Dog Years

Background and Commentary

“The title comes from the novel of the same name by Gunther Wilhelm Glass. People look to Sirius, the Dog Star constellation named after the hunting dog of Orion in Greek mythology. The line ‘every dog will have its day’ originated in [a 1863 children’s book] Water Babies by Charles Kingslay.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

“‘Dog Years’ is not Neil at his best. No surprise, given that he was somewhat hung over when penning it. It sure does rock, though.”—Martin Popoff, Contents Under Pressure

“Certainly the listener is welcome to take it just as a piece of throwaway foolishness. Even the story of its writing is kind of amusing, because it was right when we got together for the first time, the three of us, after quite a long break apart. We did a little celebrating the first night and the following day I was a bit the worse for wear, and a little dull-witted, and I thought, ‘Gee, I don’t think I’m going to get much done today, but I’m a professional; I’d better try.’ So, I sat down all muzzy-headed like that and started trying to stitch words together—that’s what I was there for, after all. ‘Dog Years’ is what came out of that type of mentality and born out of observations over the years, too, and looking at my dog, thinking, ‘What’s going through his brain?’ and I would think, ‘Just a low-level zzzz static: food, walk. When I look at my dog that’s how I see his brainwaves moving.” (T4E Premiere)—Neil in Merely Players


In a dog’s life
A year is really more like seven
And all too soon a canine
Will be chasing cars in doggie heaven

It seems to me
As we make our own few circles ’round the sun
We get it backwards
And our seven years go by like one

Dog years . . . It’s the season of the itch
Dog years . . . With every scratch it reappears

In the dog days
People look to Sirius
Dogs cry for the moon
But these connections are mysterious

It seems to me
While it’s true that every dog will have his day
When all the bones are buried
There is barely time to go outside and play

Dog years . . . it’s the season of the itch
Dog years . . . with every scratch it reappears
Dog years . . . for every sad son of a bitch
Dog years . . . with his tail between his ears

I’d rather be a tortoise from Galapagos
Or a span of geological time
Than be living in these dog years

In a dog’s brain
A constant buzz of low level static
One sniff at the hydrant
And the answer is automatic

It seems to me
As well make our own few circles ’round the block
We’ve lost our senses
For the higher level static of talk

Tablature (Drum)

by Eduardo A. Dantas de Lima (, with sections from
A Work In Progress.

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

r on Snare line = roll on snare
H on cymbal line = Hi-hat on right side next to ride cymbal

q = 119

|| e s s s s e e e s s e e s s s s e e e e e s s s s s s e e e s s e
C4 ||.C-B—R—B-R-B-R—B-|R-B—R—B-R-B-C-B-|R—B—R—B-R-B-R—B-|
S4 ||.–X——-X—X—–X-|–X——-X—X—X-|—-X——-X—X—–X-|
K || X—X—X—X—X-X—|X—X—X—X—X—|X-X—X—X—X—X-X—|

e s s s s e e s^s^s e e e s s s s e e s^s^s e e
C R-B—R—B-R———T- ||R-B—R—B-R———–|
S –X——-X—X——-X-.||–X——-X—X——-F-|
T —————-4-5—–.||—————-4-5—–|
K X—X—X—X——-X— ||X—X—X—X——-X—|

(Hi-hat tension ad lib)
s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s
C C——————————-|No Cr| |—————————-S-S- ||
H –X-X-X—X-X-X-X-X-X-X—X-X-X-| | |X-X-X-X—X-X-X-X-X-X-X—X—–.||
S ——–X—————X——-| ./. |./.|——–X—————X——-.||
K X———–X-X—–X——-X—| | |X———–X-X—–X——-X— ||

[In a dog’s life…]

s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s e e e s s e e e e
C ——————————–|| C-B-R-B—R-B-R-B-|No Cr| |
H X-X-X-X—X-X-X-X-X-O-O———||.——————| | |
S ——–X—————X—X-X-||.—-X———X—| ./. |./.|
K X———–X-X—–X———–|| X—–X-X—X—X-| | |
[Seems to me, as we make…]

—<———< ——-<——-<—-<-<-<-<-<-<-

s s s s s s s s q e e e e e s s e e e e e s s e e s s e s s e
C —————-C-R—|C-R-R-R—R-R-R-R-|R-R—R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-|
S X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X—X—|—-X———X—|——X———X—–|
K X—X—X—X—X—X-|X—–X-X—X—X-|X—X—X—–X——-|
[Dog years..]
e s s e s s e e e e E s e e q e e e e e s s e e e e e e e e e e e e
C R-R—R-R—R-R-R-R-|T-T—T-C-R-R-|C-R-R-R—R-R-R-R-|R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-|
S ——X———X—|—-X—–X—|—-X———X—|X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-|
K X—X—–X—X—X-|X-X—X-X—–|X—–X-X—X—X-|X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-|

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.


“Dog Years” guitar cover

“Dog Years” bass cover

“Dog Years” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 14, 2011.

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