Delete As Appropriate

Lyrics:

I can’t forget the night we met.
I was mesmerised by your
Brunette/red/grey/blond(e)/facial hair.
You were the cutest boy/girl
That I’d ever seen in this whole world
And you knocked me off my feet/bike/chair.

Choose your own misadventure.
Delete as appropriate.

Our eyes met across the room
In the clichéd way they always do.
I asked you your favourite drink and you said “Guess!”.
I looked at you and instantly your favourite drink was clear to me:
It was wine/tea/G&T/meths.

Choose your own misadventure.
Delete as appropriate.

A) I love you
B) I hate you
C) I’d quite like to impregnate you
D) All of the above

A) I loathe you
B) I miss you
C) I just wish that I could kiss you
D) All of the above.

Wind the clock on six months’ time
And I’m amazed to find that I’m
In love/court/therapy/debt.
You’re always on my mind and so I just needed to let you know
I’m glad/sad/sorry that we met.

Choose your own misadventure.
Delete as appropriate.

About:

I’m very particular about lyrics. There are so many pop songs that I can’t listen to because the lyrics are just so awful. I was going to write some examples here, but all you need to do is turn on the radio and listen – really listen – to what they’re singing. 80% of it is absolute twaddle. And one thing that irks me in particular is love songs that were clearly just written because love songs sell. Not based in anything factual or as a means to express an emotion. Just because people seem to like love songs, so it’ll ‘shift units’. So why not just churn out another one?

Ugh.

The flip-side of that is, of course, the love song that is very specific to a certain relationship. A wonderful example is R.E.M.’s ‘At My Most Beautiful’. Check out the lyrics. They’re not written for *everyone*, they’re written for *someone*. And I have a lot of respect for that. But here’s the thing – they don’t reflect any experiences I’ve had. I’ve never read bad poetry into my wife’s answering machine, or counted her eyelashes. So I took it upon myself to write an all-purpose​ love-song. One that anyone can customise to make it reflect their personal circumstances. And this is it.

I’d had the line “Our eyes met across the room, in the clichéd way they always do” written for years and this seemed like the ideal opportunity to use it. The rest just tumbled out of my brain in a very short space of time.

The chorus kind of wrote itself. The “Delete as appropriate” bit was obvious. NECESSARY, even. And I used to love those Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was growing up*. So that bit was done. And the middle 8…Call me childish, but I’m rather pleased that I managed to get the phrase “I’d quite to impregnate you” into a song. It’s the little things, eh?

I wasn’t sure if it worked, so I recorded a video of myself playing it at home and posted it on Facebook (which I hardly ever do). An old friend who rarely comments on such things saw it and messaged me saying that he couldn’t get it out of his head. Bingo. It worked.

You can see that video here:

In terms of recording – this was a bit of a funny one. We’d played it a few times at band-practice. Literally two or three times. But it wasn’t ready to be played live. It was still a work in progress. When we came to record the drums for the album I announced that I’d like to give this one a go. Aaron sat out for this song on the day because he didn’t know it well enough, and Dave just drummed along with me. Pretty much just making it up as he went along. We then had a drum track on which to build the rest of the song. I went home and recorded my parts and everything else just followed. I particularly like Aaron’s descending ‘church bell’ bassline in the chorus. Especially once he’d had the idea of adding those bells right at a the end. Inspired stuff. It’s not the most conventional way of recording, but I think end product sounds great. And doing things the conventional way is BORING.

The only other thing to note is that this song was originally called ‘Choose Your Own Misadventure’. We liked that for the album, too, but I didn’t want this to have the same title. That didn’t feel right. So I gave it the OTHER obvious title. So now you know.

*I still am, of course. Like every human male.

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