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The Same But Different


by

dolby

 Genre: Alternative Rock

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The Same But Different

This is the closing track from my forthcoming CD "Where Are We Now?" which will be released on TLR in December.

The following story is quite long, so feel free to skip it - but if you want to know more about this song, then read on:

CAMBODIA 2007
Firstly I need to introduce you to the concept of *Same Same*. If you ever spend any time in South East Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia) you will see people wearing t-shirts with "Same Same" written on the front, and "But Different" written on the back. This comes from the many stall holders, and souvenir sellers in the area who will try and sell you anything for a dollar. Bartering is always a lengthy & protracted experience in these parts, but has to be done. So when you explain to the vendor that you can get the same item he's selling for half the price down the road, the stall holder will tell you to ignore this fact because what *he* is trying to sell you is different - while at the same time being exactly the same!

When you try to explain that this just doesn't make any sense the stall holder will inevitably just nod, smile and repeat that it's all just "Same Same, But Different."

I LOVE THIS IDEA, and for me these four words sum up the Indochina experience: slightly desperate, nonsensical and endearingly funny at the same time.

When this song started to come together it made sense to relate this idea to a bigger picture: that we are all very different, but at the end of the day pretty much the same, with similar hopes and fears, and definitely the same needs, wants and desires. In Bangkok this was exemplified by seeing a monk in a temple talking on his brand new Nokia phone - the ancient and the modern coming together; just 'cos you're a monk doesn't mean you can't have the best cell on the market!

The verses of the song really started to take shape as we travelled through Cambodia, visiting places like Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the notorious Killing Fields. You soon realise that Cambodia has a wretched history of tragedy and destruction, and is still living with corruption and violence on a massive scale. So, in verse two I am sitting in the roof-top bar of the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh (where journalists drank as they reported on the war) reflecting on how, despite all this mess, the people of Cambodia are some of the warmest, friendliest and most positive people you could ever wish to meet. Something which is at the same time incomprehensible, amazing and life-affirming.

Cambodia had a profound effect on me, and has stayed with me since I returned to the *civilised* west. The one thing that struck me above all else is how life in Cambodia, and elsewhere in Indochina, is hard. Yet the people there just 'get on with it'. This was highlighted to me as we travelled from Siem Reap to the Thai border along the 'main' highway - which is little more than a muddy track. It started to rain torrentially and suddenly this mud track became a quagmire. Lorries, cars and bikes were skidding all over the place, getting stuck or sliding off the track into fields and ditches. Then, just as we were beginning to realise that making progress was hopeless and dangerous, out of the window of our stationary bus I saw a man on a moped ride past with a pig strapped to the back of his bike (that's him in the photo above). He was obviously off to market, and a little bit of mud and rain wasn't going to stop him.

I couldn't help but feel for this man who was battling the odds because, well, he had no choice. I thought that if that was me I'd just quit and go home, put my feet up, watch some TV. But he didn't have the option to do that - he had a pig to sell. An hour or so later, after we'd turned around and were heading back to Siem Reap we passed this man again, only now he was at the side of the road repairing a puncture! Nothing like kicking a man when he's down, I thought. The thing is, this is what life is like - not occasionally - but all the time, for millions of people all over the world. It makes you think....

So the final verse is a simple reflection: when you think your life is shit, just stop for a minute and remember that somewhere in the world there'll be some poor bugger on a bike in the pissing rain trying to get a pig to market. It's not a new idea, I know, but I don't know whether it's been expressed in such a way before....

So there you have it. It's an unashamed, lighters in the air album closer with a big finale and a minor key refrain that might just tickle your spine. I hope you like it.

Thanks for reading this if you've made it to the end -
Cheers,
Phil
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Lyrics
The Same But Different
(by Phil Dolby ©2007)

When you get lost on the open highway
And you think of the cost you’re not willing to pay
At a Buddha in Bangkok a Nokia tone
A monk on a mobile; a 3G cell phone
 
(chorus)
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
 
When you look down on a city landscape
At the far points of light going different ways
You’re a rooftop reporter with a digital feed
And a pixel distorter to control what is seen
 
(chorus)
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
 
It’s one of those things, an incalculable thing
But it’s driving me to distraction
We let it go on, even though it’s so wrong
Without ever a call to reaction
How can we sit while the people who work the land with their hands
Are broken and shattered
How can we sit while the people who work the land with their hands
Don’t seem to matter...
 
