Composer: Ed Hooke Date of Composition: April 2017 Date of Recording/Copyright:
Commentary/Notes This song was written for Nilay.
1. (a) epileptic fits (b) fitting in socially.
2. Anticonvulsant medication doing its job.
3. Not fitting in socially.
4. In university halls of residence, sharing a bedroom with 3 less than friendly
5. As part of studying Linguistics, this sort of sentence has to be analysed to explain
its semantic & grammatical ambiguities. In one version, “licks” is a verb & “like”
is a preposition; in the other,“licks” is a noun & “like” is a verb. However, the
2nd version requires an apostrophe at the end of “Linguistics” while the first version
doesn’t, so I had to put the apostrophe in brackets. Also in the 2nd version, “licks”
as a noun is a clumsy use of the slang for “licks” to mean something like “a taste
of”. The ‘Fruit Flies’ are a reference to the following pair of sentences:- “Time
flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”
6. From (a) a play on the way the 3 syllables of “syntactic” sound, to (b) a Linguistics
test question, perhaps! ‘syn’ becomes ‘sin’; ‘tac’ becomes ‘attack’; ‘tic’ becomes
‘ticked’. In Linguistic analysis, you may have to analyse (attack) ticked (marked)
grammatical (syntactic) errors (sins).
7. Sometimes not attending classes in order to work & earn money to be able to pay
for the classes…
8. Isn’t alliteration fun?
9. The imagery refers not only to the imposing physical nature of a university &
its halls of residence, but also to a transitional (but at the time encapsulating)
stage of life where the complexities of childhood are yet to be unravelled & fully
understood & the future can seem to be a dauntingly blank canvas. The sense of waiting
resembles the concept of purgatory, of being trapped…
10. Although this song was written about someone in Turkey in April 2017, this of
course does NOT refer to any specific referendum (such as the one in Turkey on 16
She fits in one way but not another..
Prudently pilled some storms are stilled inside her head.
Outside though she remains the outsider.
Precious peer pressures pile up around her bed.
Linguistics(’) licks like fruit flies.
Attack ticked syntactic sins.
She edits her education to take time to tend to tender money tins.
No-one said it would be easy but no-one said it would be this tough. No-one stopped
to state out straight that a student’s study state stays stressed & stuffed with
She waits in halls with tall bare walls paned with pained unpainted paintings and
denied a door.
Shelved unwritten books eluding allied looks Tales which can’t be told, folds won’t
unfold, not ever...
Let’s have a referendum
to see how people do not think. Established state strength so stuck more sternly -
stifling strong the stench with which they stink.
Where is the happy medium? - the clairvoyant optimist? Some things she can’t
control. For those she can, she’ll make a list.
She waits in halls with tall bare walls paned with pained unpainted paintings
and denied a door.
Shelved unwritten books eluding allied looks Tales which can’t be told,
folds won’t unfold, not ever...
But she will climb one step at a time and step by step she will find her way to be.
 She will need patience because it’s going to be in the future tense when this
acorn will be reborn as an oak tree.
No. Life is not so easy. Yes. It can be unfair and tough. No-one says it but still
she will learn She’s so much more than just simply good enough.
And she will depart from halls with tall bare walls She’ll paint those panes of painful
paintings then design a door. She will write those books, learn enlightened looks. Let
her tales be told, let folds unfold forevermore.
and she will sing...
Review “A scorcher”
16. Patience is needed. The transformation is not going to happen overnight; it’s
going to take years. This emphasises again the importance of recognising small steps
in the right direction. An acorn is the small-ish nut from which an oak tree grows.
Oak trees have a reputation for strength.
17. Although I’m saying it now…
18. The transformation, somewhat like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. In
a physical sense it could be linked to leaving university - in itself an important
period of change in life. However, it also refers to the more gradual (i.e. slower)
underlying emotional & psychological processes of learning to understand & love oneself
19. Turkish for “Go with a smile!”
20. Singing, like painting paintings or writing autobiographical books, is an expression
of the ‘soul’, the self, the heart & all that sort of thing, as well as being something
which the subject of the portrait both enjoys doing & doesn’t feel as confident about
as she should. The future holds such possibilities..
11, This has at least 2 possible interpretations:- (i) a sinister intent to misrepresent
people’s views; (ii) while people may use critical evaluation (‘think’) when making
decisions, sometimes they base voting upon more basic, animal instincts & prejudiced
opinions; (iii) both; (iv) other.
12. Written at a time of politically extreme “populist” views rising around the world.
13, This is in part a joke, a play on the words ‘happy medium’. As well as meaning
‘middle ground’, the word ‘medium’ can refer to a person who experiences things that
normal people can’t, a bit like a clairvoyant. (For a medium, it’s communication
with the dead; for a clairvoyant, it’s seeing the future.) Someone who is happy might
be described as an optimist. However, the latter part of the song could be said
to be an optimistic prediction for the future so maybe there is a clairvoyant optimist
14. A lot of people spend a lot of time (sometimes even their whole lives) worrying
about things over which they have no control. It can be a significant factor in
depression. It’s more healthy & productive to focus instead on addressing the things
which we can control or influence.
15, The clairvoyant optimist has arrived, with judgements based on a knowledge of
the personality & abilities of the subject. The ‘step by step’ nature of making improvements
is an important one. The Taoist, Lao Tzu, reputedly said “a journey of a thousand
miles begins with a single step”. It’s also important to try to recognise & value
positive steps even if they’re small. Some of them can be planned. Others just happen.
“Her way to be” will be living in a way that she herself feels happy with, hopefully
on her own terms.