Braxton Hicks

from Run V​.​T. by Ian Evans

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about

This is another tune that I completely re-recorded, after my first version sounded weak - As the rhythm of the singing is so mad I actually sang it all acapela first and then played instruments to the vocal track. That’s very unusual and hopefully fits a stressful/disjointed topic like going into labour. It's meant to sound like a clattering mess (as Pere Ubu described the sound they wanted for their Tenement Year album).

The guitar was a distorted acoustic guitar, which was the staple sound of my Gallows Man album - It’s in Open G tuning, with the low E string tuned to an even deeper G! In this case, it was then put through an octave distortion pedal, to make it as deep as a bass guitar! Heavy. The odd notes at the end involved me pulling a string off the guitar neck, so it hit the pickup and made a sitar-like harmonic.

lyrics

The Barkentine on the Isle of Dogs her choice. And just because of calm
If we go on a fortnight we’ll be classed as high risk and moved to the Royal London
So we are counting down the days

Contracting some day
Billingsgate and Limehouse Mission are not so far away
Commercial Roadway
Clocks of the countries on Westferry, yay
Toby’s waiting away
Braxton Hicks kneeling
Then nothing happening
My boss looked for my big hair, to see if I’m still there

At Lavender Hill shack - beers in Project Orange
My teacher sold me his V drums, the night before the birth, yeah
I thought I could get good, whilst not out at the Bree
That night at 4 am she woke up excitedly

Contracting today
But not that soon yet, yay…
On the TENS machine we were sent home again

We got a curry and I definitely watched a doc about the Shard whilst she slept
You do sleep in labour
Paranoid about the taxi cab

“I drank some wine. Scared to get drunk though
App on Liz’s iPhone to count them
Pretending that it’s close enough
Computer Cabs from Mums’ Net

References:

* Barkentine – A birth centre in London, which my wife and I intended to use

* The Isle of Dogs – Location of the birth centre, on a peninsula in East London

* If we go on a fortnight - Liz was overdue, so we were on tenterhooks waiting for the big event

* The Royal London - Hospital where Toby was actually born

* Billingsgate - A fish market, very close to the Barkentine

* Limehouse Mission - A big social centre for seamen in the Limehouse area

* Commercial Road - Th big road from Limehouse to Whitechapel

* Clocks of the countries - A wall near Westferry has clocks for several countries on it

* Westferry - A tube stop near to the Barkentine

* Toby - The little guy

* Braxton Hicks – Contractions that women get before the birth, but which don't turn into full labour. I thought it sounded like a good title for something and there's already at least one band out there called Braxton Hicks. (Finding any quirky phrase to use is basically the secret of song writing!)

* “My boss looked for my big hair, to see if I’m still there” - I have spiky hair and, in the run up to the birth, my boss would look for my haircut in the coffee shop near my office, to see if I was in there or had left for paternity leave. It was apparently visible from the street.

* Lavender Hill shack - A drum shop, where I took drum lessons

* Project Orange - A bar near the drum shop. A couple of friends worked in the drum shop, so we'd go for a beer after my lesson

* My teacher - Paolo, who is an excellent drummer

* V drums - Paolo sold me his old Roland V drum kit, which he delivered the day before Liz went into labour

* The Bree - The pub I go to most often. I'd assumed I wouldn't be out boozing as much after Toby was born, so I figured that I could at least use my imposed exile to practice the drums a lot

* That night at 4 am she woke up excitedly - Liz was really keen to go into labour by the end

* TENS machine - An electronic device which supposedly lowers the pain of contractions by giving you tiny pulses of electricity

* The Shard - A tasteless building in London

* You do sleep in labour - Suprisingly you can be in labour and still go to sleep, go home etc. It takes ages!

* Paranoia about the taxi cab - I'd been warned that some taxis won't take women in labour for insurance reasons, so I was paranoid about being turned away. We did the whole journey lying about where we were going, but the driver saw through it and kept making birth puns which I was too stressed to appreciate

* App on Liz’s iPhone - You can get an app to time your contractions, which makes it a lot easier

* Pretending that it’s close enough - When you're in labour they tell you not to come in until the contractions are a certain time apart. You're so keen to get going that you tend to lie

* Computer Cabs - The taxi firm we'd been told would be fine about a woman giving birth

* Mums’ Net - A website for parental chat. It's notorious for its frank discussions

credits

from Run V​.​T., released August 4, 2015

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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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