When you come home at the end of the day
And your energy’s gone and you’re fading away
There’s a man on a moped on a muddy highway
Going nowhere and slowly with a puncture delay
 
(chorus)
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
It’s all the same
It’s all the same, but different
Song Stats
Hits: 4220
Comments: 49
Fans: 21
Plays: 260
Downloads: 156
Votes: 13
Uploaded: Sep 21, 2007 - 04:23:04 AM
Last Updated: Sep 21, 2007 - 11:06:21 PM Last Played: Jan 17, 2017 - 10:51:07 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Hohner acoustic guitar
Software:
GB
Comments
said 3714 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
Very Heartfelt !
Phil this is just great song, the guitar sounds great and really clear to my ears, the vocal at the best level.
Good Luck with your CD friend ! this is great piece
Kudos !

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
Feter said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
The Same But Different
very much agree here with you ..thank you for sharin
the story ,very thoughtfull song .and singin just so
respectfull .sure one of your best ,and I wish to take
the chance and wish you all the luck with your Comin
CD .. KUDOS !!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
Estella said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
travel journals
I love the lengthy reports you give on your songs. It would be great if your cd came with your travel journal or notes like these.

Anyway, this is a great song. I agree with Yeman the guitars are clear and compelling.

It wouldn't hurt if your voice came out a little more, too :)

I like how the song builds, the brassy synths add great counterpoint.
Check out my latest song called Insomnia
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Thanks Estella
This will be the last of the 'long' travelogues - as I've finished my travel songs now, but I am writing a travel book - so if it ever gets published I'll let you know :-)


---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
davisamerica said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
great tune
i liked it beginning to end. vocals, lyrics, dynamics everything! great piece. luck with the cd!
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
lengold said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
Extremely
well written, played, sung and constructed song - great prodcution.
Cheers
Len


Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
Love it
Very good song... Production is outstanding. Kudos.
Thx for sharing... a D-load for sure.

Kenta
smokey bacon jnr said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
great
Glad you prompted us all to have a listen to this - cos I really liked it. Reminded me a little of Pink Floyd in the animals/the wall period with that scything guitar and vocal delivery. That's a compliment by the way, in case you hate prog! I will check out your back catalogue when I have a chance. Good luck with the cd too!
Check out my latest song called Bassbump
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Cheers Smokey Bacon
No worries about Floyd comparisons (or prog for that matter). I'm pretty much locked into The Final Cut as my template and there's a deffo bit of that in here.

Glad you approve :-)

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
thetiler said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
Really Terrific
I am not sure I have read any better lyrics here at MJ.
Thanks for such a THOUGHT provoking song.

What great analogies in the contrasting cultures. And the music really backs up the nice singin and backround sounds.

Way to go!


Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Thanks Bill
That's a real compliment about the lyrics. There are alot of great wordsmiths on this site, so I'm glad you approve.

Appreciate you dropping bye -

Cheers
Phil

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
Dj French Toast said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
ya
your right ...without manipulating the camera you can never duplicate what is seen ...cause there is so much more than just sight !
Check out my latest song called Sweeter no doubt (Beat by Sweet 79)
Cori Ander said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
YES
A really nice song .. composition, performance and arrangment!

Thank you for pointing it out!

Johannes Curry

Check out my latest song called O store Gud
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Thanks Johannes
Glad you found the song and enjoyed - appreciate it

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
Jim Bouchard said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
Same old same
Love it! I think the vocal needs to be louder and since it's the last song on the CD, I think you might want to revisit this.
I like the concept of same same, and was sort of hoping the chorus had that phrase in it, since "it's all the same" as a phrase is a little overused, but that's okay, since what you came up with fits so well into the meter of the melody.
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
Axgrinder said 3713 days ago (September 21st, 2007)
You lost your hat!
Another great song with an outstanding production. I can relate to the lyrics pretty well. I often wonder why I seldom post new ones and I came to the conclusion that I'm spending to much time listening and commenting on yours ;-P Nice work indeed Mr. Dolby

Ax


Check out my latest song called Dark Circus
echoroom said 3713 days ago (September 22nd, 2007)
I love...
... the lyrics and observations... the 3G cell phone, and the chorus says it all its a small planet after all! Great work phil

steve
Check out my latest song called Heaven is Waiting
Peter Bauckham said 3712 days ago (September 22nd, 2007)
Good song
coupled with rock steady production - excellent all round.

