawa said 4596 days ago (October 23rd, 2006)
The United States youth.
Your song is like an old schoolhouse.
Wooden schoolhouse of wood frame construction.
Classroom where draft blows.
Passage in board fence where shadow expands long.

Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
You know...
There's a one room schoolhouse just like that, right down the road from here,
midway between my home and Ziti's... You probably have the feeling just right...
It's a family home now... I'll have to send you a picture, Tadashi... So my music is
drafty, eh?... Well, perhaps back then it WAS a rough draft, heh, heh... Thank you
for this listen as for all of them, Tadashi...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
said 4596 days ago (October 23rd, 2006)
Simple chords...
played well, lyrics that are... lyrical, poetic. Amazing how by the
addition of the vocal harmonies in different verses the song takes on a
real sense of change and texture as opposed to repetition. Ed, this just
shows that good song writing need not be complex.

Another oldie but goodie from yesteryear...
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
Over and over again, Jack,
...you demonstrate this ability to just 'get it' about what I'm doing or trying to
do. Dressing up different lines with harmonies and variations was something all
the Wheatstone Bridge crew members over the years tried to do... And yeah, we
DID do a recording called 'Simply Fine', and for a reason... We really valued
texture and simplicity... Thanks for the good listen and the on-target
comments... Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Bubowski said 4596 days ago (October 23rd, 2006)
Another Charming Tune
Hey Ed,

I love these old gems. It always amazes me that someone with your obvious songwriting talent didn't get wider exposure. Just proves that the Music Industry should just drop Music from it's name. Thanks for resurecting this. You should be proud of these songs, they are really good.

Check out my latest song called Impacts 1
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
My old guitar teacher,
...Pete Kairo, used to do a devastatingly sad and caustic impression of his agent
calling up with some penny-ante gig and saying, "Pet-ah, we're doing this one
for the exposure..." As the old joke went, "Hey, did you hear about the folk
musician who died of exposure?" I've gotta say that the one thing that I didn't
have a clue about as a budding songwriter was marketing, getting the word
out...how to get folks to listen to songs... And in those days, recording, no
matter how you did it, was expensive, and we were already living on a lot of
tofu...(I particularly enjoyed my tofu English muffin pizzas)... Graham, I continue
to value and appreciate your comments and encouragement... Thanks again...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
Very Pleasant
Too often I find music like this cloying - your song is plaintive, not the
least bit cloying. Everyone's rehearsal performance sounds good to my
BTW, 3 chords is about 2 more than I usually use.
Droning on ...
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
You had me scared there for a minute, Mungo...
Glad I don't end up in the Cloying Zone. Heck, I think 'Tomorrow Never Knows'
makes a lot of one chord...and then there's James Brown... And, you know, I
actually like droning music... ragas, middle period Byrds,
REM...even...bagpipes...within reason...if one can describe bagpipes, ever, as
'within reason'.... Thanks for the listen and comment....

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
perceptualvortex said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
I like hearing these old tapes kinds of recordings, and you're right; that harmonizing at the end is really nice. I have many old tapes, but nothing this good.
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
Ed Hannifin said 4595 days ago (October 24th, 2006)
Yeah, I like to imagine...
...some folk archeologist arriving at my old Symphony Road apartment back
when it was called 'Arson Row' because of how many student apartments with
low rents went up in flames back then... setting up the field recording
equipment to record actual, depressed post-graduates in their native habitat...
"If the song offering of the male is acceptable, the females will harmonize on the
third verse..." What was once cheesy and amateurish can be transformed, over
the years, into the archival and essential, even interesting... Funny, that...
Thanks for listening, David!

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
tatin said 4594 days ago (October 25th, 2006)
no a minor? Thats a funny story. Funny how some simple chords can carry
a good song. Proves that content is so important. Interesting vocal tonal
setup. Love the 60's vibe, almost like i'm there. The lyrics had me
conjuring different scenarios about Jane. But who is she? She seems
important to want to care about what she feels or thinks. Is she
family,freind, lover? I'm to dense at the moment but you made me
Check out my latest song called freeash aire ( remix-me )
Ed Hannifin said 4591 days ago (October 28th, 2006)
Tatin, in commenting....
...as in music, you pack a lot of thoughtfulness into a little space...

