“Light the candle
Put the lock upon the door
You have sent the maid home early
Like a thousand times before
Like the castle in its corner
In a medieval game
I foresee terrible trouble
And I stay here just the same”
(c) Becker/Fagan, from the album “Cant Buy A Thrill”, 1972
This post is slightly unusual as this song has only just been written, as I type. I dont really have any notion yet as to what it is going to sound like, although for some reason, Steely Dan is gnawing away at me. I have no idea why and more to the point, no idea how I’m going to realise that, given that Fagin and Becker were such musical virtuoso’s.
The title itself came pretty much out of thin air, having seen it once this afternoon on a website called The Good Men Project, but as a four letter acronym, FOMO. I wondered what the hell it was about and looked through it to see what it meant in this context and (despite ultimately it being yet another pretty meaningless and pointless acronym being attached to a neurosis that has been round for years) it stuck in my mind during my drive home.
And struck me as a potentially useful song title. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed suitable as a closing track to one of the albums, if I could get the creative fires stirring again after nearly 9 months of hiatus following my most recent professional commitments.
I thought that considering the overall theme of the No Expectations album is abandonment, The Fear Of Missing Out would be appropriate title to close the album with. And that is all I started with. Half an hour later, this poured out.
A lot of it is simple, elementary wordplay, from lines that I have been collecting for nearly a year. In turn, some of those lines have come from films or from TV programmes ranging from two well known series on the Hallmark Channel (yes, really), a long running British medical drama; two lines come from films, one of which stars a Dame of the realm.
The “if I cant talk to you, what is the point of you?” and “serves me right for not changing the locks“lines comes from an Anne Hathaway film called One Day about a girl who ends up living with a man she doesnt love but who adores her, but her oldest and best friend is a TV presenting narcissist (who is in a self-consuming upward spiral on the verge of burning out) is the one that she’s always loved deep down but never been able to express it. The man who she doesnt love knows that the narcissist is the only one who makes her eyes light up and brings her to life in a way that he never could, but it isnt clear to either of these men until she loses her life later on in the film.
And who is Suzie Q? Its merely a passing phrase from a movie character who chides her friend as being “not the only lonely widow in Gotham City” (which was another line I was praying I could use, but not in this song). She’s not a real person, not that I know of anyway. Certainly not a diminutive 1970’s era bass-playing chanteuse. That much is for sure.
But it might just have something to do with a very famous song from a long long time ago… [insert smiley here]
The Fear Of Missing Out
Keep thinking you can drive away from that room you rent
In that house on the murder mile
If I cant talk to you, what is the point of you
And if I can make you smile?
It serves me right for not changing the locks
Trying to stay young has just made me old
Never turn your back on love, Suzie Q,
You should have done this a long long time ago.
When did the change begin? (Did you listen?)
Does it mean your future belonged to the past?
Your sunshine don’t stream through my window no more
It don’t mean I didn’t want it to last.
All that tough love never did you much good
Gave you something to prove beyond any doubt
Now its all that’s left near and its all you hold dear
Its that fear of missing out.
You can take it from a man who knows
A man who dropped the ball and knew what he broke
Who backed the wrong horse, lost the big fight
Left flat out on the canvas alone in the dead of night
You can walk past the old boat every day
And never once think of leaving the shore
And just one day, one day you might row away
Never to come back here any more, ever more
Some say its hope that kills, not the diamonds and frills
That you wear round your neck and behind your smile
Don’t you just roll your eyes like I don’t know my own mind
Peace comes at a price you alone must find.
CH to fade
© Words & Music: Steve McCarthy-Hunt 2016