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Songs: Dino At The Sands

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<a href="http://mjhibbett.bandcamp.com/track/dino-at-the-sands">Dino At The Sands by MJ Hibbett &amp; The Validators</a>
All that I was doing
Was trying to sing my song
But then I heard applause and I knew that you'd come on
You did Deputy Dog
You told the same old jokes
And I never did get to sing my song

And I thought you were my friend
But now I feel like Sidney at the end

Thought the show was over
So I went and got my coat and cap on
And put my things into a paper bag
But when I came out
I found you dancing with the dancing girls
And yes, it made me sad

Because I thought you were my friend
And now I feel like Eric at the end

On the road to Rio
You and me and Dorothy Lamour
I thought she loved me
But she loved you more

All your pratfalls
All your demands and antics
Drove me to drink and distraction so
When I got the offer
I went with Sam and Francis
To the desert where we played the greatest show

And now it's me who gets to sing and dance
And I feel like Dino at The Sands


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

On April 24th 2004 we went to the millstone inn Hathersage for the AAS away day, and had a very jolly old time. Next day, however, I was distinctly worse for wear, and the situation was not helped by a 90 minute car journey to a railway station and then a mammoth six hours on a train, especially for a trip that would normally take two. Never use public transport on a Sunday if you can help it.

The combination of a mighty hangover and a whole day of nothing much to do except feel sorry for myself meant that I arrived home significantly fed up and miserable. When I got home I listened to the (then new) Frankie Machine album "Re-Unmelt My Heart" which I'd been given the day before and, to be honest, it didn't really cheer me up.

It was in this state of mind that I sat down and wrote pretty much this whole song, venting my misery via a few thoughts about comedy double acts that had always bothered me. Originally the second to last line was something a bit weak, the first and second verses were swapped around, and there wasn't a Musical Interlude. However, as I played it to myself over the next few weeks I came up with "And now it's me who gets to sing and dance" and realised that if I swapped the first and second verses around they'd be the same order as the description i.e. the first would be about singing, the second about dancing.

I love that sort of thing - one day long ago I noticed that something similar happens in "Here, There And Everywhere", where the first verse is about things "Here", the second is "There", and so on. I thought it was such a neat idea that I've tried to use it myself on many occasions. Nobody ever seems to notice except me, but still it makes me happy.

I put it on a demo tape for the band (with, I think, the Musical Interlude included by then - oh! I was so pleased with that bit, I've never written a proper Musical Interlude before!) who seemed to quite like it, but we never got round to practicing it. Mr Frankie Machine had had a few ideas about maybe arranging it himself and recording it at home, but he never got around to it either, and so it was left dangling.

This meant it was never top of the list to record when we got down to Cornwall, and it got missed out. It was a shame but we could always record it later on for a b-side or something, I thought, although I'd rather have got it done for the album, especially as what we eventually ended up recording there was a bit fast and furious.

As mentioned elsewhere, when we came to do the mixing it turned out that a few songs had become corrupted, which I took as a sign from The Gods Of ROCK that we hadn't finished yet. We went to Derby in January 2006 to re-record Better Things To Do, and while we were there we decided to do Leave My Brother Alone as a potential b-side to a single and to finally sort out Dino At The Sands. The night before me, Tim and Tom got together in Leicester to run through it, and got very excited indeed about the rim shots (I think they're rim shots anyway) in the bit about Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Originally there were more of them, but they were so fantastic we had to get Tim to save them for special occasions. The only thing we had trouble with was getting from the Musical Interlude back into the song - it always sounded like we were desperately trying to slow down again, but we sorted that out by just doing another of those "stops" that Tim didn't used to let us do.

When we recorded it Tim had another GRATE idea, to do the first line purely as voice. I played guitar as I sang it, which sounded OK at the time but apparently was WEIRD when Frankie mixed it, so he very cleverly CUT a chunk of dead time out. I didn't notice when he first played it to me, and I doubt you can now, I just thought I'd mention it as it strikes me as being something very clever to do!

I especially love Emma's vocals on this one, especially especially when she sings "I found you dancing with the dancing girls". The way she sings it sounds so sad and poignant that it makes me well up whenever I hear it.

All in all I guess it makes it worth the misery of that hangover!


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