Week 11 – ‘Song For Noah’
by Frank Hamilton
Week 11 and I’m on the couch with a heavy heart. Two things are coming to an end.
Firstly my football team are officially out of European competition and secondly my Hungarian housemate is moving out.
I say heavy heart – I lie. I actually couldn’t be happier about both of these things. Football wise we’ve got bigger fish to fry (title number 20 please) and Hungarian wise I can’t wait to have my house/life back.
Truth be told I’ve stopped myself writing about it for ages (the Hungarian situation – not the football). What was supposed to be a pleasant few days has turned into a frustrating month and while it’s not been all doom and gloom I’m looking forward to resuming some form of normal service. I might even have a wet-shave to celebrate.
Before we move on to talk about this weeks song let me direct you to the first ever ‘Car Park Sessions’ on Youtube – which features a performance of ‘Tiny Chemicals’ from week 10. I’m hoping to do more of these ‘Car Park Session’s but one a week might be pushing it! We’ll see…
Not long after my wonderful, over-achieving sister popped out her second sprog I found myself writing a song about something I’d never written about before – Children. Noah was only a few months old but he already had life sussed. Food and sleep. Food, boobs and sleep.
In all my years I’ve never seen an infant moan about not having enough money, a train being late or someone on the bus talking too loud. Their complete and utter lack of regard for the stresses and strains of everyday life is something I once had and will miss forever. I could rationalise it in a sentence or two but that wouldn’t come close. Children are incredible.
So the better part of the song was conceived back in 2007 after my nephew Noah came along… but I didn’t give birth to it until a few years later.
Fast forward to February 2009…
In week one I talked about my first ‘major label experience’ – which was the result of a nice chap called Chris Evans introducing me to another nice chap called David Joseph. Chris had seen me play in Camden a few months before and it was somewhere in-between that I finished ‘Song for Noah’.
I’d known Chris for a month or so and he’d been talking more and more about his last few days of freedom. His wife was heavily pregnant and they were expecting their first child together – so it was with a nice smile and no surprise that I opened the paper to find out they’d given birth to a healthy little boy. I’d all but got my phone out to fire off a congratulations text before I read the last few sentences. Noah. They’d called him Noah.
Without a second thought I picked up a guitar and started going through the ideas I’d had back in 2007. Less than half an hour later I’d finished it and put the dinner on. I recorded vocals while the beef was browning and comped them while woofing down spaghetti bolognese before going to bed with a smile on my face.
A few days later and I was due in at Radio 2 to see Chris and drop off a CD. I’d already picked up a congratulations card but my housemate suggested I go a step further and burn a copy of the song to put inside. After much deliberation (I wasn’t sure if it was a really nice or a really weird thing to do) I went ahead – safe in the knowledge that it was originally written about a child I’d actually met.
To this day I have no idea whether that card was ever opened and the CD ever played. Whatever the case it’s never been talked about!!
I like most of these lyrics (otherwise I probably wouldn’t have written them down) but the second verse is definitely my favourite:
“When you have nightmares
I’ll climb up all the stairs
And we’ll read books together
We’ll read books together
And when you’re older
And I embarrass ya’
We’ll spend less time together
But it’s a storm I’ll weather”
They say you never really understand until you have children – so I guess I don’t really understand.
They also say you should write about what you know… so I have. This song is about the best two people I’ve ever met. When I was young and scared they would climb the stairs to read me books. Now I’m older and (more) independent they put up with not seeing me as much as they’d like but do their best not to let it show. Sure, children are amazing – but parents are beyond words.
Here’s to mine – and yours. Happy Mothers Day x