I’m Doing Fine

Play it loud.

This is a new recording (2023) of a song I wrote in either 1983 or 84. It’s been a while, obviously, so I could be forgiven for being a little vague. I was likely 19 years old, and at the time I was in my first band, The Basics. I was just coming to grips with songwriting and composition in general, and it was an exciting time. Learning anything is an amazing process, but the cool thing about learning to compose in any medium is that, provided the junk you crank out doesn’t wind up in File 13, you’re creating a record of your progress. It can be illuminating.

For both better and worse, I’ve thrown away very little of my formative work. As mentioned, it is illuminating, but it can be humiliating in equal parts. Such is life. Around the time this song was written, I was starting to get a handle on making compositions less jarring, where the chorus or bridge in a song didn’t feel like either being hit by, or alternately, thrown out of a bus. Song sections were starting to function as organic shifts up or down, giving the song a more meaningful contour. Some of the earlier songs I’d written in The Basics had all the transitional subtlety of a typeset-montage ransom note, so this new development was a real relief.

One thing I do want to mention, and this could be valuable to any young person pursuing creative work—when starting out, if you have any aptitude for the work at all, you will generate things with an elegant innocence that, once you grow and mature, you will never be able to authentically duplicate. Its very value lies in the fact that it is a “frontier effort”, a real discovery, a once-in-a-lifetime first experience. I’ve lately been going back through my massive backlog of early writing, and after all these years it has become so easy to see its value. Some things take time.

The original lyrics I wrote for this are below, and in full disclosure, I did amend them a bit for this recording. I also felt compelled to add a new verse. I tried to inhabit the character the song was written in, and give it a twist of resolution from my current perspective.

As a songwriting addict, I still write fairly regularly, but I do look forward to resurrecting some of these personally formative songs now, in the future I never saw coming.


I’m Doing Fine

I don’t need help
And I don’t need timed
I don’t need you
I’m doing fine

Oh I’m doing fine

I don’t need sun
And I don’t need shine
In spite of everything
I’m doing fine

Don’t let me slow you down
By getting in the way
You never listened to anything I have to say

I never laugh
But I never cry
As far as you’re concerned
I’m doing fine

I won’t be visiting
The places where we’ve been
I know I’ll never be in love with you again

I won’t ask how
Or wonder why
I need no further answers now
I’m doing fine

I never laugh
But I never cry
All things are as they are
And I’m doing fine