Songwriting Analysis: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Good Intentions”

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s relatable everyman persona is amply reflected in the hit “Good Intentions.”  How do they elevate this straight forward song from being a generic folk rock to a feel-good anthem? An untuneful, talky verse melody that make the listener focus on the band’s strength — lyrics. A chorus …

Song Reflections: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Amnesia”

I love Toad the Wet Sprocket.  They are my all-time heroes, though the parts I particularly gravitate toward are their heavier and darker side.  Their reunion record seems to heavily favor the sunnier side, at least in terms of the sound, if not the lyrics.  I miss the dark Toad, though I still cherish what they gave us back in the 90s.

“Amnesia” is quite possibly the most abrasive, darkest song in their catalog.  Lyrically, I can’t quite make out what this is about, though I don’t mind the mystery — the intrigue is part of what makes me come back to a song over and over.

That being said, my take on this is that it’s about desperation.  A desperate person takes desperate measures.  Which seldom work out, but a desperate person doesn’t see other options.

Another thing is that a desperate person is like a different personality — desperate me doesn’t remember what it’s like to be normal, that things turned out OK other times.  So afterward, when you look back at your desperate actions, it’s hard to see how that person made those decisions.  I mean, you can understand the reasons, but you may not see why the response had to be that drastic.  It’s hard to relate.  You would not do the same when you are in a different frame of mind, even if all other elements about the circumstances were the same.

I used to be this way myself — my life had more drama.  And in those dramatic moments, I would take these desperate measures, which produced more drama and desperation.  It’s very hard when it’s set up as a pattern, but when you’re in a calmer state of mind, you may want to device a plan to reach out to that desperate version of yourself.  To reach out to that heat of the moment and remind the desperate you that there is a better way, a better time, a better frame of mind.  A drama doesn’t last forever.  When the emotion is strong and when I’m looking for some kind of quick fixes or drastic measure to fix everything — I’ve learned to just sit with it.  Not act out of my feelings.  No, I don’t remember being any different, during those times.  But I did receive the message from the better me, and I just sit and wait.

Because desperate acts only yield more desperation.