Strap in folks! We’re in for a long ride now! Part three of my Origin Of A Song series takes me to the middle track of our EP, “A Lost Boy’s Anthem.” This was the first track where I took solo lyric writing duties and for that reason I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this song.
When I originally wrote the lyrics, the second verse was twice as long and slower. We recorded a demo for this version of the song with me singing the second verse and a couple of days later, Jake called me saying he didn’t like the flow of the song would I mind if he ‘tinkered with it.’ A week later he sent me a demo version that isn’t too far from the track we released. He sped up the second verse and cut the lyrics in half which included cutting a reference to Pokémon cards that I’m still disappointed he removed.
I remember I was walking home from work when Jake sent me the demo and he was almost apologetic in tone with the message he sent with it. I think he was really nervous about changing parts of what I’d written and singing the second verse but he really had nothing to worry about. In fact, it was during the first listen to this demo I realized just what a talented producer Jake is (Jake if you read this, it’s a lie I put in to make us seem cool, can’t have this going to your head.) He really brought the song alive and got rid of a lot of wasted lyrics in the second verse, or has he put it, “It was easy, I kept the good bits and deleted the shit lines.” Though I will still fight to the death in the belief the Pokemon cards reference should have stayed.
There is one pop culture reference in there Jake completely missed though; the line, “You sang I’ll be there for you” is a reference to the Friends opening credits song “I’ll Be There For You.” When I was a kid this was center of the world and I used to remember it showed on a Wednesday night so the school playground would just be Friends talk on a Thursday and that’s a memory I’ve always hung on to from my youth for some weird reason and now it’s immortalized in this song.
There’s a lot of me in this song I put a lot of my insecurities into it, I’ve always had fears about growing up without having achieved all I wanted and I think this song is kind of me putting all of that out there and the chorus is very much me accepting things and getting past those fears – something which being a part of Cuecliché has been instrumental in helping me do.
The song also has a couple of nods towards Peter Pan – another boy who had issues growing up and the name itself coming from Peter Pan’s followers in Neverland, the Lost Boys. I guess when I wrote this song I’m kind of coming from their perspective. There’s also the line, “Captain Hook grow old they say.” Obviously the notable older character in the film is the ‘bad guy’ and again in this song I’ve used that comparing people around you who rush you into growing up to Captain Hook.
One of the lines that means the most to me in this song I actually stole from a lyric book I have where I write down words and phrases. I’ve only ever dipped into that book once when writing lyrics for Cuecliché songs. The line I’m talking about is, “Where I am I’m happy there.” This line is something I took from my dad. A long time ago he taught me that it’s important to save, but it’s far more important to make sure you enjoy yourself and be happy.
A darker line in the song, “Tell everyone you’re doing fine, just keeping up with life online” – I think that’s a bit of my bitterness towards growing old really coming through, I hate that more and more each year I’m hearing more from my friends online than I am actually seeing them, which I know is natural these days. People grow and they have less time for social things and it doesn’t help most my friends are in Liverpool…so I guess I’ll be fine just keeping up with them online? (See what I did there.)
I sent my mum a batch of four or five of the first demos Jake and Keith and I put together and I remember her telling me that she laughed listening to “A Lost Boy’s Anthem” because it was just me in a song, and this was before I told her I’d wrote the lyrics myself so I guess it’s not very subtle? The first few times we played this song live it was really tough for me because it kind of felt like singing it was putting my fear and insecurity on display which really isn’t something I do on a day to day basis but in time I’ve realized people don’t really think about that so much in the moment so there’s not much to worry about.
If you want to listen to “A Lost Boy’s Anthem” and judge me for those fears and insecurities, use the links below!