Yeah, I still laugh thinking about me and my first magic chord progression...but I really didn't KNOW...didn't know ANYTHING, in fact, about theory or what had been done before, or ANYTHING... All I had was ears, and naiveté...

As for Jane, well, I actually really liked, and I guess still like, that I wrote enough that I know exactly what I meant and what it's about, and the lyric's not empty, but to someone else there's, maybe, this sense of meaning-just-around-the-corner... It's like, you leave out a piece, and yet it's still there...

Thank you again for bringing your thoughtful self to yet another one of my songs. I look forward to your input.

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
The Orbiting said 4591 days ago (October 28th, 2006)
Oh Dear...
I'm learning to play the guitar and I'm working on a song of my own using...wait for it...C, G, Amaj...oh, but I'll surpise you with a D, rather than an F. (See, I can be original).

It really is so amazing how so many different songs can be made with a few chords. It's all about the patterns, really, I guess.

I love it that you shared a rehearsal recording of this song. It's especially cool seeing as it's a folk song. It just sounds like some folkies who have whipped out the guitar and are singing just for the pleasure of it, which is equally pleasurable to hear as a listener. As I've mentioned before, I really enjoy the peeks into your life that this revived music brings.

I also love your songs about some mystery woman. It's nice how oblique you are with your lyrics on those.
Check out my latest song called Waiting By The Stars
The Orbiting said 4591 days ago (October 28th, 2006)
That was me, Lisa.

<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/25612">World that Breathed</a>
Check out my latest song called Waiting By The Stars
Ed Hannifin said 4591 days ago (October 28th, 2006)
Yep. Figured.
Now you have to go fav me as you...
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Ed Hannifin said 4590 days ago (October 29th, 2006)
Well, you SURPISED me....
...with the A major...after THAT, the D just finds its way...

I am enjoying this recent thing I'm doing, sort of poking around in my past and making this aural collage from bits of it... It's very nice to take something nigh unto unlistenable and do stuff that brings it back enough that a person gets a reasonably clear window to that moment... I do wish that I had a few more old pictures to recycle, so that for this one I might have a photo of Julia... I wish I had photos of some of our rehearsals and stuff... I may have to go rummage in The Trunk, downstairs, where much Old Stuff lives... scary, that...you open The Trunk for one thing, but what you find is another...

Back in the Wheatstone Bridge days, we used to tease each other about our songwriting tendencies... Phyllis used to be known as the one who wrote songs comparing her life and loves to natural phenomena and, if they weren't going so well, natural disasters... I was teased for being the one who named names... There are a lot of women's names that show up in my songs, and with maybe one exception, they are all real people's names... (Real people known to my bandmates, of course.) And yet... I liked the mystery of it... I liked to paint a fairly complete picture, and then take out one thing... I liked there to be a question to draw a listener in... A lot of times, I think, there would be a lot of fairly concrete detail in my songs, but then also this sense of, 'what's NOT being said or told here?'

Gosh, Lisa, you DO get me thinking...

Anyway, thanks again for the good listen and the long and thoughtful, appreciative comment... It only encourages me, you know...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Einarus said 4589 days ago (October 30th, 2006)
Another feel-good hit!
Things don't always have to be complicated and groundbreaking to be an enjoyable listen. Sure there are chord progressions that you can hear in every other song, but there's a reason why they're used so much - they work!

This works - and pretty well, too.

-Einar S.
Check out my latest song called "I Hate Goodbyes"
Ed Hannifin said 4589 days ago (October 30th, 2006)
Thank you, Einar...
For your personal encouragement in my quest to use every I-IV-V there is, adding that pesky vi chord only under the most dire circumstances....

Well, really, it ISN'T the orginality of the chord progression that makes a song, as you so rightly note... I once heard songwriter and Fast Folk founder Jack Hardy say that a song is a lyric set to a melody... That's about as simple as it has to be... I think some of my best melodies have just come to me while walking to work... no reference to harmony at all...

Thank you for taking a moment to listen. I always appreciate your comments.

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Pete_NB said 4586 days ago (November 2nd, 2006)
This could have been written last night. Pleasant simple melodies are the back bone of most great songs in my opinion, and your music has that.
Check out my latest song called One more One Shot
Ed Hannifin said 4584 days ago (November 4th, 2006)
Thank you, Pete....
That's exactly what I aim for, even from way back in the Seventies... I appreciate that you took the time to listen and leave a comment.

