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Songs: Young People, Bring Me Your Problems

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The youth of today seems to be unaware
Of the wisdom I have that I'm willing to share
Oh yeah
I'm like a mental millionaire

So to save them the trouble of having to ask
I've prepared an informal F.A.Q. or "FAQ"
It's packed
With salient and sensible FACTS

Young people, bring your problems to me
I'll tell you what I wish I knew when I was turning 23

If you're at a party and there's no-one you know
And you feel as if you're all on your own
Go home
Go and get you coat and go home

If you fancy dancing but the dance floor's cleared
Close your eyes take of your jacket and put down your beer
And get down,
Like a funky uncle, sod it, get down

Young people, bring your problems to me
I'll tell you what I wish I knew when I was turning 23

Yeah yeah,you'll find love
In the weirdest corners of
The exciting, slightly frightening, world ahead
And when you've got to choose
Between doing or not, do
It's the deeds you left undone that you'll regret
Say yes
Yeah yeah yeah, yes yes YES

Nothing is ever so bad that it's good
Hang out with people who go to the pub
Beer is always better than drugs

Friends are the people who say sorry they're late
They don't think it's all right leaving you there to wait
Your mates
Are the people who think you're great

Young people, bring your problems to me
I'll tell you what I wish I knew when I was turning 23

Yeah yeah I found love
In all sorts of corners of
The exciting world I found outside my head
It's all well and good
Finding answers in a book
But the truth came when I got up out of bed
And said
Yeah yeah yeah, yes yes YES

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

Here's a song with a long and painful gestation period. The final version was written on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25th 2003, but it had been building up for a long long time before then...

It all started with the chords for the verse - whilst the Song Bung was in place I'd often sit and strum away quietly with the guitar, and one day stumbled upon a RATHER lovely little RIFF that I then proceeded to play for about half an hour, eventually la-la-la-ing a groovy vocal melody. It STUCK with me, especially after the Ink In My Pen said "Ooh, I didn't know you could play guitar like that!" I took this to be a compliment.

For AGES I'd occasionally try and fit some words in, to no avail, until one day I got the idea to deal with the phrase "Live Every Day As If It Is Your Last", in much the same way as Everything's Turning Out All Right, Everything dealt with that whole cup half full/empty nonsense. As the lyrics of the song used to say:

'I live every day as if it is my last'
A bloke on the bus said, but I think that's daft
I said, you don't know me, mate, and I don't know you
But I can tell at a glance that you don't think that's true
As if in a panto he said 'Oh Yes I Do'
So why did you iron that shirt?
If it was my last day on earth I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go to work

Well, exactly. The trouble with this was two fold: firstly, it was a RIGHT old mouthful to try and sing (and meant that the nice vocal melody got a bit swamped by the barrage of verbiage), and secondly I got a bit stuck with trying to think where to go next. It all got a bit confused with an idea about being Born Yesterday i.e. seeing life as a whole lot of things YET to happen, and also being open minded and not weighed down by what's happened in the past. It all got a bit too big to think about, to be honest, and I spend a dreary hour or two in the afternoon trying to drag out a second verse that, really, wasn't much cop.

Eventually I decided to have a go about writing some completely different words, and spent ANOTHER fruitless 30 minutes trying to finish off a song about my life being like in a 70's sitcom, to absolutely no avail. Whilst doing all this I was surrounded by bits of paper with ideas for songs and half finished lyrics, and noticed a song called "Young Persons Problems". This was going to be blunt advice about sorting out The Problems Faced In Youth saying "Cuh! I wish I had your problems instead of mine!", inspired by reading The Kids on the derbymusic forum complaining about not having enough money to go out with. It was a bit mean, really, but some of the LESS mean lines suddenly sounded REALLY GOOD when sung to this new tune.

EMBOLDENED i trimmed and tucked them into a verse, and EASILY thought of the chorus, based on the chords left over from that bit in the original song. I then NOTED that it was heading in a slightly different direction, so LASHED a whole NEW first verse in before it (and spent a little while thinking of the line "I'm like a mental millionaire", which I was really chuffed with). Born Yesterday's BEST bit was the middle section - or rather, the first half, which went "Yeah yeah, where's the love if the most you're thinking of is the pleasures you can contain in a day?" which I really REALLY liked, but had never finished off. With this as a template i CRAFTED the oddly CARING and NICE bit that's there now. Well done me!

The hardest bit was the last verse though, and I went through pages and pages of SCRIBBLINGS to try and work out some Dead Good Advice. That one about your friends being the people who LIKE you, that really IS good advice, and I urge everyone to note it. Anyway, I was on my way to the kitchen, whistling, for a little dance, when i realised that - HEY! - if I liked the middle bit so much, why not repeat it? Or - GOLLY! - repeat it with Slightly Different Lyrics.

I mean, cor eh? Is this CRAFTSMANSHIP or what eh? I was so VERY pleased with the finally finished article that I did a SAND DANCE in the kitchen and then continued to dance in a rather LEWD fashion throughout he house for the rest of the evening. It had been a Bank Holiday Weekend of ROCK!

After all that I played the song at the next gig I did, and found it DROOPED rather. Like LOTS of the songs I wrote around this time I was Trying A Bit Too Hard To Write Songs For A Band - the band I was writing for, it turns out, were a slightly earnest Indie Band from about 1993, which isn't The Validators and isn't me on my own either. Duly chastened i took BACK the good bit from Born Yesterday and recorded that instead!

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