Monday, 9 April 2018

Summer Strum Monday Missive 2018 - I Want To Write You A Song Part 2

Long time no see! April 2018 - the Summer Strum is less than 4 months away! I have been living in a fog of late but it's time to pull out my finger and connect with the world again. Remember the missive last year about writing a song? Well I did it folks - I really did it - I wrote 2 songs in 2 months!! Not the chart-toppers I was hoping for ... we are not going to retire to Wales on these babies. But I have written 2 songs nonetheless. I don't know if it has a lot to do with the serious decluttering and the 'lite' feng shui-ing I have been applying to our house lately but all of a sudden the creative channels have opened and I can just write a song at the drop of a hat!! Lol! Well kind of! Neither are fully produced with baselines and percussion. They simply stand as songs what I wrote - Songwriting! DISCLAIMER: I profess neither to be a soloist nor vocalist!

So the first one - The Drunkard's Curse - came about after a late night reminisce with my husband, Phil, about the copious amounts of alcohol I used to drink in order to function socially and how really lucky I was not to get into any serious trouble on night's out. The scenarios that I write about are real experiences but with an imagined worst-case outcome - what could have happened if I had met the wrong guy under the influence of TOO MUCH BOOZE. Seen from another perspective the song is actually my commentary on how men actually are pretty decent creatures and not the boozed up, sex crazy psychos with women's body parts stuffed in their airing cupboards. 

Musically it is influenced by Kill Bill, sea shanties and Tom Waites. What's not to like there hey?!

The second I wrote in Wales last week. Last year Phil and I agreed to write our own songs based on a story he told of his teenage years growing up in Pant. They used to hang out at the park with a local girl - known distastefully as the village bike - and no matter what the weather she wore summer shoes. Phil remembers looking at her cold blue feet in winter and vowing to stay well away. That's his story anyway and he's sticking to it! 

Phil wrote his song pretty instantly - he does it well - write songs. His was a heavy rock take on the story with the central character, a bit of a goer - for that was the lasting impression he had of her. My take is more romantic - the confident, sexy girl with the great hair and body who was always the centre of attention; secretly the girl you always wanted to be or be with. Mine is a love story about the boy who saw more in her than her reputation. 

Musically and lyrically it is influenced by Billy Bragg - one of the greatest songwriters of all time in my humble opinion - and therefore I cannot help but sing it in a cockney accent (I am from Kent after all). Billy for me represents my teenage years - he was in my big brother's record collection (and although me and my brother tried our hardest to hate each other I secretly looked up to him in a big way!) and he was playing in my seventeen year old self's boyfriend's tractor as he ploughed his father's field before he was allowed out. Romance was alive and well in Westwell! 

Listen to Summer Shoes first!

Drunkards Curse was a car crash to record! I just about got to the end when my youngest ran upstairs and threw a soft ball at my head! Then it was half an hour of trying to re-record with gaff after gaff. In the end I tried to stitch it together - on a very old and knackered version of Garageband. The result? Hear for yourself!

So enjoy good people! Maybe it will influence you to get out the strumming machines and put a few heartfelt words to music. As the experts said last year - songwriting can be therapeutic and fun. My next one is going to be about being made redundant and Food Technology being scrapped from the school that I work in. It may contain some swearing! 

Keep strumming strummers and it's nice to be back!

Em xx