Friday, 18 March 2011


Its not a Tee Pee time of the month again. February seemed to be bypassed but its back with a vengeance. Following on from January's "Ada Lovelace" instalment March goes back to a theme more open and ambiguous. Thank christ. Not A Tee Pee has been great for dragging me kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone. Ever since I was sixteen I seem to have limited myself to one style of song writing, I don't know why but the best songs that meant the most to me have all been about... well me. Yup thats right I'm a self obsessed bastard. Well thats not entirely true. They always say write what you know and always be honest, but this can lead to your material turning stale as your life goes the same way. If my heart is breaking the material will keep flowing. If not then my mind goes dry. There was a time when I had only written 3 songs in 4 years in my capacity as a singer songwriter out with Bench or Katerwaul. Since we started Not A Tee Pee last Oct I've at least been forced to write a song a month, a good way to keep the creative juices flowing.

So joining my Tee Pee collection of His Sighs & Silhouette (Mud), No Sleep Till Val Halla (Vikings) and Ada Love Lost (Ada Love Lace) is These Silver Darlings. In a way to adapt to being out of my comfort zone I've tried to write a story as I would a film. With short films I am used to cutting bits out to fit the running time or to tighten up the pace. Its the same with writing lyrics to the chord structure of a song, in this case an alt country ballad.

I came up with the idea of a couple at breaking point. We jump into the story in the aftermath of a terminated pregnancy, Charlie and Jenny don't know what will become of their relationship. Jenny feels she has done the right thing for her and her quality of life, but Charlie does not see it the same way. His feelings are conflicted. Has Jenny murdered their unborn child? Has she stolen an opportunity for him to become a father? Its hard for him to hate her when he loves her so much.

In the lyrics I've used the moonlight as the link to the "Silver" theme. The way the moon can seem silver, the way it reflects off of the metal on Charlie's car or the way the dried tears on Jenny's face glint silver in the moonlight. The last but the most relevant of all the Sliver metaphors is in the last verse. We cut fifty years into the future and Charlie and Jenny celebrate a silver anniversary. Is it their marriage or the anniversary of this event? I've left that open, but joining them are their two kids, raising a glass to their parents and toasting their love for each other. Charlie and Jenny however have not forgotten their children's older sibling that never was but in a way it has made them stronger and in some way has helped keep them together.

I have decided that I'm going to try and design artwork for every Tee Pee song I write and "These Silver Darlings" is the first. Above you'll see what would most probably be the sleeve to the single and below is the artwork for the lyrics.

I am really enjoying these Not A Tee Pee collections and long may they continue as they challenge me Sonically, Lyrically and now Visually.



Its Midnight and Charlie's hands, wring the leather of the wheel

The moon it highlights the silver and the steel

The scenes of the night play out like a movie in the dark

What has she given up? The fear or the spark?

Its Midnight and Jenny stares at the lake, in a blanket of fear

The moon it highlights silver salt from her tears

The life that is lost, may tear them apart

What has she given up? The end or the start?

She feels so lonely

He is so angry

She feels so bad

But life sometimes can be that sad

Now Fifty Years on, Charlie raises his glass

To his wife Jenny and their kids who have grown up at last

But what of the first, never got the chance to be born?

A life that was lost, for a love to live on.

They are so happy

These silver darlings

Dance in the moonlight

It takes some time to set things right