Which Side is your Deaf Side?

Progress on my third album continues to be hobbled by my yen for digging up old songs and dedicating the 22 minutes allocated to me to pursue my creative endeavours each week on them. This song is another case in point. When did I write it? I don’t know! 15 years ago? At least, I reckon. I showed it to the band who were, quite correctly, not minded to learning a song that doesn’t have an identifiable verse, chorus, or even a hook. It’s just 3 minutes of apparently random parts stuck together, right? WRONG, SIR. WRONG! Anyway, here it is. We can talk later.


You never believe anything that I tell you
You never buy anything that I sell you
You want a piece of my mind
But never think a thing
Try thinking more, if just for your own peace of mind
And if you think that I should see it your way
Try see it my way – it’s not that hard to see

The man with the hat and the little green bag
Says you’ve got to get along
So everyone smiles at the factory miles
Cos they know where they belong
If you don’t do what they want you to do
Then they’ll mark you down as wrong
They’ll leave you behind
Without breaking their stride
Because now you don’t belong

Watching pretty girls in the summer time
You could sleep all day and still feel fine
But what you gonna do when the summer sun
Has passed away and winter’s nigh?

The man on TV said “you’ll never be free”
And we all clapped along
His wife and his friends and their kids are on trend
And we know that we don’t belong

So why… why… why?
Which side is your deaf side, son?
Which side can you hear?
Which side is your deaf side, son?
I need to make you hear….

Err what?

Well quite. The lyrical inspiration was taken from the bassist I played with at the time – who was literally deaf in one ear – but really it’s a metaphor for people who only hear one side of things. In these times of division and partisan rancour, fuelled by the filter bubbles we have made for ourselves (aided and abetted by the technological overlords who now govern our personal relationships) it often feels like people just don’t listen to one another any more. There’s an automatic assumption of bad faith all round. “Never kissed a Tory” is as pathologically insane as “libtard snowflake” but each side of all debates about everything have boiled down to one thing or t’other and it sometimes feels that before you even approach them to be a friend you have to sound this out first.

I dunno.

Musically though, this is definitely abstruse by the usual standards of the indie gruel I serve up to you people. I’m pleased with it though – and always have been. The chord change is basically a series of modulations rather than a standard chorus progression.

First bit

A7 – D7 – A7 – D7 – Cm7 – F – Cm7 – F – G# – G – F# – F – E

Second Bit

Bm – Cb – Bm – Cb – F#m – A – B7 – Db7


F#11 (maybe? I dunno) – B7 – D#7

Tonally, you could describe it as a clusterfuck, but the melody (I think) just about holds it together.

I’m not super happy with the instrumentation – this is yet another track where I desperately wish a had a band – but it is fairly cohesive, and I like the switch in tempo and feel. You might argue that this is more of an exercise than a coherent song, and there’s merit to that, but also: fuck off.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m very tired.