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James R. Stout

She Owns Your Destiny

     I have been debating all week whether or not I would post this. I wrote the song you hopefully have taken the time to listen to and watch the slide show on December 5,1979. That’s 40 years ago now. To the day in about 3 hours from when I’m writing this. I recently discovered the recording that you are listening to. It was recorded about a week after I wrote the song. Is it “state of the art”? Not hardly. In fact, I recorded it on a two-track stereo reel-to-reel recorder in the living room of a one bedroom apartment that we had just moved into a month before. There’s no way to separate the tracks and do a proper mix down. What appears to multi-tracks is actually a feature on the recorder called “sound on sound”. I recorded the basic acoustic guitar and the lead vocal live. I then flipped a switch and while that basic recording played I added the background vocal and the 12-string guitar. The reason it sounds like it’s in stereo and therefore fuller than it really was is because I have transferred that mono-recording to my computer and using software gave it a faux stereo effect. That’s all that I did to the recording. Frankly, I like the recording very much. A lot of the reason though is I like the song a lot. I never got around to recording it properly. Maybe I will, but even if I do and get to employ additional instruments and equalizer effects, I doubt that I can come close to recapturing the two things the original recording has. 

     First, I just don’t have the “young” sound in my voice. I no doubt can sing it properly again, but that youthful sound of my voice as it was when I was 24 just doesn’t exist anymore. Secondly, and perhaps just as important, I don’t have the inspiration and therefore the feeling I had 40 years ago. This is where I tell you why I have been debating posting this. We had been married 3 years by December of 1979. We were still very young. I was 24 and the mother of my children was only 21. It would be another 5 years before we had any children. We were still very much in love. Yes, I said it. I loved my ex-wife. Well, of course I did. Anyone who goes through a divorce should be able to say that at one time they loved their ex-spouse. Too many people don’t though. It’s like they are willing to throw away those years because things ended badly. There were hurt feelings and some things that were hard to get over, but with maturity it’s doable. But I debated posting this because I don’t want anyone to think I still carry a torch for my ex-wife. I don’t Let’s face it, that was 40 years ago! In a way it’s like losing a spouses to death. That girl and young woman that I loved so many years ago no longer exists. And, neither does that young man that I once was. The deal is I wanted to give you perspective into the writing of the song and the recording itself. It meant something once. It still does, but it’s like remembering someone who has been gone for a long time. You can have fond memories of that person as they were way back when. You just need to put it all into perspective. I have done this. Even though the marriage ended and there were some hard feelings for a few years, I don’t hate my ex-wife or even dislike her now. Why? Well, I don’t even know her. Like I said, that young woman no longer exists. I see her at special occasions that involve our kids and grandchildren and we are always cordial. But she isn’t “that” girl anymore than I’m “that” guy. 
     Well, now you know. The pictures on the slide show are all from within a year before to a year after I wrote and recorded the song. They perhaps give you perspective into “that young man and young woman” at the time the song was written and recorded. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Thanks for reading and listening.

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