While You Were Out

by GrooveLily

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In honor of Father's Day, here's an ambivalent rocker about my dad. Our relationship was more nuanced than this--and, truth be told, better than this--but at its heart, this is an accurate portrait of him and me.

This is an outtake from "Are We There Yet" - we took the bass and drums from those sessions and added more parts at home much later on.

N.B. - back in 2001, I was not yet such a stickler for perfect rhyme--so I rhymed "footsteps" with "address."


While You Were Out
© Milburn & Vigoda 2001

You hired me to be your personal assistant
You took me in and brought me underneath your wing
Around the office, you could see I'd go the distance
You told me you were going to teach me everything

But you were not around to answer all my questions
I didn't think you'd take so many vacation days
While you were out I made a couple of suggestions
I closed the deal and saved the firm and I got a raise

You'd have been proud

While you were out
I didn't have you there to turn to
While you were out
For all the things I had to learn to do
While you were out
I put a call in down to purchasing
To buy more of those pink pre-printed paper pads that say
While you were out

I didn't understand the reason why you'd leave me
Did I do wrong or is there something that I lack?
Around the water cooler no one would believe me
When I said you were overseas and coming back

At every meeting of the board I'd represent ya
I tried to cover up my ignorance and fear
I tried to hide the fact that you were in absentia
I wrote a postcard from you to me saying "wish you were here."

Wish you were here

While you were out
I made a lot of stupid blunders
While you were out
I coulda used your help to understand
I took your calls and left you messages
on piles and piles and piles of those pre-printed pads that say
while you were out

And now it's ring ring ring and you're on the phone
you wanna size me up, see how much I've grown
you wanna get right back into talking shop
you wanna pick things up where you let them drop
but I'm a chip off the block of your home address
I got the big wingtips following your footsteps
and I don't blame you for never really being here
I'm just like you, Dad, I fell in love with my career
while you were out.

While you were out
I read your files down in the basement
While you were out
I couldn't find a good replacement you
While you were out
You got a lot of messy messages
They're all from me, describing how I grew up just like you
while you were out.


released June 14, 2013
Brendan Milburn - keys, vocals, fake guitars
Whynot Jansfeld - bass
Gene Lewin - drums
Valerie Vigoda - co-writer, cowbell



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GrooveLily Seattle, Washington

Bicoastal trio GrooveLily inhabits that contemporary space where creative musicians ignore the boundaries laid down by words like rock, folk, jazz and pop. The success of their first concert-musical, the critically-acclaimed holiday show STRIKING 12, has led them farther into the world of theatre, where they have carved out a unique niche as a rock band writing and performing shows. ... more

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