Child’s Play

Pictured above is a notebook filled with the first songs I ever wrote. I was nine years old and obsessed with Oasis, so I’d write little songs in it, as well as album tracklistings and cover art.

I don’t know why I keep it around. I used to wedge it under my table leg to keep the surface steady. It certainly doesn’t bring me any pleasure to look at it, rather a queer sense of shame. Rationally, I don’t have any reason to be ashamed, they were the scribblings of a child, but it remains. I don’t mind showing people unfinished things, as long as they bear in mind that they’re just sketches, but I’ve never shown anyone anything from this book.  It’s just too embarrassing.

There’s a lot of fantasy in there. Not just fantastical things (lyrical subjects could range from clowns to robots) and cringe-inducing choruses, but also a lot of play-acting. Pretending I’d released albums, complete with chart position and a review. I think I’m afraid that I’m still play-acting, to an extent.  I’m afraid I prefer pretending I’m a musician to actually being one.  Most of my stuff has something real in there, but until recently I’ve never been completely honest, preferring to shroud meaning in metaphor and then not show anyone the results.

So. Since I’m trying to prove to myself that I can be genuine, even if it opens me to ridicule, I’d better start by letting people see this book. This is what the fantasies of a nine year old wannabe-popstar look like. I’m sorry.


Can’t you see?

This next song is called “I’ve Just Finished”.

Innuendo aside, I think my favourite part is the “wow?”, as if I was suddenly aware that I was having too good a time and wanted to make sure it was okay to continue yelling in excitement.  I’d obviously started playing guitar at this point, since I’m cramming in bizarre chord changes based on whichever chords I’d learned that week and providing nonsensical performance notes like “use dice as plec”.

I must’ve rethought the “dirty feet in front of the mirror” album art.  I think it was a rip off of Babybird, which was weird, because I hated “You’re Gorgeous”.

The original “Mechanical Maniac” wasn’t in this book and has been lost, but I still have the cover art and the sequel “Mechanical Maniac (He’s Back!)”  Lucky me.

I’d like to say I feel a sense of catharsis, but I just feel queasy.

One Comment on “Child’s Play”

  1. Neil says:

    Stretch the word out.

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