Song Stories: I Waited

I wrote I Waited years ago, making it one of my oldest songs in current rotation. While I can’t pin down an exact date, I have records of it’s use in set lists as early as 2013. 

Maybe it all started in 2010 when I took part in a friend’s photography project called “The Art of Waiting”. Participants were challenged to take a roll of photos over one year, but not develop those photos until the year was over. I paired the photos with reflections and poems and wound up producing a small book from the experience. I can imagine the seeds for “I Waited” being planted at this time. 

I Waited has always been a dark tune for me. I sometimes tell people this song is about being stood-up by the devil. This is a morning-after-mistake dirge. An ode to that tar-stain darkness that is so hard to wash from your soul after you’ve made a terrible moral choice. Harmed a friend. Told a lie. Crossed a boundary. 

“You … who always deal in secrets in the night/

You … who feel so good but do not feel so right.”

I had dark and lonely moments like these in mind when I placed myself in a rain-steamed film-noir alleyway and waited for the unfulfilled promises of bad behaviour, guitar in hand.

“Isn’t that how these things go down?”

Echoes in Reverse 

When I recorded an early version of this song I stumbled across a reverse delay effect for my guitar in Logic Pro. That distorted beauty sounded like this song’s emotional landscape to me. A few years later I’d order a delay pedal that could pull off the same trick live. I still use the effect on this song. 

Broken Promises 

Tonight I’ll sit down with my wife and finish the entire Breaking Bad series for the first and only time. We’ve been hooked in and now we need to finish, but to be honest, we aren’t enjoying ourselves. This song could be the theme to Breaking Bad. Waiting for dark deeds to pay off. Waiting to break free from bad decisions. Waiting for the promise of a perfect crime. I waited. I waited. 

“I want all / I want all my time back.”

There is, of course, redemption. There has to be. For all of us. 

“I waited till my heart was broke”. 

There’s the door by which grace and forgiveness may enter. 

Fear and Laughter

This song also include one of my most repeated performance risks. I laugh in this song. It’s a snarky, mocking ‘ha!’ at this devil who tells me all will turn out well. He assures me he’s good on his promises. Every time I laugh that ‘ha’ I feel a little embarrassed, to be honest. I have to commit to this bit of theatre again in every show. It always feels a little dangerous, which makes it work. 

Waiting to Begin

I often begin a set with I Waited because it pulls listeners in, through noise and fog, towards an unfolding sonic story. It’s the first song from my first EP, Where The Air Is Thin

Buy I Waited right here.

Listen to I Waited on Spotify or Apple Music

 

Lyrics

I waited as the sun went down
I waited at the edge of town
Isn’t that how these things go down?

I waited while the streets were bare
I didn’t see a single soul there
I waited just as long as I dared

You, who always deal in secrets in the night
You, who feel so good but do not feel so right

I waited just exactly here
Made sure your map was very clear
You kept me waiting choked in fear

I waited in the pouring rain
I waited in your mocking game
Ha! I still don’t even know your name!

You, who always deal in secrets in the night
You, who feel so good but do not feel so right

I want all
I want all my time back

And was this just some kind of joke?
Cos’ I waited til’ my heart was broke.

 

Video

Watch the official noir-infused video for I Waited here


Dave Von Bieker

Dave Von Bieker, 11243 85 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T5B 3C6, Canada

Dave Von Bieker lives at the intersection of art, faith, hope and love. He has 2 great kids, a fantastic wife, and a mostly good dog. He plays red guitars and drives red cars.