“...How did I come to deserve this?
You, you’re a picture of perfect...”
I’m sat in the living room of a terraced house on the outskirts of Belfast. This is the third or fourth time I’ve written with my buddy Ryan McMullan and we’ve now developed a ritualistic catch up over brunch before ever putting pen to paper. The food in fact, has almost become more of a priority than the writing itself; understandable for anyone who has experienced the delights of the General Merchants breakfast menu.
Ryan takes up his usual lounging position on the sofa, beautiful Lowden guitar in hand and starts picking out an incredibly gorgeous melody over pedal bass notes. Immediately being drawn to it, as usual I ask him tentatively ‘have you used that in anything yet?‘ Finding out that he hasn’t my adrenalin naturally starts to rush.
I wish that I could tell you that we wrote this based on a particular experience or moment in time (it would make for a really beautiful story if we had) but sadly we didn’t. I guess subconsciously however, we were both trying to capture one of those moments you experience when you truly fall in love with someone and you almost have to take a step back in wonder, thinking to yourself ‘Why me? What have I really done to deserve the love of such an incredible human being?’
“...And when all is said and done I guess what it comes down to
Is life’s too short to be living it without you...”
I can still hear the excitement in Ryan’s voice when I managed to slip in the word ‘soothing’ into that first verse; a word that perfectly described the feeling that guitar melody gave me when I first heard it and in turn, the feeling you often get when you’re with someone that makes you feel truly special. I also remember arguing with him about the sustained notes throughout the chorus, claiming that they were killing the overall flow of the song. In hindsight I’m really glad that he stood his ground and refused to give in to my admittedly inaccurate observation.
Rather humorously, I can still vividly recall the very first time we got together to write. The session was pretty much a train crash for both of us, spending hours scratching our heads and ending up with nothing of any real substance by the end of it. I remember walking away feeling completely deflated, convinced he would never want to write with me again. Little did I know, taking the chance on each other just a few more times would lead to quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever been involved in writing...
Just goes to show what a little persistence and a good breakfast can achieve!