How Was I to Know?

How Was I to Know?

billwhite51's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

i had made several previous attempts to express the events of the most regrettble night of my life in song. Maybe I got it right this tiime, maybe not.


Once I loved a Creole girl
But I never let her know
I never even kissed her
On the night I let her go
It was in the dead of winter
But she was all aglow
That night was going to be our night
How was I to know
What she was feeling
How I hurt her so
Now my heart is reeling
How was I to know?

She invited me to dinner
Her room mate was out of town
I couldnt have been dimmer
I acted like a clown

Flowers on the table
Lights turned way down low
Making love was on her mind
How was I to know
What she was feeling
How I hurt her so
Now my heart is reeling
How was I to know?

It was three clock in the morning
I said Id better go
Thse were the last words I said to her
How was I to know?

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


cindyrella's picture

I think you got it right this time! So much regret with just the right touch!

kahlo2013's picture

private dinner? low lights? flowers? 3 am? How were you to know? Seriously, love the gentle delivery of hindsight and empathy that you deliver in this lovely song.

sbs2018's picture

Such gentle regret! I see a guy with a guitar sitting on a stool onstage in a smoke-filled lounge. We often think of our regrets, but this song, coming from a male perspective, asks me to wonder if anybody had regrets about me. These songs are always interesting to me. The storyteller in me, I guess.

tamsnumber4's picture

Loved the story, the last two lines are heartbreaking, the melody and vocal are sad and melancholy. This is a really nice song and love how you presented it!

Jerry Pettit's picture

Nice job, Bill. You've obviously had a ton of experiences that lend color to your lyrics. Just uploading a song of my own about how clueless we guys can be. (But with age, comes wisdom, right? Please tell me it's so!) Lovely story, lovely memory and nice job again on the vocal.

coolparadiso's picture

Hmm yes a memory here! Very well done! I still think about a scaringly similar story! I was that clueless guy and i should add the only person who was clueless! Very well told and and much more eloquent than what i wrote a few years ago!

Ferry Colyer's picture

Ouch, that's kind of hurting, I mean the way you describe her vs. the way you did not have wanted to act. Your vocals certainly do these lyrics justice. Mournful guitar playing too.

Tim Fatchen's picture

This is well put, sorrow and shame for a hate inflicted long ago, blended with the stupidity of the lost opportunity. There's really only one cure for youth. You've paced this perfectly and the vocals come across with jsut the right balance. the slightly odd flanging lead gives a sort of time-past fragility that enhances without dominating. (Well, this one resonates, though I never caused that much hurt, glad to say. )

jcollins's picture

First, I had to lookup Creole, says something to do with language, especially that of Haiti...ok.

Looking at the lyrics...ah, the first section reminds me of guy who started a relationship being friends and tried to move it to lovers. The next part show regrets missing the perfect opportunity to make your move. Yep, the next section confirms what I was thinking. 3 am, time to go how was I suppose to Yeah, I've done this too and can totally relate. Nice write. I'm ready for the audio now...hold. tremolo guitar...vocals now...nice and slow. Can clearly understand the lyrics. Nice second guitar riff fills. How was I to know what she was my heart was I to know...invited me to dinner....roomates out of town. The lights turned way down...making love was on her mind but how was I to know what she was heart is reeling...3 in the morning....the last words I said to was I to know. Great song Bill, I like it a lot.

splittybooms's picture

Wow, these lyrics.
"..dead of winter..but she was all aglow.." Immediately brought back very specific images from my own life...
Good grief, man...look what you've done!!! lol
Beautifully told with your vocals which are perfect for this kind of tale. Could hear the anguish of your experience and the feelings that...linger. The memories that linger.
Heartbreaking song/situation. This a good'un

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

Not to minimize the emotional impact, but this reminded me of George Costanza berating himself for not accepting a girl's invitation up for coffee. "Coffee doesn't mean coffee!" But this is lovely and melancholy and served perfectly by your sparse approach. Love those glimmers of electric guitar.

MarkG's picture

Such of sad song of regret for being a clueless idiot. You paint a realistic scene with your specific images.

brandondale_72's picture

Touchingly triumphant. I wonder what all the other versions sound like? Always taken aback by your impressive storytelling. Nice stuff as always. Thanks for sharing.

katpiercemusic's picture

I love the lyrical hook in this. It very much captures the internal experience without over-explaining. That opens it up and makes it more universal. The music also captures the melancholy and regret very well.