Peter
Check out my latest song called Reality TV MJRF2010
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Thanks Peter
Glad you found the song and approve - cheers

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
said 3711 days ago (September 23rd, 2007)
very cool
I like your description must be a whole different world1 I feel bad for the guy with the pig all that and a flat. Its the same but for us different . A nice moving and well mixed song I enjoyed this one alot!
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Cheers Egobandit
Yep, it is a whole different world - sometimes we forget, and sometimes we need reminding. Thanks for dropping by - appreciate it

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
said 3711 days ago (September 23rd, 2007)
A Poetic Look Beyond
...the world we live in, lost in our entertaining-ourselves-to-oblivion society where "life and death" means how well our stock portfolios are doing. You're quite right about the idea not being new, but every idea we express becomes new, becomes ours, and adds its particular resonance to the music of the world. It's the same... but different.

Beautiful song, with strong bones and a deceptively gentle touch that haunts. In this particular subject area it's easy to beat the listener with maudlin images and sorry words; good intentions and an 800-number running across the bottom of the screen, et all. But this is just a ride in a bus on a muddy road in a place we can barely imagine, where countless others live their lives every day - living lives as real and important as ours.

The same... but different.
dolby said 3709 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Thanks Rik
Now that is a proper review - thanks very much. All comments should be as thoughtful as this....

I'm blown away!

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
Vic Holman said 3709 days ago (September 25th, 2007)
really nice tune Phil
Different is good, right?

A cool Floydian flavor. A bit of wish you where here gone electric.

Does make for a good closing tune for a CD. Kind of sums up life. Great build for the finish.

Now is this going to be a concept album? There's a story there



Check out my latest song called Mean Streets
dolby said 3708 days ago (September 26th, 2007)
Thanks Vic
Not a concept album - but a series of songs linked together by a common theme......

......which you could describe as a concept album....

...oh my god, call the cops, this is illegal isn't it?

---
Same Same, But Different
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
said 3698 days ago (October 7th, 2007)
Sublime!
I love everything about this piece brother. Pink Floyd and Beatle influences abound...(a compliment!) Well written. Well played. Well sung...BRAVO!

Be well!
paddler said 3685 days ago (October 19th, 2007)
same-same
but different comment.I just about made it to the end of your description - I've become a very lazy reader of late.Its a great observation and ideal songwriting material and you have done a really good job on this song with all the intertwining melodies and themes coming from quite a straightforward chord structure.I haven't travelled the world at all but I have come to the belief that in order to get some kind of understanding of what its like to be the poor bugger with the pig you have to live without luxury and then pretty soon the things that were once non-significant become a luxury.A cheap second hand transistor radio that cost 3 from a junk stall became a lifeline when I was travelling and busking.I chose that life though and these people probably dont have that choice.

Excellent theme,and song - RG
Check out my latest song called Wild Volcano
dolby said 3683 days ago (October 21st, 2007)
Thanks again...
...Richard.

Yes, travelling through certain parts of the world is a real eye opener, and does make you appreciate what you've got.

Glad you at least had a go at reading the blurb :-))

Thanks for the comment -
Phil
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
Ed_Moran said 3678 days ago (October 26th, 2007)
Like Your Style
Phil

I really like your musical style. This is a great song to end a CD with. Love the music and lyrics. The only avice I would give is the vocals seem to loud in the mix. I would pull them in a little.

Cheers,

Ed
Check out my latest song called Cowboy (WIP)
Ed_Moran said 3678 days ago (October 26th, 2007)
sorry
Take it back vocals are spot on after second listen.
Check out my latest song called Cowboy (WIP)
peacepiano said 3663 days ago (November 10th, 2007)
Nice
I like the slow driving beat and the horns at the end. Chorus works well :)

Thanks
Bill
Check out my latest song called Beat SoloMe-O
Heightened said 3658 days ago (November 15th, 2007)
Fantastic!
A great song!

H
Check out my latest song called Caldari
MacFerret said 3644 days ago (November 29th, 2007)
Outstanding
Firstly the music - I like this. It grooves along nicely enough until that bridge makes you sit up straight. I love the ethnic sounding instrument in the final refrain. The vocal delivery is superb (like Michael Stipe when he still remembered how to smile.)

But what blows me away is the imagery. It's witty and sharp, but also poignant in its depiction of the man with a mission on a bike. You have woven your experience and acute observation into a song, and you communicate it brilliantly.

Outstanding songwriting and performance.

MacFerret
Check out my latest song called Sad Ronnie
dolby said 3640 days ago (December 3rd, 2007)
Flippin' heck...
MacFerret, now that's a review!!! Thankyou so much. Glad you enjoyed the track -

Cheers,
Phil
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
sir dennis crowther said 3639 days ago (December 4th, 2007)
review TAIL
First up, the sound is incredibly good. The space and tone and definition is spot on. Well done. I would have mixed it a little differently to disentangle the major parts, but of course that's a matter of style taste.

