A Traveller’s Guide to Lost and Later Songs #8

For those who may appreciate some background detail, I offer below my workings.

#8 Swirly
It’s swirly, man.
The first demo is dated 04/03/09 at 1653h, just in time for tea –
Around this time, I was beginning to collaborate with my friend Ally Kerr on his songs, working towards his album “Viva Melodia”. I’d say it was a productive time for both Ally and myself and I was enthused by his maverick, can-do attitude. I remember sauntering home from Ally’s one night after an evening of beer and songs and suddenly a melody began rattling around in my head. In the spirit of creating a language out of whatever is inspiring us at the time, I began singing, as placeholder lyrics for the melody – “Ally’s good, Ally’s fine, Ally’s hot to let you know”.  As a placeholder title to match the lyrics, I thought “Swirly” suited its woozy, spiralling mood. Last time I looked, the title was still there.
The song felt promising up until the moment of truth in the rehearsal room, when it became sadly apparent that we, the band, couldn’t really play it very well. We tried a few times but it didn’t half plod where it should have swirled. It quickly became another of our songs to be shelved and filed under “Far too much like hard work”. 
Some songs are contrary: you have to record them before you learn how to play them, odd as that may sound. At the time of recording, we had never played “Swirly” live. Instead, it was stitched together according to a vague but ambitious wish list sent to long-suffering producer Colin Elliot who was tasked with performing pop alchemy on our humble, home-made fare.
Swirly was the first of the lockdown songs to make it out into the world, the first single and original Lost and Later Song #1. After the initial morale boost, then came the challenge: if this is possible, then what else is? The sensible thing would have been to say no. Nice idea but walk away. To say no is easier, quicker. To say yes is harder to live up to, will take far longer. Maybe even a lifetime.

Adapted from an original post, dated October 2020

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