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
said 4586 days ago (November 2nd, 2006)
fresh echoes
Very good quality. Nothing like old analog recordings that haven't disintegrated. Good thing you rescued this. Say, I am having trouble playing along. You were tuned about a quarter step down or the recorder you are playing the old reel on has a worn out capstan or rubber edged wheel somewhere. But that's OK. Congratulations on your "first real song". Too bad some accolades take 30 years to gather in.
Ed Hannifin said 4584 days ago (November 4th, 2006)
Gosh, Richard...
...was this recorded BEFORE my bandmates took pity on me and chipped in for the then-exorbitant luxury of an electronic guitar tuner?

Was I still tuning to the dial tone on the phone?

I'm sure you're right, though, to blame the cassette deck, or decks. This was bounced from deck to deck at least once, and cassettes were notorious for variability.... Used to drive me crazy... The one it was recorded on was really expensive for its day, I remember that. Belonged to one of my roommates. OUTBOARD Dolby unit, I think...

Thanks for the congrats. This HAS managed to hang on through the years....

I have one more from that vintage that I'm trying to find. We'll see if I get lucky....

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
thoddi said 4584 days ago (November 4th, 2006)
less is more
again and again...

This song proves it with it'simple plot. Lovely voices. It's strange that it's recorded so long ago. Sounds like it could have been done tonight...

Thanks Ed. Beautiful:)
Check out my latest song called The King has left
Ed Hannifin said 4583 days ago (November 5th, 2006)
At least, less CAN be more...
...and most of the time I do try to keep things simple and direct. I used to think that making things more complicated would make them better, and that didn't usually work out for me. There ARE some people in this world who can make complicated things sound clear and simple...THAT's a pretty good talent, when it shows up...

Thank you for listening and commenting, thoddi. I'm pleased that you and others think this sounds contemporary. It's nice to think I may have a song or two that's not just of the moment, not just a throwaway...

Anyway, I always appreciate your comments. Thanks again.

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
paul f. page said 4358 days ago (June 18th, 2007)
There's nothing...
...wrong with a simple chord structure. Just about every song in the 20th century that has stood the test of time is based on three or four chords. ... I always love the directness of your music, Ed. There's no messing with a lot of subtext: just a straight-forward message in the lyric and a clean accompaniment. Sure, a bit more backup orchestration (bass, some percussion, maybe a little string treatment) and some EQ to give a little more ambiance to the mix would be great, but you've got to start with the tune and the structure. Without that, you're a gonner.... And you definitely got that.... I've now enjoyed another great tune from your pen. Wonderful.
Check out my latest song called Caprice
Ed Hannifin said 4345 days ago (July 1st, 2007)
Thank you, Paul...
...for your kind words...

I have to admit to a fondness for relatively simple songs and song forms. I think there's a reason that they tend to resonate, beyond the fact that they're easy to play...

I appreciate that you see 'straight-forward message' in these songs. WHen I first started writing songs, most of my songs were more or less clogged with excess words and concepts, and I tended to use 'poetic' words and phrases over more common ones, mistakenly thinking that this was sophisticated. Over time I came to see that the greatest sophistication comes from being able to say something simply, clearly and truthfully.

There was at one time a 'studio' version of this with a bit more guitar and some bass, but I have long lost it. Maybe I'll try again someday when I have some vocalists around who might be able to do something such as Julia and Phyllis did here... I would certainly love a fuller and richer recording...

Thanks for yet another very insightful listen, Paul. I look forward to your thoughts every time...

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
MarkHolbrook said 3635 days ago (June 10th, 2009)
I don't like the vocal recording as much on this... one can tell its like a single mic but still this is a great tune!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
Lennon714 said 3601 days ago (July 14th, 2009)
This is such a pretty melody. The lyrics are very nice, too. This song is a great response to the idea that only songs with grand instrumentation "work". This is deeply personal. Thanks for sharing!
Check out my latest song called Just a Little More Time
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Name: Ed Hannifin
Location: MA USA
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Psychotherapist and long-time guitarist and songwriter ... [see more]

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