#239 – For Coca Cola

Type: Song / October 2016

The version that appeared on The Invisible Anchor was, according to the records, the third version of this song. The first (#147) appeared in demo form as bonus material for the U-Boat EP whilst the second (#180) was re-ordered and new lyrics were added. This third version came together when the song Hostages was deemed not good enough, but it’s middle eight was taken and added to this song (the “decades they pass section”) with the second verse altered at the very last minute.

Why so much indecision? The spark of the song was similar to the one covered way back on Into Futurity in 2010. It was this really vivid vision or dream where I was stood in a queue, long and winding, probably for food. It was cold and the queue seemed endless. But across from me, where the queue snaked back, I saw someone from my past, an old girlfriend. It was a small ray of sunshine and we chatted for a while but then the queue moved on, and moved us apart.

It resonated an odd emotion in me I couldn’t pin down but I kept trying. This version of For Coca Cola is beyond that idea but it’s the reason it kept being rewritten.

I think the ideas here are around detaching yourself from mainstream life and culture. For Coca Cola as a title was about the idea of music appearing on adverts, and that being a career highpoint or something to be proud of. I aligned it with getting an OBE or whatever from the Queen. It diminishes all your work. I’d want to say, I didn’t do this FOR YOU. It’s like they try and own your accomplishment after not giving a shit for so long. I fucking hate how Coca Cola feels like it owns happiness and love and friendship. It’s an evil we’ve all bought into.

I was wary of including “post truth” as that was a new term at the time and thought it might age badly. But it was a perfect summation of the “post” life explored here in the narrative. Someone that sold their home and left all they own to try and live beyond the scope of the Coca Cola’s and the pressures of the world, only to be dissappointed and perhaps surprised to find themselves fairly alone. Of course they would be. It’s the nativity of thinking you can live outside the system.

This is made all the more clearer in this middle eight section. This came to me once day when I was walking through town – I was working at a music venue so would often leave late and sober whilst people were at the height of their nights out. I bumped into someone from school who I had been close to. They were just really happy to see me and though we only spoke briefly, I saw a youthful sparkle there and as we parted, it lingered. I knew it would fade and I knew we were so far down the line we didn’t need to insult one another by saying ‘we should meet up sometime’. It was just a moment where I felt ever so slightly more alive for a few minutes – without the trappings of the world. And no-one owned it but us.

Musically it’s simplistic but interesting in that it’s all major key melodies (I think) on the piano. It’s quite nursery rhyme like, but I somehow conspire to make it quite dreary. Appropriately, like a dream. When we came to record it, I only had the piano. As was the case with the abandonned Hostages, I was worried it would come out like a late Beatles plodder, but the production made alot of what was basically just drums and piano, and the barren feel suits the song.

The outro originally appeared at the beginning too, once or twice round, with the coda being a return to that gentle opening. But as was the album’s style, it was felt superflous and was dropped to make everything as short and snappy as possible. It’s why it has a slightly odd fade in intro.

I sold my home,
left all I own and I felt
solitary moments of connect.
In twilight years all the people we’ll be.
Between the school gate and sleep, whisper to me.

It’s post-truth, passed me and you.
Through the rubble we hold on to.
Just let go and be with me.

Let it all go, don’t leave me here.

Decades they pass, defiance cracks.
The bones, their structure, I remember all we were.
That sweet second, tell me about your life now
Whilst I come down

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