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The Songwriters’ Collective’s ninth offering of 2016 is ‘Spoken Word’ month. Songs appear here in the order in which they were received.


1. Stephen Clarke
Everybody’s Doing What They Can
This is a song related to the news subject we did a couple of months ago. It's about the crazy, ill-informed news content we get, journalists asking "how do you feel?" instead of analysing. It's not news, it's emoting. At least that's what the spoken word verses say - the sung choruses are more laid-back about it.
I've spent the last couple of weeks humming this to myself, but I had to record it in an afternoon. One take of rhythm guitar, one take of meandering bass, a few lead licks on the acoustic, then the voices. To balance the spoken word verses, I've done word-free singing in the intros, and made the chorus really singalong. The drumming is by a bloke called Motown Drummer 08 - I like him, solid but discreet. Oh, and that word in the chorus is "shyness".
1 StephenC Everybody's Doing What They Can (SpokenWord)



2. Tim & Julie Warner
4 Ages of Conversation
I have been lucky (or boring) enough to work with a very similar group of people, who are about my age, for most of my working life. There have always been conversations that really fizz and demand the attention of everyone in the room. I have noticed these 'hot topics' gradually change over time. Hopefully I’ve explained that in the song but, I feel the need to explain because I don’t think this is the sort of track anyone is going to dwell on. #albumtrack #filler #product

I’m not keen on my singing voice but, my spoken voice is really horrible, which meant I’ve done all those bits as quickly as possible. I guess it means I must be putting on a voice when I sing. Shame I can't put on Tony Bennett’s voice.
2 TimW 4 ages of converstaion



3. Christian Duffin
On the Ning Nang Nong
Special thanks to my friend, Nick, for performing the spoken word section here. On the Ning Nang Nong is a poem by Spike Milligan that I've put to music. It seems to be in the 'nonsense verse' genre of poetry: it doesn't make any sense and yet it makes perfect sense.
3 ChristianD Ning Nang Nong




4. Phil Sanderson
Chapter XIII
The US Fire Service’s instruction manual contains a whole long chapter ( Chapter XIII ) devoted to the role firefighters might have to play in the event of an alien invasion.  This appears to be required reading for all new recruits, although I’d be surprised if the majority of them they don’t just skip Chapter XIII and focus on the slightly more important skills such as ‘Handling Your Hose’. Chapter XIII does contain some very valuable advice, including ‘Do not stand directly underneath a UFO when it reaches the Earth’s surface.’ I suppose standing under a helicopter when it lands would be fine though. 
Any alien thinking of invading Earth, and USA in particular would definitely think twice before actually landing, so well prepared does the USA appear to be.   In the warped world of this song, alien combo ‘Fornax’ combine spoken excerpts from the manual, direct spoken quotations from chief firefighters and some of their own poetical observations about the human race.  Ironically the group’s references to Earth’s paranoia are actually substantiated by their existence as an alien race.
I bumped into the guys from ‘Fornax’ when I inadvertently misbooked my summer holiday and was transported half way across the Galaxy ( 'Fornax' is the actual name of star many light years away) instead of spending a week on a sun drenched Island where I had hoped to couple two of my main interests, guitar playing being the second one. 
4 PhilS Chapter XIII v8

5. Mike Gosling
An Unmade Road
The inspiration for this month's song was Karl's Sat Nav - but early on I decided against a series of directional instructions delivered by a celebrity!
It's a song about some of life's twists and turns (and the perils of ignoring the Sat Nav instructions). Well sort of.
My monthly apologies to Karl for not getting the song sorted out earlier so that he could make a contribution.
5 MikeG An Unmade Road




6. Tim & Glyn
Why Do You Call Me (When I’m Not Home)?
This is a song about people leaving 'no message' on the answerphone. It features all genuine messages (and non messages) left on our answerphone. The automated recording indicating that we are being prosecuted by HMRC was genuinely left on our phone. We're hoping it is a scam/hoax as we haven't responded. Phil indicated last month that I have a new keyboard. This month I got to overuse one of sounds it makes. I may do that again in the future (this is a public service announcement).
6 TimnGlyn Why Do You Call Me (when I'm not home)


7. Colin Steward
The Keyboard Player’s Lament
I’m back!  Sorry for such a long leave of absence – mostly down to lack of imagination, vocal ability and laziness! 
This is a jazz beat poem.  It’s not entirely autobiographical but I’m sure Tim W will recognise some of the rants contained within!
It’s completely spoken word and I’ve made no effort to cover my regional accent.  Vocally, I was lucky to finish it having had a pretty bad sore throat for the last few days, but that at least helped to slightly ‘man up’ my voice a tad.
The middle bit (set in a bar) uses my song from the Valentine’s month last year as a bit of cheesy background.  The flute is me (been having lessons for a couple of years now).  This part also features a little background sound FX of restaurant/bar noises courtesy of
www.freesfx.co.uk.
Hopefully I won’t be a stranger in future. No promises!
7 ColinS The Keyboard Player's Lament v2