I was writing with Nano Whitman, in Austin, Texas last year. Nano came around to The House Of Songs, where I was staying at. I had written with him before and I wasn't particularly nervous just looking forward to hook up with a friend. Nano brought along an idea for a song which I though it sounded a bit like an Elton John song....it wasn't bad, just not particularly what I had hoped he would come up with. Last time we had hooked up he had shown up with this amazing, nearly finished, song called Peace, and I was hoping we could continue down that path, as I really liked what he was up to there. But now.... Elton John(?). Anyway, I thought it was an ok song idea that probably could improve with a bit of rewriting and tweaking. We worked on the song for an hour or two, and I continued rewriting the lyrics over and over the next couple of days, added a chorus, cut out some lines in the verses etc etc. I was getting stubborn and just wanted to finish this thing now....though I wasn't particularly emotionally attached to anything I was writing....
A couple of days later we hooked up again, and I showed Nano the results of my efforts. As I sang through the song, he just sat there, without saying a word, kind of expressionless (-which honestly worried me a bit. Had I completely butchered his masterpiece here ? -Or was it him that was being too precious ?). Afterwards I asked him what he thought and passed him the paper with the lyrics.
He told me that it sounded like the verse was written with the words of an Oxford professor, but the chorus sounded like it was written by a cowboy living in a trailer.... -I think it was my bits that sounded like the cowboy......
I was slightly taken aback, and I suppose a bit disappointed that he didn't think my "art" was amazing..... But deep down inside I knew he was completely right (!), and I had known it all while I was working on the song.....
Any way, I now felt that I had to pull something REALLY good out of the hat -to save the situation..... and not feel like a complete idiot, I suppose.
On the last day before I left London for Austin I had been going through the voice memos on my phone where I usually store any good (and crap...) ideas that come up, and to my surprise I had found this great nearly fully formed song with chords and melody and a fair amount of words too though they made absolutely no sense to me. Anyway I thought the idea had potential and I had brought it along to Austin.
Songs are funny. Some days you can wake up, pick up a guitar, play a few chords, and sing some completely random nonsense that you don't think anything to, and five minutes later you have completely forgotten it. Thats how Take My Heart started out, and as I sat there in Austin, in front of Nano, -slightly embarrassed- I desperately reached out for my phone and played him my idea (or maybe I sang it to him...cant remember) -anyway, he LOVED it (!!!) and asked me to sing it again, this time into HIS phone so he could go home and work on the lyrics, make sense of my unconscious ramblings, and figure out what on earth I was on about......
Two days later he came back with two AMAZING verses, we added my third verse idea, worked out the missing lines, changed the long instrumental chord section, and tweaked the whole shebang....and there you go: Job Done !!
We are both so happy with the result, that we both wanted to release our own versions of the song.
Here's my version.
Here's Nano Whitmans version.
And here's the song Peace I mentioned earlier in the blog.
What Take My Heart And Go is about:
For me, Take My Heart And Go is a song about how it feels going to your ex-girlfriend's party, still feeling raw and fragile, searching for the flame when she seemingly has moved on.
In my my mate Carl Fox' words: "A pop song wrapped in a Lloyd Cole, Edwyn Collins style production"
My Radio Plugger Emma Scott ads "...With lush strings and a haunting melody, it's sure to leave an impression that will linger inside like a love lost".
Awwww, sweet !