|"Bland in all countries"|
A decade or so ago, I used to write songs on my now long lost Sunburst Fender ce22 Acoustic guitar; you never forget a good plank to spank on. I have over 150 odd lyrical pieces, stashed away in a folder at home; with chord progressions and capo placing - if needed, and once upon a time, writing these songs served me well.
Reading them now; as a full grown man possessing maturity - and a hell of a lot more love in my life. I realise I was nowhere near as bad as I once imagined myself to be, and can see the bare bones of my innate talent with words. Of course, a lot of the lyrics were angst ridden, boy-like, shoe-gazing, melancholic self-pity. But I was in my very early twenties - still figuring shit out. I am still proud of these songs, as a reminder of my youth. Unfortunately - while I have developed maturity, I have not - and still cannot, sing to save my life – literally. If a pack of tribal cannibals coming off a three week fast, had me sitting in a pot of hot soup, and asked me to recite a note perfect rendition of Mambo number five? Come sundown, they'd have been chewing on my testicles all night long.
But I digress. I had a skill for lyricism, and on one particular night – inspired by John Lennon’s Being For The Benefit Of Mister Kite (a song from the - in my view, vastly overrated Sergeant Peppers album; not The Beatles themselves - they were fantastic), a song whose lyrics were taken from a circus poster. I decided to write a song of similar vein. Searching for inspiration, I found the first item which spoke to me - as it were… A good old-fashioned, British five-pound note!
I thought I was a genius, who had stumbled onto some incredible fresh idea, which no songsmith in history had ever discovered. The first line - which seemed to take about an hour, as opposed to the usual half-a-minute, was something akin to “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of five pounds”. Followed by “George Stephenson wont mind if I do” (Stephenson being the dude on the back of the note – before they replaced him with the woman whose face resembles a Yorkshire Pudding; the new note likely designed by feminists - or whipped husbands). Barely reaching the chorus, I created the line “The Queen is everywhere, in people’s pockets”.
|"Yorkshire Pudding face"|
The song was awful – the writing, laughable; worse than a Roy Chubby Brown DVD - which ironically isn't laughable at all. And I cannot remember any-more than those meagre lines. It all felt bland and forced - a negative sign in any form of writing. Like the guy on Deal Or No Deal who choose the boxes in a stoic left to right, as opposed to some kind of ‘hunch’ - there was no magic; maybe it was a higher sign that money is not very romantic, who knows?
About an hour in, and the chorus going nowhere… I gave in. The song was a terrible idea, and my plan to write an album about different forms of currency, probably deserves some kind of musical prison sentence - or maybe an award for uninspired garbage. The funny thing is, if John Lennon or Andy Warhol had come up with the idea - all the intellectuals and hipsters would be declaring it a work of art, when in reality it was a work of arrogant bullshit,
I am a talented writer - at least, I believe myself to be. And when it comes to music, I have a good moment here or there. But I think song-writing - especially as a craft, is best left to the pros.