Thursday 7 January 2016

'In the back of the taxi, you squeeze my hand so tightly'

The first line of a song, any song, sets the scene: it's got to pull you in. In the words of Mick (and Keef) 'Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.' An opening line that begins the story, makes you lean in closer and never stops cascading. I don't professes to be anything other than someone who dabbles with songwriting, but even I know that your first half dozen or so words is the one chance you get to make a first impression. The line at the top of this post opens my new three (nearly four) minute ditty, Days Like This. I'll get a demo put up just as soon as I've recorded it.

Phil Oakey knows a thing or two about opening gambits: 'You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you.' It does its job doesn't it? Who could turn the radio off when they've just heard that declaration?

John Lennon, in true heart on sleeve style, once said 'When I was younger so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way.' Not even Paul's. Or Yoko's come to that.

But my favourite has got to be one of Ray Davies' many brilliant starters for ten: 'I met her in a club down in old Soho where they drink champagne that tastes just like cherry cola.'

The Kinks: Lola


  1. So true. One of my favourites is simply 'There's no point in asking, you'll get no reply'...not that there's much of a story but it just reeled me in!
    'In the back of the taxi, you squeeze my hand so tightly' is lovely, look forward to hearing more.

  2. Wait till you hear the chorus.

  3. Interesting where those words come from too and how they arrive at your songwriting door. Look forward to hearing it too. As a fellow songwriting dabbler I picked up on a phrase you uttered at our last songwriter dabblers meeting - 'the monkey on your back.' Cheers for that John, it struck a chord, ignited the touch paper & the next day worked its way into my latest ditty.