…like old things do, SHANE PENDERGAST – It Slips Away
by Walter Price
Sometimes the preciousness of fleeting moments isn’t fully released until it’s too late. And once you absorb the context of the heartbreakingly beautiful recent single “It Slips Away” from Prince Edward Island singer-songwriter Shane Pendergast, you’ll possibly take time to savor your now a little more.
In a YouTube post, the songwriter shares this delicate track’s backstory, “Nothing in life disappears without a trace. There are always remnants of the past when things (or people) slip away from us. I was writing this song while driving down an old dirt road. The line ‘I saw a New Idea, it was rusting in the rain’ came from an old piece of farm equipment that I saw laying beside the path. It was obviously from a distant time and was rusting away. Ironically, the words NEW IDEA were painted on it. That carried many meanings.
“This song is dedicated to the memory of Alex Weir Weiss, who died while the track was being recorded. Alex was a legendary nonconformist, philosopher, and loyal friend. He made his odyssey from Ontario to PEI in the spring of 2019. I am haunted by a memory of the two of us fishing in the winter river. It’s dusk and we are sitting by a driftwood fire, sipping beers. Alex is in his glory. He’s got his waders on and a big old “PEI” ball cap. Classical music drifts out of his portable radio.”
It slips away
The world we knew
It’s turning grey
Like old things do
If it disappeared
It wouldn’t be so hard to take
While the dark dust clears
It slips away
We can’t be sure
Of what’s to come
What made a stir
Has left us numb
Like a firework flash
Merriment ain’t meant to stay
And the smoke won’t last
It slips away
This song is as soft and tactile as it is a real reminder to stop and realize the moments we find ourselves in. A seemingly meaningless roadside relic, the beauty in a smile, and a beer by a fire, these are things that involuntarily create our storylines. And if your a fan of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Robert Earl Keen, and/or Chuck Prophet, then add this song to your favorite stop-and-smell-the-roses playlist.
You can stream the single and watch the pre-pandemic of the moment film, now at the GTC.
Artist photo via Facebook
Funded by the Music PEI Golden Ticket Program
Produced by Andrew Murray & Shane Pendergast
Written by Shane Pendergast
Recorded by Sergey Varlamov
Mixed by Aaron Comeau
Mastered at João Carvalho Mastering
Dedicated to Alex Weir Weiss
Shane Pendergast: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Sam Langille: Bass
Josh Langille: Electric Guitar, Drums
Isaac King: Pedal Steel
Aaron Comeau: Piano, Organ
Dedicated to the memory of Alex Weir Weiss
“The music video for “It Slips Away” was shot in late February 2020 on a Bolex film camera. The footage is a time capsule of a show I played at Toronto’s TRANZAC Main Hall. That was the last night that I saw Alex, a close friend and roommate of mine who passed away during the recording of this song.
“I find it surreal to look back at the footage of him, not to mention the big crowd that was gathered. Nobody knew that the world would slip away a few weeks later with the COVID-19 lockdown.” – S. Pendergast