Original Song: Watching The Executives

Well if there’s ever been a song that I’ve struggled with its this one – not so much for coming up with lyrics or even a chord pattern, but more how I wanted to approach it. It started off with a very old (2008!) four-line verse that I found in my old songwriting notes. It was the start of an idea based on someone I know who has certainly chosen personal success over a balanced life. I’d been listening to a bit of Everlast with his “rapping” over acoustic guitar and it seemed like a nice idea (although the kids were horrified when I said I was working on a rap!). Of course a rapper I ain’t, so no matter what I tried I sounded like an imposter. The basic Am to F chord sequence sounded good, until I realised its the same as Elvis Costello’s Watching The Detectives! Once I discovered that it was almost impossible to not try and base the song around the rest of the chords in the Costello classic – but it still didn’t work with me “rapping” it. Finally, I just picked up the acoustic guitar and just strummed and sang it, and it seemed a bit better. Calling it Watching The Executives seemed the only fair homage to where the musical component was drawn from. As regular listeners will know, I’m not good at fiddling around with songs – I tend to get the idea, do a couple of takes and that’s it. So by the time I got something that sounded okayish I was pretty over it – so what you hear here is very raw, but I just can’t motivate myself to try and make it better. Not much else to say other than I’m happy to have finally nailed down the 46th month of song-a-month and I can start thing about the next one!

© 2015 Chuck Smeeton

He’s got a PhD, an MBA
But he missing the bit that makes it all okay
What do you really get with your 500k
If it’s all that consumes you night and day
C                                    G
It’s ying and yang, it’s black and white
F                                    G
It’s the balance that get’s you through the night
C                                    G
No time for the kids when you’re on a flight
F                                      D
You think another toy makes it all alright
Devoid of passion, no time to be free
When you’re trapped in an office in the morning til 3
You might laugh when you look at me
But you’re missing the point if that’s all you see
C                                    G
Relentless pursuit of the almight buck
F                                    G
Immersed in the mire of corporate luck
C                                    G
When your friends all say that as a friend you suck
F                                    D
And there’s you thinking you’ve had all the luck

There’s business trips and a fancy meal
Working all day to secure the deal
But is that addressing your Achilles heel
The gap in your life that you always feel
When you finally head home from another trip
The contract all bound in a bulldog clip
You’ve missed another moment and you say it’s a blip
But when the kids act up and you give them some lip
Read between the lines that they’re missing their dad
You get mad, they get sad,
It’s just another situation gone bad
This is what’s normal, it’s not a fad
Can’t help thinking that you’re headed for a fall
That mortgage has got your back against the wall
You ain’t making progress it’s barely a crawl
No more days when you felt 10 foot tall

When you finally step off the money train
And you’re sitting in a park, alone in the rain
There ain’t no pleasure there’s only pain
The master of the universe has finished his reign
Sitting, waiting, wondering what’s next
It wasn’t all cause it was all effects
You’re perplexed, it was so complex
You can’t even get a reply to a text
Your wife’s moved on, couldn’t wait any more
And the repo man is knocking at the door
You’re going to have to wonder what it was all for
No friends left cos they think you’re a bore
Kids all grown up with their own things to do
They don’t care what you’ve been through
You thought it was them, but it was really you
That ignored all the signs, another chance you blew

About the original songs
In January 2012 I commenced a goal of trying to write and record at least one song from scratch each month – sometimes it comes easily, sometimes it’s a real challenge, but I love the discipline it creates. I managed to complete the year, but it was so much fun that I’ve decided to keep it rolling for as long as I can.

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