From the recording Handbook For The Recently Chaotic
Sousaphone/mellophone/valve trombone/flugelhorn – Brian Sanderson
Pump organ – Rod Fotheringham
Banjo/vocals – Greg Paul Stone
Backing vocals – Anouk Gregoire/Bethan Nodwell
On A Nickel And A Dime is a showcase of the incredible musical skills of Brian Sanderson. He is playing all of the brass instruments here.
I knew I wanted a brass band sound for this song. I wanted it to feel like an old hymn or some kind of alternate reality Christmas song that a Salvation Army band might play.
I'd worked with Brian in various situations and knew his skills to be most excellent. I had considered writing an arrangement for the song but I was concerned it would sound too neat. I didn't want “wrong” notes, just a little randomness in the arrangement so that it felt like real people playing from the heart.
I also wanted to make use of Brian's great ear so we made the arrangement on the fly in the studio, building the four horns one at a time until they were smooth and pretty.
Originally this tune was written in G major but we pushed it up to Ab major to push the vocal performance a little and introduce a new key to the record.
ON A NICKEL AND A DIME
“Take me out” she said and stumbled to her feet.
“We’re broke as hell but we can still do something neat.
Grab a bottle and we’ll shoot the moon a line on a nickel and a dime.”
“Tonight belongs to us. You just wait and see.
Every dream is waiting just for you and me.
We could have it all and blow it and be fine on a nickel and a dime.”
“Can you hear that sweet refrain?
Dance me closer darling in the pouring rain.
Can you feel that little glow in the fire that you buried deep below?”
“Let it grow into a melody sublime on a nickel and a dime.”
“Can you hear that steeple bell
Weeping lonely in his lofty prison cell?
Can you feel that freedom now waiting just outside. Let me show you how.”
“Take my hand and say forever you’ll be mine on a nickel and a dime.”