COVER TO COVER: I Didn’t See It Coming

As a musician and a music fan, I take enormous joy and fulfillment in learning songs from artists that I love most. Especially if their songs strike a deep chord in me. And once in a while, I discover music (both old and new) that blow my senses away. Say for example… Belle & Sebastian.

Belle and Sebastian are an indie pop band formed in Glasgow in January 1996. Belle and Sebastian are often compared to influential indie bands such as The Smiths, as well as classic acts such as Love, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. The name Belle & Sebastian is inspired by Belle et Sébastien, a children’s book by French writer Cécile Aubry. Lauded by critics, Belle & Sebastian’s “wistful pop” has nevertheless enjoyed only limited commercial success. After releasing a number of albums and EPs on Jeepster Records, they are now signed to Rough Trade Records in the United Kingdom and Matador Records in the United States. source: Wikipedia.

Their newest release “Write About Love” is a tireless addition to my playlist. The opening track called “I Didn’t See It Coming” features a haunting and lovely vocal tandem that instantaneously made my day the first time I heard it. Sarah Martin,  Stewart Murdoch, and the other members of the band did an excellent job on this track. As the song builds up into an instrumental detail, so moving, the murmur swelled into a roar of harmonies, counterpoints and fugue.

–So much so that I decided to introduce a new section in my blog I call Cover To Cover. Occasionally, once a week if possible, I will give my utmost effort to post an acoustic home recording of cover songs I have a strong affinity with. Before presenting my cover version, I give you the pleasure of the original, accompanied with lyrics and audio-visuals.

Make me dance, I want to surrender
Your familiar arms, I remember
We’ve been going transcontinental
Got no car, we just take a rental

But we don’t have the money
(Money makes the wheels and the world go round)
Forget about it, honey

Make me dance, I want to surrender
Your familiar arms, I remember
Everybody’s talking about you
Every word’s a whisper without you

But we don’t have the money
(Money makes the wheels and the world go round)
Forget about it, honey
Trouble’s never far away when you’re around
‘Cause we don’t have the money
(Money makes the wheels and the world go round)
Forget about it, honey

(I didn’t see it coming)
(I’m just not in the running)

Take me on a train because I’m not flying
I can see the world from a different side
Read about us in the morning papers
When we make it alive

I didn’t see it coming
(Make me dance, I want to surrender)
I’m just not in the running
(Make me dance, I want to surrender)
And we don’t need a lifetime
(Make me dance, I want to surrender)
We’re following the right line
(Make me dance, I want to surrender)

The movement after the second chorus approaching Murdoch’s bridge solo never fails to amaze me. So melancholy, yet offering a hand to dance out of a lonely room and into the sun — all quirky. Listen to my version below:

I Didn’t See It Coming – Belle & Sebastian (Acoustic Cover)

The track was recorded around midnight in my room directly into my laptop’s internal microphone using Garage Band  and my beat up acoustic guitar. Please excuse some minor mistakes and off keys. Although I am not quite confident sharing it, I must admit I enjoyed working on it. It is two-steps higher than the original, a necessary transposition so I can sing Sarah Martin’s vocals with ease.

8 Responses to “COVER TO COVER: I Didn’t See It Coming”

  1. chard

    Sir Clem I was not familiar with Belle & Sebastian but I like the way you cover the song.. Can you share with me the chords of it so I can also play it by myself.. ^^ Salamat!

    • Clementine

      Capo on 7th fret and try the following chords:

      G – C – G – D

      C – G – Am – Em
      C – G – Am – D or (B7 going to Bridge)

      Em – Em7 – A/C# – C (B7)
      G – Gaug – G6 – G7
      C – Am – D


  2. Van Goe

    wow Belle & sebastian is back! this could be their best album so far. this song is really captivating it made me surrender. Im looking forward to all your upcoming covers. i hope you cover other indie greats as well.

  3. BJ Toledo

    Clem, I was so thrilled when I heard your cover of this song. I was so impressed. I must say yours has its own identity. You gave justice to the song. More power! Cheers and a Happy New Year!


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