From the album Daily Dilemmas
I find it very difficult to write songs with other people. Generally speaking, when there is more than one person involved in the writing of a piece of music, the initial idea is still only going to come from one person, then everyone else jumps on board to put in their 10 pence worth.
I find that if I have the idea, I tend to want to complete the work myself.. I’m very precious that way. However I have no problems if the roles are reversed!! Such was the case with “The Wonder”.
In the process of recording “Daily Dilemmas”, I think it would be fair to say that between the three of us, that is to say Paul, Carolyn and myself, we found the ideal team to produce an album we could be proud of. And despite being limited to a restrictive recording setup, (the album was recorded on 8 track analogue), by playing to our individual strengths we were able to get the results we were looking for.
“The Wonder” is a good example of this process.
One day Paul presented Carolyn & I with a set of guitar chords and a very vague (and I do mean vague) vocal melody. The melody didn’t amount to much, but we found the chords to be truly inspirational, and in no time ideas were flying about left right and centre !!
Within a few hours the song had form & melody. Carolyn came up with the “who are you” refrain, which tied in perfectly with the vocal melody I had conceived. Unusually, I had the lyrics written before we even started recording. The words came fast and furious, which is not the norm for me. Generally speaking, when it comes to lyrics, I will spend days, weeks, even years if need be, trying to write the words that will express exactly what I want to say. But this was different, and it was different for a very simple reason. As far as I was concerned it wasn’t my song… it wasn’t me.
Of course, by the time we had finished recording “The Wonder”, the end result was an amalgamation of all our ideas, but Paul’s receptiveness to other people’s input created something none of us could have created on our own…. and I can’t help thinking if the initial idea would have been mine, I’d probably still be writing the song !!