Standard Deviation

from by Danny Schmidt

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Standard Deviation is a romance set in the multi-dimensional realm of theoretical physics, string theory, quantum mechanics, and descriptive statistics. It’s a song about the pushback that girls can face when expressing their smarts in traditionally male-dominated arenas. And it's about the parallel between quantum entanglement and human entanglement. And it's about how even the most guarded and unlikely heart has a matching perfectly twisted key somewhere that can open it right up.

And let's face it, it's about how sexy a smart mind can be when it's set totally and wildly free.



A chalkboard full of secrets, it was like some kind of code
To tell the stars and planets how to fall and how to glow
But when she turned to face the classroom there was chalk upon her nose
Like the ghost of Madame Curie or a clown in women’s clothes
And the boys dismissed the work so quick, they laughed at her instead
As just a girl who spilled some numbers from her head

Late night in the library in the basement by herself
Alone amongst the books again, at home between the shelves
She was searching for some answers when she stumbled in the dark
On a girl with colored pencils and black eyes like question marks
They said hello in stereo, then they both just stood and stared
As a normal sort of silence filled the air

The girl asked her what she studied, what she read so late at night
The thoughts that filled her notebooks and the stars that filled her eyes
But she said she couldn’t tell her, she said she’d just get bored
It was story told in numbers not a story told in words
But the girl just laughed and leaned right back, said “Try me if you dare
A story’s when there’s something more to share”

So she shrugged and her hands began to speak
A dance of differentials and of poetry in Greek
She solved for new dimensions and vibrations of the strings
From a single derivation all the worlds could rise to being
And she drew concentric circles with her finger in the air
And they glowed where there were nodes along the manifold they shared
To be in perfect symmetry, joined in all degrees
They touched in ways that no one else could see

The girl’s eyes lit with fire, like milk and kerosene
It was the smartest thing she’d ever heard and the hottest thing she’d seen
So she grabbed her by the brainstem and she threw her to the floor
And they kissed like their equations had never balanced quite before

Cause every lonesome thesis just describes the unobserved
There’s always one who’ll fall upon the tail of every curve
There’s so many locks, so many doors, so many twisted keys
Within the standard deviation from the mean


from Standard Deviation, released March 8, 2019

Produced by Will Robertson
Written and performed by Danny Schmidt

Danny Schmidt - Guitar & Vocals
Colin Agnew - Drums & Percussion
Will Robertson - Bass, Keyboards
Mira Stanley Costa - Harmony Vocals
Cara May Gorman - Harmony Vocals
Carrie Elkin - Harmony Vocals


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Danny Schmidt Austin, Texas

Named to the Chicago Tribune's "50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years," Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt is considered a preeminent writer, an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane, with lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt. ... more

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