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Songs: Love Instead

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She got the British Shoe Bus
He got the same one every day
He was there whether she was early or she was late
He watched her like a front door
Waiting for a postman's knock
After a while she asked him why this was

He told her he had travelled back in time
To make sure he would never make her cry
She said "Oh, right"

He looked too old and timid
To be a threat if violent
She assumed he was harmless and they became friends
They'd sometimes meet outside work
Always at a precise time
He insisted on promptness, she didn't really mind

He always told her he had travelled back in time
To make sure he would never make her cry
She said "But why?"

Because I know
What happens next
And I want you
To be loved instead

One night out she noticed
All his clothes were turning grey
His hair and facial features started to fade
He smiled when he saw this
And said "Well, this has got to prove"
"That the future I came back from has been removed"

And as he disappeared he said bye, bye, bye
I promised I would never make you cry
She was quite surprised

She staggered from the cafe
Into a pub just down the road
And bumped into a young man she seemed to know
It was, of course, his younger self
Who he'd been trying to keep her from
So he'd never do that things that he himself did wrong

He always told her he had travelled back in time
To make sure he would never make her cry
And he hadn't lied

But now she didn't know
What would happen next
She sort of hoped
They'd find love instead


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

Some songs fall lightly from the sky fully informed, a Gift From The Gods... and then some take AGES to get sorted out. This was very much one of the LATTER.

The tune turned up fairly EASILY, at the end of our first practice session of 2007. We'd tried a few pre-written songs but none of them seemed LOUD enough for the ROCK-esque mood I was in at the time (i.e. about 11.30pm - WAY past my bedtime!), so Mr F A Machine slung out a BASSLINE, with which Tim and I joined in with GUSTO - Tom and Emma having already gone home by this point. After some discussion some ADDITIONAL PARTS were written, including a rather ACE chorus bit where me and Frankie stood going "LA LA LA! LA LA LA!" quite a bit. We recorded it and left for the evening, with me KEEN to embark on LYRICS.

A few days later I received an MP3 of what we'd done and set to WORK, toppermost in my MIND an EDICT from Tim that I write something with "less words, so the music can be HEARD." I thought this one, with its apparent three syllable chorus, would be an ideal TEST BED, but then found it REALLY HARD to break away from my usual practice of having LOADS of words, and got a bit stuck.

The first proper version of the song was an old fashioned LOVE STORY about two people who meet (on a British Shoe Bus), and he says he wishes he could go back in time to make sure no-one ever made her cry. They get married (she starts to cry, he says that, basically, if he's going to go back in time to stop other people making her do that it was best if he didn't do it himself) and MUCH LATER he dies, and she finally DOES cry because of him. It was quite nice but a bit soppy, also a little bit without POINT, really. The tune was so GOOD i wanted to do a song that we could sing a LOT, rather than one we'd just record with a Quite Nice Story in it but rarely do at GIGS.

The next attempt (after loads of single line IDEAS) was going to be called "Do The Indie Kid", telling the story of THREE occasions when I'd been called on to do INDIE DANCING. I quite liked the idea, and the chorus was good ("Hands behind your back/Shake Your Hips/Shuffle Your feet/Do the Indie Kid") and i REALLY liked the idea of, in the third verse where I visited THE FUTURE, us doing a SONIC FREAKOUT to describe The Music Of The Future... but, the more I tried to finish it off, the more I realised it was a bit of a So What song i.e. one where the lack of writing it would not particularly effect the flow of popular culture for the next century either way.

I returned once more to VAGUE IDEAS, considered finishing off BOTH the original ideas and seeing what the Vlads thought, then yesterday morning (it's February 9th 2007 as I type) as I walked into work it suddenly OCCURRED to me THIS: What if I KEPT the first verse of the Soppy Version, but made it so he really HAD gone back in time, but had done so to stop HIMSELF making her cry. AHA! As i neared work i got more EXCITED at the idea as, basically, it turned into a THARG'S FUTURE SHOCK - after all, if he DID do that then he'd create a PARADOX whereby, having never made her cry at all he'd not regret doing so, so wouldn't need to go back. With this DONE the rest of the song fell into place quite easily, HENCE it saying "of course" in the last verse with THE TWIST, as i thought it would probably seem as obvious to anyone listening as it did do to me.

This all fits in rather nicely with a Vague Idea i had for the whole of the next album, to do lots of STORY type songs (i.e. "He did this, she did that" rather then "HERE IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK OR THAT HAPPENED TO ME") and to try a bit of SCIENCE FICTION - oh yes! So far it's only this and Dinosaur Planet, but there may be MORE.

ALSO of note is how pleased I am to fit the British Shoe Bus into the song. It was in the Soppy Version and in all honesty it was the thing I most regretted when I DUMPED said version. For those who did NOT live in the West End of Leicester during the 1990s and beforehand, this was a bus service operated by the British Shoe Corporation to take its employees to work, that I'd often see going up the road behind my house. On looking at the INTERWEB it seems that it's no longer in operation, as the company no longer exists, and THUS another part of my own personal Recent History becomes the DISTANT PAST. Eek!

And finally - I know it doesn't QUITE fit in with Tim's Less Words EDICT, but look at the TITLE! Shortest one of mine for YEARS!


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