Friday, 24 April 2015


Lots of people make lists.  I make lists.  I like to tick tasks for the joy of scoring a line through an item when I've completed it.  I always considered myself to be an expert procrastinator, but a few months ago I came across the concept of precrastination.  Apparently it is different from procrastination.  Say, for example, I make a list of things to do. Then I do something today that doesn't need to be done until tomorrow in an attempt to put off a rather more urgent task I'd rather not start ... that is precrastination.

I'm currently working on a song.  the working title is "Grey".  Owing to lassitude verging on laziness that is probably the title it will keep forever.  A first draft of the lyrics came to me fairly quickly, in a single day, a Monday if i remember correctly.  However, redrafting, editing, adding a tune, working out a harmonic structure and learning the damned thing are mostly in various states of progress.

I don't need to be writing this diary (apparently I should call it a "blog", which undoubtedly means something special) and I should be working on the song and a few others that I plan to sing tonight.  I really should think about eating something more nourishing than an almost finished packet of dried apricots.  I may make myself a cheese sandwich to which I shall add a few raw and pickled vegetables.

I think the reason I decided on keeping a diary like this is that I shall end up making myself write something.  I believe that unless I practise I don't stand much chance of hitting a mark of any kind.  I think that is what "Grey" is about.  If I sing it tonight, you could hear it on West Norfolk Radio - there's also an "app" - heaven help us - to listen in on your telephone.  As I try to explore in the song, music comes to me more readily than words do.  I really do have many books of incomplete tunes, poems and song lyrics.

In the meantime here's a bit of


Untroubled I am by the burden of genius
I struggle with words to find something to say.
Life putters on - a distraction from boredom,
An attempt to stay solvent and living each day.
I'd like to be original; I know I'm derivative.
I wear my influences on open display
I grew up in colours I liked it that way.
Now I look in the mirror
And only see grey.

Look out of the window
Watching the river flow by
Look up to the skyscape
Clouds making shapes in the sky.
Make rhythms and colours from sounds that surround me
Watch how the wind shapes the river.
It changes each day.
Turn back to the blank page
Ink out a doodle.
I’m thinking in colour, but everything’s grey.

I hear my friends talking like proper songwriters
Of choruses, verses, key changes and all;
Of intros and outros and middle-eight solos,
Of descending bass lines and dominant chords.
I just tell stories or capture a moment
And fool myself it’s my inimitable way.
I imagine the colour in all that I say.
Then I look at the writing and only see grey.

Look out of the window
Watching the river flow by
Look up to the skyscape
Clouds making shapes in the sky.
Head full of music.  It’s all just the same tune.
The rhythm’s are boring and everything’s in the same key.
Turn back to the blank page
Ink out a doodle.
Another creation that nobody needs!

If I get close to finishing something important
I'll go and make supper though cooking’s a chore.
I could be at practice, or even rehearsing,
Or finishing something I started before.
I've books upon books of half-started writing
Or half-finished music that sits in a drawer.
The songs I’ve completed don’t leap off the score
I've started to practise them ten times or more.

Switch on the computer
Download the e-mails and weed out the spam.
Log into a forum,
Post in a thread, show how clever I am.
Share things on Facebook (too much information)
Laying down evidence nobody needs.
One game of Tetris, one hand of Spider
Leaving a legacy nobody reads.

... etc

"Grey" copyright Marshlander

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