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Songs: Pass It On

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I got myself some yellow and a little bit of blue
I found a slice of orange that you said belonged to you
We put it all together and we wrapped it in a song
Then we sealed it with a smile to pass it on

Pass it on, pass it on
If you want to make a rainbow, pass it on

Your Nan gave us some violet she'd kept in her top drawer
The green came from a football team my mates used to play for
The shirt sponsors had indigo, I do not know where from
But they popped it the post to pass it on

Pass it on, pass it on
If you want to make a rainbow, pass it on
Pass it on, pass it on

All that I was missing was a little bit of red
I found it in a heart-shaped box I hid under the bed
Well now we've got our rainbow it's time to pass it on
Pass it on, pass it on, pass it on


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

Every now and again John The Publisher sends me a BRIEF from some company or other asking for songs for adverts and things. On August 13th 2007 he sent me THIS, which he'd just received:

The ad is about good things going on and on and focuses on people working together to make this happen. The beautiful thing spreads from one person to another as they keep the chain going. It has a really positive, uplifting feel about it. A real sense of ease and freedom and free flowing positively without being totally drippy hippy. It’s more with the feel of joi de vivre.

The ad tone of voice is warm and human. The brand like there to be a tactile and 'real' aspect to everything they do. Not too glossy, slick or over-produced.

They want something that is not so ad-cliché, and want to take a big step forward from what has previously done which is along the lines of a too folky 'guy with guitar'-track which feels very done. On the other hand this is often the music which is tonally right. So it could be something in this genre but done in a very unique and different way – think simplicity of Life Aquatic rather than overproduced Nouvelle Vague.

Perhaps it's something quite old? Maybe with vocals not in English. Or with a voice that is beautifully weird? Perhaps instrumentally something played on unusual instruments could create the right atmosphere. Like a harpsichord instead of a piano etc etc. Lo-Tech? Maybe a very rough or live recording would work? Just something that makes it stand out and more distinctive.

It should be mid paced but very up and positive in feel. Not flowery or romantic but with a real feeling of life about it. It should have a definite sense of progression and development. Either building or changing or going from intro to verse to chorus, flourishing as it goes. Like something opening up, being set free – it can’t be stagnant, totally ambient or lifeless. If it has lyrics it should reference colours, rainbow, beauty, life, together etc etc


I cannot emphasise ENOUGH that John SENT me that, he didn't write it himself... anyway, I thought about what songs I have that could fit and thought I might as well have a go at writing one myself. I had a few thoughts on the way home but when I got in picked up my ukelele and got the tune pretty much straight away. I wanted to get the song back to him in the morning, so concentrated on recording the music, taking CARE to make it "build" as requested, and then in the morning worked out some words that I'd started thinking of as I fell asleep. Basically I tried to imagine the advert that might NEED such music, and WROTE it.

That very same night I sat down with my sparkly new digital four track and recorded a version, ROPING IN The Plug In My Power Supply to do some percussion. As it turned out they didn't go for the song in the end, but i still rather liked in so did a bit of CLEANING UP and additions to get it match fit for the album. Amongst these was a re-recording of the percussion - not because The Strings On My Ukelele had done it WRONG, but because we'd done them when the digital four track was very new to me, and I'd accidentally WIPED them. Whilst we were at it I got her to do some backing vocals too, which i was very pleased with - i know she's got a lovely singing voice because I hear it around the house, but i think she was surprised to hear how good it sounded. Doing solo albums is GRATE!



They want something that is not so ad-cliché, and want to take a big step forward from what has previously done which is along the lines of a too folky 'guy with guitar'-track which feels very done. On the other hand this is often the music which is tonally right. So it could be something in this genre but done in a very unique and different way – think simplicity of Life Aquatic rather than overproduced Nouvelle Vague. Perhaps it's something quite old? Maybe with vocals not in English. Or with a voice that is beautifully weird? Perhaps instrumentally something played on unusual instruments could create the right atmosphere. Like a harpsichord instead of a piano etc etc. Lo-Tech? Maybe a very rough or live recording would work? Just something that makes it stand out and more distinctive. It should be mid paced but very up and positive in feel. Not flowery or romantic but with a real feeling of life about it. It should have a definite sense of progression and development. Either building or changing or going from intro to verse to chorus, flourishing as it goes. Like something opening up, being set free – it can’t be stagnant, totally ambient or lifeless. If it has lyrics it should reference colours, rainbow, beauty, life, together etc etc I cannot emphasise ENOUGH that John SENT me that, he didn't write it himself... anyway, I thought about what songs I have that could fit and thought I might as well have a go at writing one myself. I had a few thoughts on the way home but when I got in picked up my ukelele and got the tune pretty much straight away. I wanted to get the song back to him in the morning, so concentrated on recording the music, taking CARE to make it "build" as requested, and then in the morning worked out some words that I'd started thinking of as I fell asleep. Basically I tried to imagine the advert that might NEED such music, and WROTE it. That very same night I sat down with my sparkly new digital four track and recorded a version, ROPING IN The Plug In My Power Supply to do some percussion. As it turned out they didn't go for the song in the end, but i still rather liked in so did a bit of CLEANING UP and additions to get it match fit for the album. Amongst these was a re-recording of the percussion - not because The Strings On My Ukelele had done it WRONG, but because we'd done them when the digital four track was very new to me, and I'd accidentally WIPED them. Whilst we were at it I got her to do some backing vocals too, which i was very pleased with - i know she's got a lovely singing voice because I hear it around the house, but i think she was surprised to hear how good it sounded. Doing solo albums is GRATE!


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