There are new beginnings everywhere I look. Several friends are wearing signs of the terrific fatigue and joy of being new parents; Ireland’s getting a new government; the UK has uncoupled from the EU, and is presumably about to enter its GOOP-launching phase, or produce some late-period Coldplay songs; some are getting new jobs (though they’re mostly Conservative politicians. For me, cabinet reshuffles usually mean getting the duster out, boom boom).
For me and my partner, the new beginning most firmly in our minds is the move we’ll be making in summer. We spent last weekend beside our future nearest-bit-of-sea, and there were dolphins. It’s pretty cool to meet the neighbours when they’re dolphins.
Now – another of my current crop of songs to share with you. It was written in the early days of this relationship, when I worked in Oxford, reviewed films and restaurants, and on my Fridays off would play the Yamaha U3 piano in my front room (an instrument which was on a particularly generous loan). Music for this one emerged in front of the U3. And it was sitting down for a coffee in Truck Store, possibly the best record store of all, that I had a crack at a first draft.
We weren’t going through a tough time together, not at all. But sometimes when something good starts happening, and keeps happening, a certain kind of mind gets to worrying about how easy the good thing would be to lose. That’s your common-or-garden fear. But it was my starting point for a song that refused to settle into being fluffily romantic.
Some games for the easily distracted: firstly, spot the Prince reference (this thing was written in a record store, remember). Secondly, if a couple of you will agree to be on plagiarism alert, that’d put my mind at rest. I hope I haven’t just stolen this tune from somewhere! That feeling nagged at me for awhile, til I worked out what I thought the ‘parent’ song was, listened and became convinced the original writers wouldn’t have a case against me.
It occurs to me that I’ve sent you the two longest songs – they’re not all stolid five-minuters, be assured. And these still aren’t the finished instrument takes – you’ll hopefully be refreshed by hearing the real-life drums, and maybe even an actual guitarist, on Only Just Beginning. Factor in a string quartet and maybe a producer who knows what they’re doing, and maybe I’ll need to kickstart a Kickstarter…