“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them…someone should write a song about that.” – Andy Bernard
Black & White is a song that’s very near and dear to my heart. It’s the first song I wrote that really started to catch the attention of my friends and family – I couldn’t really tell you why, though.
In the summer of 2013 I had just moved back home to Columbia, MO from my freshman year of college where I never felt comfortable or included; it was my first experience out of the safety net that was my hometown. That being said, I needed the discomfort to disrupt my otherwise childish attitude towards songwriting.
In March of 2013, I suffered from my first real heart break (this song is the first of many I would write about this experience, “Hourglass” being its catharsis) and still being young and lacking any practical knowledge of how to handle myself, I threw myself into television.
Now, let me confess that I was already predisposed into loving television, but a failed romantic venture and being freshly severed from a group of my college friends I dove into the world of Scranton, Pennsylvania and into the arms of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company – The Office was, and had been for many years prior, my one true love.
Running for nine seasons, I came into the series for Season 2 in the fall of 2006 and invested the next seven years of my life into these people. However, coming to a conclusion in May of 2013, I was yet again left without something I loved so deeply.
The difference between my failed romantic life and the conclusion of The Office was this: in the series finale, Andy Bernard has a talking head interview where he speaks nostalgically about “the good old days” of working at Dunder Mifflin. Watching this, I found myself wishing for the same thing. I wanted to know that I was in the good old days before I had left them. I thought that the girl who I’d lost was the good old days; I thought that The Office was the good old days.
(Now that I have moved away from my home and my family I see my hometown and my old job as the good old days. Andy was right, I never even noticed how good things were back then, but I digress.)
So, taking advice from Ed Helms – let’s be real, it was his character Andy talking, but everything he was saying was so obviously conveying how he really felt about the conclusion of The Office – I wrote that song. I wrote that song that was about wanting to know that you’re living in the good old days before you’ve actually left them. I wrote the first song I was proud of based on my heartbreak over the conclusion of a TV series.
I wrote “Black & White” about The Office.
“Why can’t we know we’re in the good old days before we’ve left them? Why can’t we know that we need to take our time? Because I want to know why I can’t go on a day without you, I wanna know why. I wanna know why…”