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The Songwriters’ Collective’s fourth offering of 2016 is ‘Drinks’ month. Songs appear here in the order in which they were received (some of you were VERY keen!)


1. Wodehouse World
Stephen Clarke
I feel as though I really ought to hate Jeeves and Wooster, and PG Wodehouse's whole world of posh people doing posh things, with servants bringing them drinks to help them deal with the stresses of the easy life. But I love it, mainly because it's all so innocent. No war, no poverty, no real violence, and no sexual complications. They're like kids' stories for adults, without the wolves or witches, and with much better jokes. So this song was inspired by the phrase "abandon desire". No one in PG Wodehouse has any, except for a whisky and soda or a virginal peck on the cheek.
Production-wise it's sort of Kinks-like, with semi-acoustic bass and jaunty melodies, and a touch of melancholy in the harmonies because the real world isn't kind and sunny all the time. 

1 StephenC WodehouseWorld






2. Give The Game Away
Tim & Julie Warner
I took the title directly from the Oblique Strategies web site. I also took on board ‘Don’t avoid what is easy’ and ‘Use fewer notes’ (but used fewer chords instead, mainly A, E and D if you’re interested).

For the subject matter, I found inspiration from a newspaper cutting that I think appeared on FaceBook (so it must be true). It may be there is too much story to fit into a song but, hey! This is the place to test that kind of thing.

To me, the result is like an unholy mix of Jake Thackray and Dr. Feelgood.

Many thanks to Rob (W) for playing the bass part. With so few instruments, my own bass playing was brutally exposed.

2 TimWgive the game away




3. Are We Nearly There?
Colin Parish
The first sentence that came up on the oblique strategies website said 'discard usual instruments'. This posed a problem because I don't usually use proper instruments - just the approximations in the iPad GarageBand app.
So, I decided to use the only instrument I can play, the ukulele, with various effects to hide my musical shortcomings.
There is a drum beat, and the vocals are all me singing with iPad effects. Various ukulele parts can be heard.
The song is one I wrote that I used to sing with my son on long journeys to drive his mother mad. I suppose it's my homage to all those ear worms you wished you'd never heard but just can't forget.
Sorry!

ps. My song should come with a warning that it starts very quietly....
3 ColinP Are We Nearly There?




4. This Heroic Approach
Rob Warner
This was a very slowly developing song melodically and in terms of the chord and song structure. I procrastinated over recording the vocal and left the final lyrics more or less to the final recording session when (armed with a King-Size duvet thrown over me and my microphone!) I finally recorded the vocals.

The Oblique Strategies website came up with the ‘Heroic Approach’ idea right from the off and I just wrote some words around that. When I got stuck later on with the verses, I would go back to the website for inspiration. My lyrics do make a kind of sense (I had originally said they don’t, but they do. I remember hearing an interview with John Lennon where he talked about the lyric-writing process and saying that he doesn’t know at times what his lyrics mean and it’s only afterwards he would think, ‘Oh yeah, I see’.) The idea, I think, is that we try to live our lives in a certain way; being the best we can be but can, at times, deliberately trip ourselves up just to prove we’re fallible.

4. RobW This Heroic Approach




5. Something Will Be Found
Tim & Glyn
This was the wording that we found on the website and is the song title and main chorus line. As you will see, this is very short. Having failed to complete last month's drinking song as things got a bit out of hand and we had too little time, this month didn't let up either, so I think this is more a sketch than a finished piece of work. We'll let you decide if you would have liked to hear more (or are pleased we got no further)!
5TandG Something Will be Found




6. From Nothing...to More Than Nothing
Phil Sanderson
The lyrics are a  collection of quotes from 'Oblique Strategies', carefully selected for similar them / feeling  but more essentially to scan and sort of rhyme. I printed out the lyrics and presented them to various colleagues who were suitably impressed by them until I told them how they came about.  Musically this is likely to be even less popular than usual- if such a thing is possible. I had half a mind to call this song 'Aston Villa' .
6 PhilS From Nothing....To More Than Nothing



7. Breathe More Deeply
Christian Duffin
The phrase 'breathe more deeply' came up on the site Rob directed us to so I thought that would make a decent title. I didn't use anything else from the site for the lyrics.
The title is a metaphor for gaining a better understanding about what's important, and for living more fully. A bloke has a terrible accident and nearly loses his life, and then realises he needs to make some changes. I'd planned at one point to do it with just with a couple of acoustic guitars, but ended up adding a couple of other bits.

7 ChristianD Breathe More Deeply