Miss Marissa

Written by Willy Braun

She sat in the passenger seat, feet out the window, sunshine on her face and the wind in her hair – the cloud scattered sky of central Idaho bouncing off her rose pink sunglasses. She was drinking a mimosa, pre-mixed and refilled from time to time from the orange juice bottle in the cooler. It was early but she would have been drinking one no matter the time of day.

We were driving just to drive – the best of all drives when you have no destination and no itinerary. It was a perfect metaphor for whatever it was we had between us. Nowhere to be and in no hurry to get there. Our ultimate demise, or so I figured. But in the moment it didn’t matter, we were having a ball, clowning around and living for the moment, neither looking at the road ahead nor checking the mirror. Somewhere along the way, we lost connection, slowly at first and then all of a sudden, like the last thoughts before a deep sleep. But in that moment, with the sun and sky reflecting off those cheap plastic lenses and her head swaying with the effervescent melody of “Livin’ Thing,” it was one of those rare scenes when time stood still and allowed things to just exist without consequence or expectation. It was how we wanted it, and how it was meant to be.

All of this and more came rushing back as if a dam had burst many years later when I saw the pink sunglasses, dusty, faded and lonesome on the dash, which I had never moved, had never returned, and had never forgotten.

The names, I always change to protect the innocent. Not this time. Miss Marissa just sounded too cool and sang too well, so I broke my own rule. This was the first one I thought of having Eleanor play some strings on. It has a sort of bouncy, almost ELO kind of vibe. Once I heard what she came up with for this song, the tiger was out of the cage, and we eventually had her play on a few more than I had originally thought we would. Jazz came up with the drum groove that starts and ends the song and adjusted it as the song come together, as did some of our best ideas during these sessions. We didn’t spend a lot of time arranging the songs before we got into the studio, which was a risky move, but it led to some really creative moments that I don’t think we’d have captured, otherwise.


Well, the sun was setting over
Craters of the Moon
Driving by made me think about you
And all the innocent trouble we got into
And the love we almost knew

Miss Marissa

Well, you borrowed my truck
a couple years back
You left your pink shades sittin’
there on the dash
And I still put ‘em on sometimes
for a laugh
And you ain’t gettin’ ‘em back

Miss Marissa
You know I miss Marissa
Sweet Miss Marissa

Everyone said I should have
locked it down
We were havin’ fun we just
clownin’ around
I guess they all knew then
what I know now

I miss Marissa
Sweet Miss Marissa
You know I miss Marissa
Little Miss Marissa

Yeah, you kept it all together
You were makin’ big moves
Still lived your life like you had
nothin’ to lose
Drinkin’ champagne in the afternoon
I never did know what to do

With Miss Marissa
Sweet Miss Marissa
You know I miss Marissa
Little Miss Marissa
You know I miss Marissa
Sweet Miss Marissa