I’ve found great joy in writing (especially lyric writing) for so many years now; yet, like most creative people, I’ve had to keep working mainstream jobs to make ends meet.
One of my jobs, book keeping, I’ve done now for 20+ years and much of it has become routine—same company, same office space, pretty much the same staff, and fairly repetitive work—in a small suite, within a larger corporate building, sharing a communal kitchen and both male/female toilets.
This week, routine was nudged aside for three minutes or so, after leaving the office briefly (when nature called) to use the bathroom.
Mid-way through what sounded like a running ‘water-fall’ within the framework that provided me privacy, a random office worker walked into the adjoining cubicle. I listened to the usual sounds – locking the door, unzipping pants and pulling them (and knickers?) down, grabbing some toilet paper then perching on the toilet seat, followed by momentary silence and whisper soft ruffling sounds. After the obligatory few seconds expected to relax the bladder—during a time in which I anticipated hearing yet another localised running ‘water-fall’ breaking the quiet—an unexpected, sudden (and not too far shy of full-blast) song invaded the sound-scape, within the greater walls of the small acoustic chamber we were sharing.
Initially I thought the song might have been assigned to a mobile phone’s ring-tone but as it continued, drowning out my new neighbour’s bodily sounds, I became intrigued by the song’s exquisite melody, poignant storyline, sensitive vocal and hooky back-beat throughout which had me thinking of a heartbeat.
I wanted to shout through the wall but under the circumstances, curbed my enthusiasm. I stayed still, on my side of the divide, listening until the outro (the final part of the song) when it stripped back to basic acoustic guitar and vocal, then walked out of the toilet cubicle with a line that had stuck-fast: “Wrap your fingers ‘round my thumb” …
Small Bump, by Ed Sheeran, is an extraordinary song—he has an uncanny ability to write quirky, fresh, yet extremely moving lyrics—I’m in awe…