Successful People (Are Seldom Sarcastic) 

I wrote this song very quickly one evening, when a silly incident, somewhat uncharacteristically, upset me disproportionately. I am (i) not really over-sensitive and (ii) not usually bothered by whatever anyone writes on my FaceBook page or says about me. (My policy is to always let comments stand, however detrimental).

But this evening I had innocuously posted that I “was singing”.

As usual, I got some comments back. My favourite (and only positive) comment came from my Dutch nephew Bram who wrote: “…in the rain?”. 

But every other comment thereafter was really negative. Things like “badly”, or “Better reach for the earplugs then” etc.

I know those people were probably only trying to be funny, and I was probably over-reacting (maybe I am sensitive about my singing!), but those comments really irritated me. 

I noticed many of the comments came from were Brits (like myself)…and it reminded me of a national characteristic that I’m not very keen on: relentless sarcasm. 

I also noticed that many of the “detractors” had struggled themselves a bit in their lives. (So might themselves have benefited from a bit of encouragement.) But instead acted like crabs in a bucket, pulling the other ones down. 

(And why is it that singing is always deemed a legitimate target for mockery? Never any other activity. Imagine the furore one would cause if someone’s status update reported they were trying out for a new job or a new hobby and all the comments read “Don’t bother. You’re cr*p” or “Don’t give up the day job” etc. There would be right furore!)

Anyway, this was my (rather passive-aggressive) comeback! 

Musically, this song has more effects on it (guitar peddles and the like) than any other. I think our engineer William Manwaring counted 27 or some such. I think he/we might have gone a little overboard! 

A note about lyrics in general: Although I write 95% of The Third Space’s lyrics, and I like to think of myself as relatively articulate, I don’t find the words easy to come by. They are always the last thing I do . I find writing the music, harmonic structures and riffs, much easier. It is often the case that the music suggests a certain mood or theme, and then I spend ages trying to sculpt and frame that theme in the lyrics. So too this song. I spent a lot longer on the words than the music!   

Because I struggle so much with words, I often go to literature for inspiration. (Plenty of words, there, right?) The song “En Famille”, on the first album, references W.H. Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues”; “Remember You” quotes from WWI poets; “The Choices We Make” Shakespeare’s Hamlet; and this song Shakespeare’s comedy “Much Ado About Nothing”, in which the protagonists Beatrice and Benedict are locked in a perpetual battle of wits.   

Having said all that, this song has to be the only song in the entire canon of popular music to include the German word schadenfreunde!

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