Safe and Sound – Taylor Swift – Hunger Games – Cover on Digital Piano

It took me long enough, but I finally learned how to play Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound.”  Playing by ear gives an advantage in being able to ‘mimic’ the sounds of a song, but it doesn’t help me to actually ‘learn’ the song.  A verse here, a verse there, but when it’s time to play all of it together as a single song, that’s more a job of memorization.  With all the rich nuances and subtle differences between the verses and chorus, it took a long time before I could play without needing the youtube video playing along in the background.  Still not really up to par, but it was time to commit to recording so I could move on.

With the Hunger Games tie-in, both Monique and her sister made this a request.  Ann and I are both Hunger Games fans, first from the books, then the movie as well.  Monique didn’t like the harshness of the books, especially by the third one, but I think she enjoyed the movie.  And they both loved Safe and Sound, the song played during the end credit scroll.  It’s a beautiful song, especially as performed by Taylor Swift.

Oddly enough, I’m usually bothered by harshness more than Monique, and yes, the Hunger Games is certainly a harsh story. For some reason, I got past that and really liked the books.  Liked the movie even more.  Katniss is somebody I would never want to cross…  she gives a whole new depth to the phrase ‘never say die!’

When I first started trying to learn the song, it was from a Youtube video in a very difficult key.  Monique had no idea it was a hard key for me, but she wanted me to learn the official movie rendition, and lucky for me, that one was in the key of G.  Really helped a lot.

As always, it’s got my usual gospel music feel.  Tried my best to keep the speed down, but this song is very  very slow paced.  It just goes against the grain to play so slow.  Hope it isn’t too far off the original.  We all hear through our own personal filter.  Mine’s from a childhood of gospel and old country songs.  Amplified by the inspiration from my Uncle Friel, who really defined my own style.  What you’re hearing is how the song sounds to me.  I wasn’t even aware of putting my own spin on it… until Monique listened to my first semi-coherent playthrough in its entirety.  She pointed out there’s a sound and feel to my playing that’s very identifiable.

I guess it’s like speaking with a drawl.  Others hear it more easily than you yourself do.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.  It’s my own “tribute” to Hunger Games.

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