Bullets And Guns

A very early band song that I suspect came earlier than this list suggests, and was probably overlooked initially because god it is quite boring. Bullets And Guns is, however, notable for a few things:

  1.  The lyrics are one of the shiniest shining examples of the let’s-just-throw-words-together-in-a-row tradition of songwriting in my catalogue of music. I’m going to have to write them out in full to illustrate this:

“Wait until I’m done, don’t you know it’s fun?
Not today, it’s a yes by the way
I came undone with the bullets and guns
But now I can’t see what’s left of me

Don’t feel you have to agree
You will not fly down easily
When it’s hard you talk to me
Don’t keep on pedalling down

Experiments for the ones who have the laws
You want it, not today, but do you have your way?
Can they see? it seems unlikely
That they have dreams with black and white themes.

CHORUS

And when you feel like you’re standing on the edge
Don’t fall down
And when you feel like you’re standing on the edge
Don’t keep on pedalling down”

Now clearly there is a theme here. The choruses and the bridge seem to be offering pearls of wisdom (if you feel depressed, don’t) to someone else. But the verses are just completely inexplicable. The first verse reads like schizophrenia and the second is some sort of anti-system riff. I really can’t comprehend why I didn’t hesitate before writing lyrics like this, unless it was simply that I knew the vocals were the weakest part of the songs and so I didn’t put as much effort into their creation.

 

2. The bridge is by far the best bit of the song. I liked it so much at the time that I stole it and recycled it in a later band song, which also turned out to be quite bad.

 

3. I actually have a specific memory about the recording of this song. A clash of egos occurred between me and one of my bandmates. He complained that he didn’t get to sing enough. Now this was tricky because he was, without doubt, technically a better singer than me. But when I thought about other people singing MY SONGS I got really angry and defensive (especially because I knew I would be seriously under threat, given how shit I was), so I sulkily said ‘ok we’ll do two versions then, one with me singing and one with you, and then we’ll decide which one is better’. Of course, this put a huge amount of pressure on him – pressure which he was not able to overcome. His version is second on the playlist, and given the mistakes he makes with the lyrics, I probably only gave him one attempt. It all feels very Machiavellian. There’s no doubt that my version was better, probably because I had practised it more, had written it myself, and stood there glaring at him while he recorded his own. He ended up making do with a few harmonies. But the truth is that despite his superior technique, I probably was a better fit for our music, and after this little skirmish I was able to hold onto my seat of power for a few more years, even after the band expanded to include yet another person who could probably sing more skilfully than me.

The key to my getting my own way, as demonstrated by this blog, was in the sheer number of songs that I was producing. Knowledge of music theory, ability to play instruments or sing, all these things were secondary when every week or two I had another song to bring to the table. And so we trundled on, kind of without problems.

 

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