If You See Me I’m High

Written and Pro­duced by Dean Hall

Dean Hall — vocals, all guitars, and bass
Shirley Settles — vocals
Dan Hochhalter — fiddle
Travis “Skunky” Gillespie — harmonica
Chad Cromwell — drums
Mark Polack — drum-track­ing engineer (Lamplight Studio)
Dean Hall — mix and overdub engineer (Mule Studio)
Andrew Mendelson — mastering engineer (Georgetown Masters)

Several years ago, I was on a CMT reality show called Muzik Mafia TV, which, thankfully, only lasted one season. The producers organized a multi-city tour, tossed us all in a Prevost with a film crew, and sent us out across the country in search of a career.  As you may already know from watching reality television, the whole idea is to lie in wait for some hapless soul (hillbillies, rednecks, country and western singers, musicians, artists, jugglers, songwriters, etc., in this case) to fuck up and make a complete fool of themselves, while the film crew captures it on video. The more soul-crushing, embarrassing carnage the better. None of the really crazy stuff ever made the show’s final cut, but all was not lost.

Somewhere in the middle of this “tour,” we ended up at a regionally famous songwriter’s house in Texas. It wasn’t long before the event turned into what is commonly known in Nashville as a “guitar pull.” Guitar pull is a nebulous phrase today, but it originated from songwriters sitting around singing original songs to each other or for an artist looking for material. Most of the time, only one songwriter had or brought a guitar with them, so the term pull refers to pulling the guitar away from a songwriter who just finished singing an original composition. That night in Texas wasn’t much different. While we were trading new songs and drinking lots of beer, the resident songwriter got really stoned and started walking around the room saying “If you see me, I’m high,” which was really funny at the time because we could see him (thus, he was high—modus ponens). Also, there was a rumor that Willie Nelson was going to stop by at any minute, which only added to the situation’s absurdity.

The next morning, I woke up on the bus in some other town in Texas. The producers were busy trying to set up an impromptu show at a gun range (I know, don’t ask), and everyone on the bus had scattered for hot food, water, and aspirin. I was starving and hung over but couldn’t get the idea of “if you see me, I’m high” out of my head. So, I grabbed a pen and paper out of my bunk and wrote the first two verses and chorus in about ten minutes. I didn’t write the last verse until a year later when I recorded the song.

I guess this is the lesson learned: if you find yourself in Texas waiting around for Willie Nelson to show up at a guitar pull, take a hard look around. Amongst the absurdity, there may be a song or a story afoot.

Lyrics: If You See Me I’m High

I walk around in a daze
Can’t even tie my shoes
I try to make one decision
It takes me all afternoon

I sit and stare at your picture
While I wait by the phone
It seems like nothing else matters
I know what’s going on

If you see me I’m high
Ain’t nothing I can do lawd lawd
If you see me I’m high
High on lovin you

It’s such a crazy condition
I’m going out of my mind
I’m having sweet premonitions
About loving you tonight

I found the key to heaven
You left it under your mat
Cause just one taste of your sweet sweet love
And there ain’t no turning back

If you see me I’m high
Ain’t nothing I can do lawd lawd
If you see me I’m high
High on lovin you

Penned you a poetic letter
Signed it with Xs and Os
I hope I wrote something clever
I can’t recall how it goes

I dreamed that I was an island
You washed up on my shore
Now I don’t wish on a shooting star
I don’t need anything more

If you see me I’m high
Ain’t nothing I can do lawd lawd
If you see me I’m high
High on lovin you