Lyrics & Analysis: Semi-Circle Solitude

I see it in your words and eyes
You’ve reached too far out to the skies
In trying to catch those clouds
That flow too high
The wind is dragging you behind
The clock is ticking out your time
You’re only sitting, waiting for that star to shine
	Can I do something to help you?
	Can I get something to help you?
	When you’re feeling pretty rough
	And you think you’ve had enough
You know that you don’t have a thing to hide
From me or anyone outside
Yesterday has come and gone
You’ve got to try to carry on
Bringing you up and then bringing you down
Into that semi-circle solitude

You’ll pace your room like in a cell
You know you are but hate to tell
The magic clown he holds the key
But he don’t wanna tell
He likes to take you for a ride
But run or crawl or creep or hide
Make it quick and don’t look back
Try and keep you pride
	Can I do something to help you?
	Can I get something to help you?
	When you’re feeling pretty rough
	And you think you’ve had enough

Chorus – ugly guitar solo and out

Jim Pembroke 1968

Artist: Blues Section
	Jim Pembroke, vocal
	Hasse Walli, guitar
	Pekka Sarmanto, bass
	Ronnie Österberg, drums
	Otto Donner, Hammond organ
Release: A-side of BLUES SECTION single, Love Records LRS 1014, 1968
Studio: Finnvox
Producer: Otto Donner
Engineer: Erkki Hyvönen

General comment: This was Blues Section’s final single. For more general comment see ‘Only Dreaming’.

The Music: Had this song been released before May 1967 we would probably see a completely different court case today surrounding the composing rights for Procol Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’. It is, of course, very much the other way around so if nothing else this single A-side shows the hit potential of that song had it not been for the organ theme. Here there is no such thing and consequently very little to write home about. In fact, it is the chorus with its painfully banal descending bass line that lets down the song because the verses and the bridges (serving as a kind of extra, in-between chorus as in several other Pembroke compositions around this time) are considerably more original and inspired. Other things let it down, such as Donner’s rather rudimentary Hammond work (at least Finnvox had purchased some kind of Lesley-clone speaker cabinet at this time) and Hasse Walli at his worst, with a horrible distorted sound and uninspired playing marred by poor timing. No wonder the group split up after this.

The lyric: Somewhere in Helsinki in the late Sixties there was this guy sitting in his apartment on his own wondering about the meaning of life, seemingly brought on by a lost love affair. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t making much headway and Jim Pembroke, hailing from milder and less philosophically inclined shores, felt sorry for him and wanted to lend a helping hand. Or at least that is my thesis on the background for this lyric. Incidentally, I’m not sure about the first line in verse two but this was the best suggestion anyone could come up with, though grammatically dodgy.

-- Claes Johansen (with thanks to Rick Chafen), 2007