When I was a boy

This song is about ten years’ old. I was very happy with it when I wrote it and recorded it. It’s a contemplative piece, dealing with feelings of failure and lost direction in adult life. I wrote it when I was working at an amazing place, the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington (where two tonne Ted must have lived…), where they do fundamental research in physics.  The campus was in Bushy House in Bushy Park, and while I was there they opened their new laboratories. One of my abiding memories of that place is parakeets flying everywhere. The story was that a king who lived there was given a pair as a present. They escaped and successfully bred and bred and bred. Of course I may just be gullible . . .

The music is based on a series of guitar chords. There are acoustic and electric guitars, bass, organ / synths, drums and percussion, electric piano, main vocal and backing vocals. I quite like the melody. The main acoustic guitar line, from which the song developed, is a good one to play. I like some of the synth sounds and tunes too. All in all I still think it’s OK, though the intro seems to divide opinion. Some think it self-indulgent and irrelevant.

It’s a long song, lasting over seven minutes, and is structured in three verses without a chorus.

Here are the lyrics:

When I was a boy

When I was a boy
Didn’t care what people said
Didn’t see what people meant
When I was a boy
Now that I’m a man
Listen too hard to what people say
I don’t know which race I ran
To become a man

When I was a boy
Heard the voices around me
Telling me what not to be
When I was a boy
Now that I’m a man
Followed every path showed to me
I’m a shadow of yesterday
Oh to be a different man!

Back when I’m a boy
Veiled voices in my head
Trying to hear quite what they said
They’d call me dead

If I were a man
Would I sit here complaining
Sitting down and just moaning
Oh if I were a man

© Hunt 2006

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