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Songs: Leave My Brother Alone

notes / gigs / releases

I'm standing on the corner getting beaten up
By the kids from the year above
Finding out that smart remarks
Don't help to mop up blood
And when they've finally tired of this
And they've all gone away
Someone comes and helps me up
And quietly says

Leave my brother alone
Leave my brother alone"

He says "Mark, if I was older
And if I had my bike
I would cycle after them
And challenge them to a fight"
I said "James, don't you worry yourself
It's really quite all right
Sometimes it's enough to know
There's someone on your side who'll say

Leave my brother alone
Leave my brother alone"

Fast-forward fifteen years
And we're talking on the phone
About his stupid bint ex-girlfriend
Who has left him on his own
In the house they bought together
While she's out seeing other men
She's got the nerve to wonder why
They can't still be friends, and I thought

Leave my brother alone
Leave my brother alone

I said "James, if I had a car
And if I could even drive
I'd dash straight up the M69
And give her a piece of my mind"
He said "Mark, don't you worry yourself
It's really quite all right
Sometimes it's enough to know
There's someone on your side who'll say

Leave my brother alone
Leave my brother alone

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

Aah, I LOVE this song, it has a tendency to make me CRY. Last week (it's January 2nd 2005 now, so I'm talking about the day after Boxing Day 2004) I played this song at our traditional Family Singalong at my dad's, and there was BLUBBING all round - my brother James, his girlfriend, ME, and there was MOISTNESS of the eyes all around the table.

For LO! this is all entirely true and EXTREMELY specific. James (I just thought "Should I really mention him by name?" but as the song has his name and directions to his then HOUSE in the lyrics, I suppose any damage is already done) had a HORRIBLE time a few years ago, as stated in the song, and I felt terribly impotent at the other end of the telephone, wanting to go over and HELP somehow but not really being able to. This made me think of something Jim had once told me, in DRINK, about how he'd get upset seeing people beat me up at school, especially because he couldn't do anything about it.

Around this time Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey was putting together the Havock Junction album - his PLAN was that he'd put new songs on it by loads of bands he'd previously released stuff by, and sell the album super cheap. He was convinced that he'd sell LOADS of copies (as ever with Dave, he had to be dissuaded from REPRESSING before the first lot had even gone to the shops, he does get excited, it is GRATE), because people would see it and say "All these new bands for less than four pounds? Why not?" and once they'd listen to it they'd go on to order TONS of stuff from the Sorted Back Catalogue. Dave was CONVINCED this was a BRILLIANT idea, and readied himself to SHIFT hundreds of singles from the cupboard in his kitchen.

Unfortunately it turned out that shops couldn't be bothered to stock it, when they did it was hidden amongst all the other compilations, and that Dave was one of a very small minority of people who actually LOOK through those shelves and DO buy things on a whim, so it didn't really work out like that, but GOD BLESS him for having a try. It seemed like a fair enough idea to me, I must say, and so I offered Dave MR RIGHT which, mysteriously, to me, he rejected, asking instead for something new.

With this one I distinctly remember sitting in my grotty old kitchen on the grotty little chair I had, having a bit of a strum, and then coming up with the riff for the song. It all happened pretty quickly, I tried doing a version of it upstairs in my LOFT, but it didn't work out as nicely as I wanted it to, so I booked in with Kev and did it all in one evening. It was dead easy to do, all done on my tiny Casio keyboard drum program and one guitar, and I think it sounds really nice, especially when the other guitar bit comes in. LOVELY.

I played this live at the launch gig for the album, but have never done so in public since, although we've had a couple of vague attempts to do it with the full band every now and again. It still sounds nice to me, so maybe we will again.

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