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I try to approach every single song I write from a new and fresh perspective. That is the challenge I enjoy and what makes this art-form so much fun. "Trauma" is the one and only exception and perhaps that makes it unique in its own way. My goal with "Trauma" was to make an absolutely typical Mailbox song which would use all my typical lyrical themes (death, children, fear), my typical harmonic passages (modulating minor keys, changing rhythms), and so forth. The result is a song that fits perfectly into the catalog and, by luck or skill, it's a good song.

The first two lines of "Trauma" contain my single favorite self-penned lyrical twist.


Once when I was 5 years old
My mom took me for shoes
It's not that that's what she thought I was
We went to shop and peruse

She saw a pair of bobos
One of the better buys
They'd probably get me killed
But at least they were size

Is there a room in the back
Where I can try on those
She said just change right here
So I took off all my clothes

Why do I replay the drama?
Why do I relive the trauma, huh?
Am I hanging on to something too long?

A week or sometime later
We laid my mother to rest
I put on my new shoes
And my itchy Sunday best

All the family came
Friends of the family, too
We all hadn't seen each other
Since I was pushing 2

My cousin had a camera
My aunts were shedding tears
I wanted to lift their spirits
So I gave them rabbit ears

Why do I replay the drama?
Why do I relive the trauma, huh?
Am I hanging on to something too long?

I wonder if they're still laughing at me
I wonder if they've wondered if I've let it be
For all the times that I worry or fret
They probably don't remember but I'll never forget


from How It Is Nowadays (2003), released October 31, 2003
music: Adam Rabin
lyrics: Adam Rabin


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Adam Rabin Burlington

Where Prog Rock meets Geek Rock. Adam Rabin is a Vermont songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has also played with Elephants of Scotland, Mailbox, and musical improv troupe She Thicc. You can also hear Adam’s music on the podcasts: Improvised Weapons, Improv Overdrive, What The Hell Are You Watching, and Vermont Favorites. ... more

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