Below are some brief notes relating to each of the songs on Room in album order. For those of you who might like a little more background information.

 

 

 

Breath

 

Written sometime in 1996. A not so cryptic song which came out of waking one morning feeling inspired and trying to capture a fleeting fancy

 

 Instrumentation 

me - Vocal and acoustic guitar

 

I Spy

 

Written in 1995. Essentially a song about loving and believing in yourself.  The relationship aspect of this song relates to a relationship with the self, rather than another person. I suppose you could think of it as a  conversation between the inner parent and and inner child. The ‘I Spy’ theme harking back to the childhood game

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitars and keyboards

   

Nowhere

 

One of the oldest songs on the album probably dating back to 1993/94. Can’t really say what the inspiration for this song was. Perhaps a sense of disenchantment with life in general but conveyed with a defiant resignation, a ‘fuck you’ tone with hopeful undertones. This song was originally written for electric guitar and a full band, so this acoustic version is somewhat experimental

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitars, electric piano and Indian snake charmer

 

Taking the You Out of Us

 

Probably the blackest song on the album. Written in 1996, this song was born out of feelings of betrayal and mistrust. This song is mocking the self-imposed sanctity of someone I once knew, perhaps a little too well. Steve Vee, who played bass at the album launch for Room, suggested that I change the to ‘S’

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitar, electric slide guitar and keyboards

 

Bells of St Andrew's

 

Written mid 1996. An inspiration that came from wandering and spending many a lunchtime around St Andrew’s cathedral at Town Hall in Sydney, near where I used to work. The idea behind this song is more visual than aural – the idea is to picture bells etc

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitars and blues harp

Michael Ward - Hand percussion 

 

Cafe Song #1 (Catch of the Day)

 

The lyrics date back to 1989. Not originally intended as a song or poem, this was just a set of rambling thoughts jotted down whilst having a coffee in a Centrepoint cafe in Sydney on a weekday and feeling very misplaced. This was set to music in 1991 whilst mucking around with a borrowed four track recorder

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocal and acoustic guitars

 

Beast

 

Like alot of my lyrics from around that time written in a cafe with no music or melody in mind. I think the lyrics were penned in 1994 and set to music in 1995. A fairly cryptic song, what I call a nursery rhyme for grown-ups. I think the meaning can be found in the song’s residual feeling ‘fear’

 

 Instrumentation

 me - Vocal, acoustic guitars, mandolin

 Michael Ward - Hand percussion 

Gabrielle 50's Kitsch - Violin 

 

Potbelly Penguins

 

What can I say about this song other than it started out as just a play on words. This song really has no intended meaning, so make of it what you will

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocal and acoustic guitar

 

Between Tides

 

A dear friend once bought me a Zippo lighter, in the days when I used to smoke, as a birthday present and had engraved on it “a friend between tides” hence the inspiration for this song. Written in 1996 a fairly obvious song written about sailing the em-oceans in a ship called ‘friend’

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitars, effected acoustic slide guitar

Michael Ward - Hand percussion and wave drum 

 

Child

 

Began as a few chords, a melody and a couple of riffs during a Monday night residency as part of the Acoustic Nietzches at Cafe De Lane, Surry hills in Sydney. Completed in early 1995, in retrospect, this song signifies a yearning to grow beyond limitations. A friend suggested it might be about abortion, but I’m not really one for writing about particular issues, at least not in an obvious way. The intro to this song was performed by one my nieces when she was four at a fairy party and captured on tape by my brother

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocal, acoustic guitar and mandolin

Michael Ward - Hand percussion

Michael 'Ziggy" Iwanski - Piano accordion innards

 

Sleeping in a Dream

 

Music written in 1996, the chorus and verses of the first half of the song were written with the melody in mind. The second half was taken from a poem I had left unfinished about two years prior. The meaning of this song, so far, eludes me. The most I can tell you is it’s just about ‘being’

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards

Michael Ward - Hand percussion

 

All Out of Words

 

This is the oldest song on the album and perhaps the most cryptic. The general idea of the song is about one’s life and leaving your mark upon this earth

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocal and acoustic guitar

 

Sir Pent's Lament

 

Written in 1990, the original version of this song was written in about six minutes. A very personal and deep song. The album version is new  music with roughly the same melody applied. Sir Pent’s = serpent. A lament concerning an inner demon

 

Instrumentation 

me - Vocals, acoustic guitar and blues harp

Michael Ward - Hand percussion

 

Strange Company (unlisted track)

 

Once upon a time most of what I played live were what I termed ‘Off-the-cuff” songs. Meaning what I sang and played were made up right on the spot. I once did a radio interview on a Maltese program on radio SBS FM and had mentioned this to the interviewer who told me that it was part of my Maltese heritage as there was a style of Maltese music called ‘Ana’ where they did the same thing. He gave me a tape of some ‘Ana’ music which I listened to and have to admit I didn’t like but it was interesting nonetheless. The point is Strange Company is an ‘off-the-cuff’song. In fact I was in the studio and had just played a take on the same idea when Patrick, the sound engineer, said, through the headphones “do you want to record that?“ which prompted the banter (Jack Elias says "I’m gonna die” in disbelief that the song had not been recorded and Michael Ward and myself laugh) you hear at the beginning of the recording. So I played a newer version with a similar melody and only borrowed the words ‘Strange Company” from the one I had just played.

You will note that the lyrics to this song have not been transcribed. Because it's an off-the-cuff song capturing the lyrics would seem like writing the song whereas this type of song was never intended to be "written" as such nor, for that matter, played again

 

Instrumentation

me - Vocals, acoustic guitar

Michael Ward - Lap slap