I love that even though this song is funny and fun, you guys never fail to deliver a serious message within the lyrics. I truly am grateful for the time and energy you give us fans, thank you!
The Ballad of Seymour Better Times was started in 2018 while working on “Animal Instincts”. As a character, Seymour loves getting into trouble, and running away whenever things run out of fun, but he also understands that he will never truly find happiness until he takes responsibility for his choices and the way he treats others. One part “Robin Hood and Little John” and one part “Rocky Raccoon” there is a playfulness to the melody and wide range of sounds from whistles to bass drums and sousaphones that carries you through each section building on one another until the very end of the song.
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Haha this description is too perfect. My friend Rachel and I were discussing this song months ago after hearing it at BTTI and I told her it reminded me of a song from Robin Hood and she disagreed and said it was more Rocky Raccoon. Thanks for proving us both right! :-)
Also now that I've watched the video, the line "Old lady singing" makes so much sense. For the record, we all thought it was "Old ladies singing" because that's what the lyric book says.
This is definitely my favorite song from the EP. I love how fun and different it is, and it gave me an actual laugh out loud moment at BTTI in 2018 when I heard the line about Seymour seeing a sign on his way to church.
This is nice -- I thought Real to Reel wasn't going to be on Youtube though?
Maybe I misunderstood. Maybe it's only the music video that is only here. Not a problem.
Oh. You know you can get more fans and more attention if you allow people to go to back To The Island without even having an HNET membership... it's just a promotion idea.
Swanzey, NH, US
I love the real life scenes and the reel scenes. Its good to see what your day is like at work and play around the town. Its good to see how the song comes about. Reminds me of the 70s. The colors and styles. Isaac is the Saturday Night Fever John Travolta. Zac is Mork. Taylor is James Taylor.
Astoria, New York, US
I'm kind of surprised to hear Seymour is a holdover from last year's EP, when it was In Color that you guys described as the "whitest" EP yet (in reference to the Beatles' White Album). Definitely makes me curious about what's driving this preoccupation with recreating Beatles sounds, since this is now the third EP in a row where those influences are extremely prominent!
Love you guys :)
The character is seen as a loose cannon, making one mistake after another. I think Seymour is misunderstood. I take the character as someone who has been seeking his way through life. Someone who was taken advantage of by a woman, thinking he had money. Seymour isn't a bad guy, he just doesn't know what avenue to take when he is at a crossroad. And, in the end, instead of going to church and pretending to be someone he wished he was, he decides to love God the best way he knows how while being true to who he is. I like Seymour, the character seems to have an open heart and is trying his best, while dealing with his own pain. Seymour seems to be searching for the love of his life while wondering if God loves him for doing so. Maybe there is more to the story. Maybe Seymour knows who "the one" is, but perhaps he feels she is unreachable so he might as well get whatever 'love' that comes along? Maybe he is in ruins over his spiritual path? Unsure how devoted he wants to be or feels is necessary? Seymour is a character that can be molded after so many life thoughts and paths that he really is a very relatable character.
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, US
I really liked the song even though it's a serious song but idk that song jinxed us lastnight as someone smashed our mailbox in and our back door was smashed in to . We were all home and in house when it happened. We reported it lastnight and the cops came to our house lastnight to. I think Seymour has something to do with it. I also did a train track mini video to. No worries I will not play on train tracks otherwise and they dont run on sundays. So yeah I'm very careful. Keep up the good work.
I could be wrong but, since I believe Zac probably has the most time invested in writing this song, I was wondering if the other two of you questioned the use of the decidedly masculine 'Phil' for the name of one of the women who stole Seymour's heart. (If it were spelled Phyl -- that could be short for Phyllis.) Phil really does sound 'right' in the song, but there are other more feminine one-syllable names (and rhyming wouldn't be a problem because of the placement). Just something I find curious... (I guess, like 'ladies', it could be another typo.)
By the way, you guys are pretty good at 'old lady singing'. ;)
@eek_a_mouse I think choosing a male name was just meant to add to the quirkiness of the song (Johnny Cash's Boy Named Sue comes to mind. Which I did NOT realize was written by Shel Silverstein until I just googled it and now my mind is blown!) The first time he sang it at BTTI in 2018 he originally said "Seymour met a girl named Bill." I'm not sure why the shift from Bill to Phil, but Bill obviously wasn't short for anything feminine.
@Holly, I did think of "A Boy Named Sue" when I first heard the Phil line, but it also reminded me of "Lola" by the Kinks (though the 'situation' isn't exactly the same in Seymour). ...I've even wondered if Zac was leaving it up to us to imagine that scenario (without actually spelling it out in the lyrics...) ;) So it went from Bill to Phil...interesting! The song is certainly open to your own interpretation, whatever that might be...
I didn't know Shel Silverstein wrote "A Boy Named Sue"! (I just listened to his version.) That *is* mind blowing. It's quite a departure from the poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends, but it certainly has the same quirkiness. Haha...
I love this series. You guys are so creative.