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21 February 2012

happy pancake day

 

i haven't written anything on here for a while. i feel bad. but i've just been really busy writing words for songs, and when my head is full of words and trying to find rhymes for things i just can't seem to do anything else. it disrupts my thinking to log on to write something funny or enlightening. i don't have many funny and enlightening thoughts so when i do have one it's probably going to being used in the words to a song. and i don't want to share them with anyone yet. i hope you understand. i just go quiet sometimes.

here are three things i have been up to though.

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1. listening to sammi smith. this is all i do when i'm on my own. i only really knew her before for her version of 'help me make it through the night', the kris kristofferson song, but then i found a copy of her album, 'the rainbow in daddys eyes' in a record shop in wantage. i couldn't believe i'd never listened to any of her records before. it was like the time i bought the first two nancy and lee albums at a car boot sale when i was younger. just a complete revelation. now i can't imagine my life before i listened to sammi smith. i only know it must have been emptier.

2. watching new girl. i love it so much. that's all you need to know.

3. going shakespeare mad. yep. i finally got into shakespeare. i know, it's embarrassing. i'd read a few of his plays at school and i read the tempest at college, but there are lots i don't know at all. it all happened so suddenly. i went to stratford on avon for a couple of days and now i've gone shakespeare mad. now i'm on a mission to read all thirty two of his plays by the end of the month. so far, i've only read midsummer night's dream, so i've got quite a long way to go. but it was really quite good.  frustrated lovers and fairies and donkey headed men. brilliant stuff. tonight henry v.

please note. i am obsessive. which means that as well as getting obsessed with things very quickly i can also lose enthusiasm for something i am obsessive about if i discover something else to be obsessive about. i may very well not read all of shakespeare's plays. all that's important right now is that i think i will.

i did do other things too. but mainly i did these three things and wrote songs with pete.

happy pancake day. 

x

08 December 2011

it wasn't always the way it ended up

 

we're at the beginning of making a new record at the moment. and i've been spending the last couple of months putting together all the words i've got for it so far. the other day i came across a box of old lyrics and in amongst them were all the different songs that 'my tiger my heart' had been, along the way to it being 'my tiger my heart'. 

i remember it started out as a lyric called 'i always feel sad when i hum', which i gave to my brother, who then wrote a tune to it on the piano. i don't think there were many words. i think the words were "i'm here for a bit then i'm moving along and i always feel sad when i hum" and then the chorus went something like "when you go away i get the saddest feeling when you go away" or something. i can't remember much else from the original demo. most of the words were made up on the spot.

then i kept trying to write different things to the demo. and these are all the drafts i found in the box. so after it was called 'i always feel sad when i hum' it seems to have been a song called 'feeding the ducks' which included the lines "i'm feeding the ducks and thinking about us/thinking about us feeding the ducks". i don't think i could stretch a lyric about feeding ducks out over five verses and two choruses so i abandoned that direction in favour of a song called 'fishing for pips'. six years later i have no idea what this was about or what a pip is. but interestingly it did include the line "i feel like a snail climbing a rose" that later turned up in a slightly different way in 'every grubby little memory'.

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after fishing for pips i moved away from the water and took inspiration from a flavour of dog food that i saw once. and so the next version of the song was called 'rabbit and heart', and was a song about two friends, one called rabbit and the other one called heart. at one point in the song they sit on a porch, which the tiger and me ended up sitting on in the finished song. this was the first time the word "heart" appeared in the song words. interesting.

 

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i think i must have abandoned that idea because there was no great narrative and i just got stuck. the next version was really close to the finished song, but i hadn't thought of it being a tiger yet. so i used a fruit instead. it was called 'my apple my heart'. i don't think it was actually a song about an apple though. i think i just meant "apple" as a term of endearment.

 

my apple apple.jpg


anyway, i guess i must have just thought about other terms of endearment for a few weeks, after we decided that we couldn't have a song about an apple as the b side to another song about an apple. 'my tiger my heart' was originally meant to be the b side for 'i'm glad i hitched my apple wagon to your star'. it was only after we'd recorded it that pete suggested it should go on the album.

so then i must have come up with the tiger bit. i remember it being quite quick to finish after that, although it does look like i might have called it 'my tiger and me' at some point. i guess tigers are pretty inspiring. and so that was it. the story of how a song about humming turned into a love song about a tiger. 

 

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and so now whenever i get stuck on writing the words for a song i try to remember how many different songs 'my tiger my heart' was before it was 'my tiger my heart', and not worry too much about the words. i'll just try again until that moment when i know the words i've written are the best words for the song. even if they're not the best words in the world.

and i didn't mention christmas once.

x

09 November 2011

a way to remember

i found this poem and i thought it was beautiful and i wanted to post it somewhere. so i thought i'd post it on here while i remembered. because this week is all about remembering. and how sad it is to be left behind to try and understand.

 

“heart weeps.
head tries to help heart.
heads tells heart how it is, again:
you will lose the ones you love. they will all go. but even the earth will go, someday.
heart feels better, then.
but the words of the head do not remain long in the ears of the heart.
heart is so new to this.
i want them back, says heart.
head is all heart has.
help, head. help, heart.”

 

- lydia davis

x