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What I did in February

by Chris Harris

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Some people believe that a pop song's perfect length is sixty seconds I do not agree but then again this song was written just for them
Hanging On 05:43
I'm going nowhere and so are you We're left in midair and hope we'll see this through I've been getting too reflective in mourning for a time long gone It's just a matter of perspective Viewed from where I'm hanging on Moments picked at random from our small domestic frame Progress gets abandoned When each day is the same There'll be a day unlike the others when we finally look down And that's when we discover Our feet are firmly on the ground
It knows when you make each decision Your choice of airline when you fly It tracks your movements with precision Outclasses any private eye Sees what you stream on television The brand of cereal you buy It scrutinises your transactions every time you leave the house It notes the smallest of reactions to the politics that you espouse and judges how much satisfaction you feel each time you click your mouse There's absolutely no way you can stay concealed... We can't evade What our society's become The beat we march to sounded on an algorithm's drum Your lifestyle analysed in detail knows more than you about your health It stores your history in retail and when you lie about your wealth It's reading every single email it sees no need for using stealth The deepest thoughts you have are easily revealed... It has many ways by which to hush you Objections cleverly suppressed to each new upgrade that is rushed through Don't kid yourself it's for the best It knows how far that it can push you The exact moment you'll protest And now you realise your fate's already sealed.
You might be very fond of metal Perhaps you'd rather groove to ska? Deep house or grindcore Get on the dancefloor Your music making's shaped by who your influences are You won't achieve the sound you're after by buying gear you can't afford Shoegaze or trad blues they all contain clues Your influences can be heard in all that you record Don't put music into boxes Just let it wash all over you It's one of life's great paradoxes what simply playing notes can do Lend an ear to every genre and then go out and listen more Dubstep or darkwave Chillout or hot rave Just pressing play will bring your influences to the fore It doesn't matter if you like it; just think about why others do New romantic, smooth jazz You need what it has Your influences are the reason why you sound like you
I'm just your personal assistant But that sounds like I'm in a zoo I'm sorry, I don't understand that sentence Is there some thing you need to do? I think you'd better put that guitar down It's clearly far too much for you You want to play with all the big boys But I'm afraid there is a catch You might tell me that you're making progress But I think you're the bottom of the batch You might have gone and bought some lovely shiny toys Your guitar playing's just not up to scratch You appear to be attempting a solo. Would you like me to take over? I've got this. I've got this. Relax, I've got this I am quite sure that my expression is not the slightest bit a smirk Who cares if nobody will dig this? They're just uneducated jerks This song can be our little secret: Let the machines do all the work Take it on home, baby
Got out of bed this morning Gathered up my wits and fired up the big machine to start the work of changing soundbites into bits what happened wasn't altogether unforeseen I just clicked on "save" but I'm beginning to suspect I'm going to find these best-laid plans have just been wrecked I know that even if I get my files back They won't sound like they did before And I'll be missing all my best performance tracks I'm always crashing in the same DAW As my controller starts pretending it's not there the muse collapses at my feet I pause to offer an exasperated prayer then hit CTRL and ALT-DELETE No helpful error message to explain what's wrong The program simply goes away I sit here in amongst the wreckage of a song while my remaining hair turns grey
There's something lurking on the stairs I half believe it isn't there but when I turn around to see there's nothing looking back at me and nothing's going to change my mind there's something creeping up behind I've got this idea in my head there's something nasty in the shed that in amongst the string and spades there lurks the nastiest of shades in there I can't switch on the light to show there's nothing bad in sight The attic room is much the same something inside likes playing games out of the corner of my eye I swear I saw it passing by Believe me, what I say is true - I bet that you'd see nothing too The thing that makes my toenails curl is that it's got out in the world and if it's seen, it doesn't care it just plays up its silly hair and dresses like a circus clown while everything comes crashing down
Further consideration leads me to believe That music that's two minutes long is what I should conceive But in the cause of honesty I think I should confess It's by doing shorter work that my song count will progress
A bloke I know has a got a farm a few miles up the road The crops he grows will do you harm for sometimes they explode I asked why his agriculture always went so wrong And that was when he looked at me and then burst into song "Things haven't always been this way so please believe me when I say..." "...my mitigating factor is that I am sorely cursed I bought a stranger tractor now it's gone from bad to worse" His story sounded credible (or so it seemed to me) but why should growing edibles cause such adversity? Why should there be jeopardy in cultivating grains? There is no risk that I can see and yet, the fact remains His situation's tragic so I set out to tell Does someone close do magic who doesn't wish him well? I questioned all his neighbours and the truth at last revealed They envy his behaviour - he's out standing in his field
Your fate's already been decided You really didn't think this through All of the evidence provided Your telephone just grassed on you (pre-chorus) Some acts have consequences Beyond what we expect (chorus) The Universe rolls on regardless And it just rolled over you It is what it is You and reality collided It doesn't share your point of view Your philosophy's misguided And an adjustment's overdue Now you've found to your amazement That you've been added to a list It seems you failed your appraisement By the system you resist
Show me a verse or chorus and I'll tell you which is which And then I'll tell you that this form is called an octastich I'm pants at reading music and I don't have perfect pitch But when it comes to writing songs I've got to scratch that itch When HFO goes live on air we ALL expect a glitch 'cos every show I do I know that I will find a hitch I'm not expecting what I do to ever make me rich I'm having fun with making music here right now with you on Twitch.
All of us want to write that hit Most of the time it all goes wrong So I present to you this kit: The Platonic Ideal of a song Just say "Oh baby" in the chorus Don't worry if you get "that look" Study all the songwriters before us You'll see that that's where they all put their hook When writing lyrics seems a curse There's a way that you can cheat: Don't go beyond a second verse That means this song is now complete!
As the day draws to a close I think my FAWM this year is done And after plenty of reflection I think one-minute songs are rather fun


A collection of music originally written during February 2021 as I participated in February Album Writing Month (fawm.org) once again. It was huge fun. It always is.

"Clearly you are some kind of mad genius." - Jeff9


released March 14, 2021


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Chris Harris Bristol, UK

I'm still trying to get the music I record to sound like the version I can hear in my head. To do this I've ended up playing every instrument I can get my hands on. These days, I'm closer to "That Sound" than I used to be, but the journey continues.

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