project was completed on 24 November 2008. If
anyone wants a copy of the CD from me can they ask for it now please? Reminder: the
versions here are not of the same quality as those included on CDs or
submitted to song contests.
After completing Mustn't grumble,
consisting largely as it did of a meander through some of life's
irritations, I wanted to write something more personal and expressive.
It was probably only having completed three CDs that I had acquired the
confidence to do this. Work on the orchestration started sporadically
in December 2007, and in earnest from February 2008. I made a
deliberate effort to make the music rhythmically as well as melodically
complex. The vocals were
recorded from March to July 2008. Editing it took from August until
towards the end of November. The last track on it, a very ambitious
long instrumental, was the best I had written yet.
1 - Creation
- new version uploaded following edits, 24/11/08.
This was one of the last to be written. I was looking for something
creatively ambitious. It sounds conceited to say it, but that made me
think of Sergeant Pepper (the album), which made me think of how I
imagined Sergeant Pepper (the fictional band leader), which made me
think of a town brass band and a band leader writing something for
them. I imagined him having listened to say Haydn's Creation, and
thinking, maybe I could try writing something a bit like that. So I
wrote a lyric trying to make the big bang sound poetic, and some time
later tried to orchestrate it so that the backing musically described
what was happening. Any musicians may notice successive key and time
signature changes to symbolically mirror the dropping energy level in
the expanding universe. And that's how this song came about. I don't
think it's at all typical of me, and it's certainly very unlike any
popular music I've ever heard.
2 - Organic
Jack - new version uploaded following edits,
This is another complaint about getting older. I don't mind having been
alive longer, but ageing I'm afraid I don't relish at all. The
reference to the lake is the Dead Sea. I keep being bugged by Dead Sea
salt salesmen in shopping centres so in the process of writing about
something else I took a sideways swipe at them.
3 - Basic
BASIC - new version uploaded following edits, 6/10/08.
This is a potted history of computer programming. Really. Like a lot of
people I have dabbled in computer programming using various languages,
but they have followed each other faster and faster. Whatever is
fashionable now is out again in five years. Anyone else who has spent
any time trying to keep up with this will notice lots of in jokes
buried in the lyric.
4 - Cough up
- new version uploaded following edits, 9/10/08.
I was up at Oona's and she had the television on. At that time she
liked to watch shopping channels. This particular one was doing bid
shopping, i.e. the price comes down and people ring in. You'll gather I
wasn't impressed. It was all there, the ring, the bag, the pots, all I
did was write it down really.
5 - Only me - new version
uploaded following edits, 12/10/08.
This was another one written at Oona's. Strongly influenced by The game by
Echo and the Bunnymen. I admired the intensity of that lyric, the way
there was lots of it and it just kept coming and coming. I thought I'd
like to write something like it. It was actually written very fast, it
all came very quickly with lines triggering other lines. I remember
scribbling furiously in a notebook and being pretty pleased when I had
6 - I wish
version uploaded following edits, 13/10/08.
This is one of the most personal songs I've ever written. It goes back
really to long years spent... well... let's just say, bad times can
haunt you for years or decades afterwards. The trouble is, they get
into your head, and you're never the same as you would have been, or
could have been. It was a dark time. Fortunately things did get better,
7 - Toleration -
new version uploaded following vocal edits, 11/10/08. This
started from a remark made at a Christmas dinner. Somebody appeared to
be confusing sociability with tolerance. I felt they were clearly
8 - You
thought, I thought - new version uploaded following vocal
edits, 18/10/08. This
is another very personal song. It was written following a
misunderstanding. I felt frustrated at not being able to communicate
successfully how I felt, so I wrote it in a lyric instead.
9 - Tragic - new
version uploaded following edits, 16/10/08. This
was written in Bluewater shopping centre. Oona was off in a shop
looking at goodness knows what and taking a while over it. Coming up
the escalator I had heard a record playing. The singer was putting on a
great display of emotion and I realised how false it all was.
10 - Think
of something else - after hours of work this is finally
sounding presentable. New version uploaded following edits, 8/9/08. This
was written at the chess tournament at Hastings, shortly before I was
due to go for a blood test. I wasn't actually fasting at the time, but
I was dreading it. The funny thing was, when it actually came to the
fast, it didn't really bother me much. This was how hard I imagined it
would be - but it wasn't. Oddly it was influenced by of all people Bob
Dylan. He had written a song about a hat, where no matter what
direction the lyric went off in it always ended up coming back to the
hat, and I liked the circularity of it.
11 - Table
polishing for dogs - New version uploaded following edits,
I'm actually very proud of this one. Stylistically it is highly
unusual, containing contrasting styles within the same song, as a
deliberate attempt to represent the different cultures being referred
to. It was triggered by a case in the Sudan that I gather became
notorious - you may remember it. Before then, I had thought that if
different cultures tried hard enough to understand each other, they
could co-exist. That case convinced me I had been wrong.
12 - JFDI -
new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08. This
was triggered by something that was happening at work at the time,
though I can't now remember what it was. What I was trying to argue was
that all the statements in the backing vocal (that was me as well,
incidentally) are essentially the same. What goes around comes around,
and at time of writing it again seems very apt.
13 - Me and
you - new version uploaded following edits, 18/9/08. This
was an oddity really. I
was sitting wondering what to write, and I thought I'd like to write
something wistful. For some reason, I don't know why, I thought of my
periodic trips to London, usually alone. I thought of walking through
the streets, usually towards the half price ticket booth in Leicester
Square. I thought of all those people, and how I didn't know them and
didn't speak to them. Maybe I could have, but I didn't. I picked up my
pen, and the words just came to me: "There are so many people in a
14 - Too late
- new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08. This
was based on a remark I had made years before to someone I knew.
Nothing like this had happened recently, so the vocal was purely
acting. I gather from Oona it was very convincing acting.
15 - Going
- new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08. As you may have gathered I've never been a socialiser, and once in a while - The (other) drinking song
for instance - I have felt called upon to try and explain why. This one
is trying to explain how pointless and shallow party small talk
appears. I simply can't see the point of this sort of thing.
16 - God
(did you do it right) - new version uploaded following edits,
23/11/08, and yes all
the voices on it really are me. This started off as the last part of The end.
Unfortunately it was too long for that, it was too large an idea, and
after a while I realised it was a separate song. It would have been the
last song, had it not been for Creation and The end of Creation.
17 - The
end of Creation (instrumental) - New version uploaded
following edits, 2/10/08. Having
written about the beginning of Creation, it seemed logical to write
about the end of it. This then is the entire history of the universe,
from the present moment to its final end. It's structured in sections
representing the different stages. The fact that it involved describing
unlikely things purely using sounds made it fascinating to write. As
with Creation, any musicians will hear more in it than non-musical
The cover is in CorelDraw Select Edition (7.0) format. It was
posted here for a time but has now been removed as it is rather a large
The full 12 page lyric booklet will appear only
with copies of the CD made by me.