The song itself is very enjoyable and engaging. Do you play all the parts?

I've never been to the Far East but I can imagine that they also have x-boxes, sub-prime credit crunch issues and bird flu. So very different...!

Nicely done

Chas
Check out my latest song called The other side of nice
dolby said 3634 days ago (December 9th, 2007)
Thanks Sir Dennis
Yes, I do play all the parts - just me and an acoustic guitar and a MacBook laptop.

Given my time again, and a decent recording studio, proper musicians and a decent vocal mic I agree that I probably would mix it differently myself:-)) As with all my other songs on here this was recorded pretty much in one take, without much editing and mixed on headphones. The version on the upcoming CD has the vox mixed a little higher and generally a bit more bite in the mix.

Glad you liked the tune. Thanks for the comment -
Phil
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
freefalleffect said 3626 days ago (December 17th, 2007)
laid back
way back...cool voice you have....dig the acoustic and electric tones....nice work....clean mix....kudos to you amigo....peace
Check out my latest song called Redemption
dolby said 3609 days ago (January 3rd, 2008)
Thanks...
...freefalleffect. Sorry it's taken so long to reply - hadn't noticed that anyone had called in for a while, so cheers!
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
racerat said 3610 days ago (January 3rd, 2008)
Sentiment
Sorry it took me so long to get here, Phil. I think the sentiment expressed in this phone is awesome. I feel exactly the same. The arrangement and chord progressions are excellent. The only thing I would suggest is that the bass guitar seems a little low in the mix except in the last chorus--it sees to come up a bit. A great anthem. Well done.
Philip
Check out my latest song called Paper Thin
dolby said 3609 days ago (January 3rd, 2008)
Hey...
...thanks Philip. Yeah, pretty much agree about the bass. It's one of those where my natural instinct is to push the bass and hold off the vocal, but through much trial and error in this song I was encouraged to push the vocal, and I think the bass got forgotten about en route!

This is the last track on my CD and Jim Bouchard had mastered the songs and brought out some missing sounds throughout - so maybe the bass comes back a little.

Thanks for the comment, appreciated as always -

Phil
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
said 3518 days ago (April 3rd, 2008)
Fantastic.
Hi
Oh my goodness this had me swooning with your very sweet and sexy Voice that tell a very nice worldly story and brilliant lyrics,great singing and guitar playng loved it all. I will be downloading this. Thank you for sharing your wonderful song.
Peace Dee.
dolby said 3436 days ago (June 24th, 2008)
Ooh flipping heck...
...thanks Dee - sorry for being so late in replying:-)) But thanks for the listen. Never been told my voice was sexy before. Nice one :-))
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
bud said 3436 days ago (June 24th, 2008)
Loved the story behind the song
and the song itself is wonderful. Really well performed and produced. The arrangement has just the right balance of intimacy and universality - not too grand yet powerful. Well done - glad I stopped by.
Check out my latest song called Oh Coast
dolby said 3436 days ago (June 24th, 2008)
Cheers Bud
Thanks. Been away from MJ's for a while, but glad to be back. Looking forward to hearing some good music and getting some new stuff online. Thanks for the comment. It's been a while since I had one :-))
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
Bob Rodgers said 3431 days ago (June 29th, 2008)
I
really like this song Phil, so well produced and great sounds from all the instruments!
Love the guitars and a great vocal!
Thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Lonely Man
dolby said 3430 days ago (July 1st, 2008)
Hey Bob
Thanks for another visit. Yep, I've always been pretty happy with this one. Glad you liked it. Cheers.
Check out my latest song called The Only Ghost Who Cares
guygrooves said 3427 days ago (July 3rd, 2008)
Thank you
The song is outstanding and the story made it all the more powerful. Thank you for your visit I may not have found this gem otherwise.
Check out my latest song called Summer Bossa with awigze
tokai said 3425 days ago (July 5th, 2008)
never made it
there, but this take me there. I've seen what you sing about. great lyrics and lovely voice to sing it. Cheers phil.
Check out my latest song called sleeper
stormcloudsupinthesky said 3410 days ago (July 20th, 2008)
inspiration
its guess its funny where we draw inspiration from to make music. and your inspiration came from a different place and this added to the flavour of the song. great lyrics and great feel. there was this kinds optimistic overtone that i picked up on even though it was a little down. you cam from the right place when writing this song
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Name: Phil Dolby
Location: Basel Switzerland
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The terms alternative rock and alternative music[1] were coined in the early 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired music genres which didn't fit into the mainstream genres of the time. At times it was used as catch-all phrase for rock music from under

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