03 Sharing Notes

This is a set of songs written in Durham which were sent to Chris as a kind of portfolio. He did a mock review treating it as though it was an album and so it has remained in my mind ever since. The ironic thing was that of the songs in question (1 – 11) none of them was pursued further. I like the variety so here they are. 12 – 14 were done at about the same time and two of them made it as far as band treatments.

1. The girl of my dreams

A protest, I suppose. Against the conformity of relationships. Or something. Intentionally a little sinister

2. Not afraid to be alone

Alone out of necessity, and protesting a little too much. I was, at the same time, very much afraid of being alone.

3. Little fellow

When I was an unhappy undergraduate (most of the first two years) I used to comfort myself by saying, ‘Never mind, little fellow’ in a benignly divine sort of way. This song developed as I became aware of how conventional most rebellion usually is.

4. Don’t fall in love with me

I think I meant it at the time. Very gloomy after a disastrous non-liaison I couldn’t see how I could be compatible with another, or how it wouldn’t end badly. Almost a two chord wonder.

5. Everyday superman

You know, these show songs. I gave myself the opportunity in the script to come onstage and do a song with Chris.

6. I just wish you were here

From the heart. I can still feel myself in that bedsit pouring myself out in that song. Not just for the unknown lover, but also for the unknown friend and unknown God.

7. Triple time

So called not just because it is in triple time but because it’s in three different sections. You may have heard this before but it is fairly obviously about not knowing what it was to be in love and worse not knowing how to know what it was to be in love.

8. Complex world

Idealism calling. I stand by the notion that a lot of what passes today as ‘fulfilling potential’ and ‘maximising opportunity’ is disguised selfishness.

9. The actress

This is about a friend who had many good qualities but often became a little melodramatic to universal exasperation.

10. Looking down, looking on

I am still surprised that a young man could be this aware of the frustrations and darkness of a metronomic life but maybe this was my day to day experience as a research student.

11. Marjorie

Terribly unfair of course. It’s not as though I actually dislike the name. It just seemed to fit and I didn’t know anyone by that name. It’s a throwaway meant-to-be-humorous ditty that is memorable now because I threw in some of my friends’ names.

12. In the middle

Waltz time and social comment again. I may well have been influenced by the politics in the university department I was working in. Ivory tower searching for truth divorced from the machinations of human ambition? Think again.

13. Beside the water

A retreat to Holy Island coincided with delusions of romance, which were soon shown to be exactly that. As can be seen from the lyrics I still doubted whether I could sustain a relationship but this is from the perspective of one who had not often had the opportunity.

The words were written while on retreat, the sea image being rather obvious there. Chris added the music afterwards. It was performed by the band rather reluctantly just the once – they always regarded it as ‘two verses too many’.

14. In love with me

Called ‘the pop song’ by the band this was undoubtedly influenced by the Sex Pistols’ ‘No Feelings’ – ‘I’m in love with myself, my beautiful self’. The poor sound quality is because this was a rough tape of a rough rehearsal (ca 1980).