What a crazy, divisive world we live in at the moment. Families arguing over political ideology, friends going their separate ways after yet another debate on world events, and complete strangers hurling abuse over the latest tweet from a serial aggravator. The fervour found in the majority of the western world is akin to a great football rivalry that divides in a similar way but for a shorter period and without the genuine disconnect (unless you live in Glasgow or the states of Queensland and New South Wales). These past few years have certainly seen a line drawn and sides picked. It seems vitally important for us to broadcast what team we barrack for, and let that decision guide our choices in entertainment, sport and culture which seems absurd when I look at it dispassionately. And don’t confuse me for someone with an enlightened outlook because I’ve fallen into this exact trap. I almost let my own ideology ruin my sports fandom this season and I find myself staying well clear of some artists for no reason other than their worldview.
I wonder sometimes what long term damage this will cause to our relationships and as a result started to work on a song last year that dealt with some of my own experiences and other conflicts I’ve witnessed. I love to talk about politics and world events but found myself running away a bit last year from discussions that would inevitably become heated. Not necessarily because I didn’t want to listen to others opinions but because I was scared my own points were blurring my sensibility and antagonising to the point of alienation. It doesn’t help that every day a new controversy seems to raise its ugly head in this twenty-four hour news cycle. There certainly isn’t any shortage of discussion points. I felt my conversations and relationships becoming a shallow husk constantly skirting around topics that would cause offence. As a result there was a very important connection lost along the way. It is so hard to maintain a friendship when all you talk about is the weather. Actually, that can be another point of contention as well so I’ll just go and scratch that out of my notebook of conversational repertoire!
I’d be showing my age and naivety if I thought this was a modern problem. Politics and ideals have been dividing friends and family for millennia and I’d certainly never say that healthy debate is unwelcome. Our species has thrived in this conflict and progressed through the discourse of many ideologies and theories. I am reminded though of our history of division. There have been so many conflicts both past and present that have not only seen strong relationships severed but seen family and friends actively fighting each other for the cause they believe in. Countries such as Northern Ireland who spent much of the 20th century under a shadow of violence and hatred over religion and beliefs on how their country should be governed. Battlegrounds and backstreets of the world are littered with loved ones on both sides of the equation, and it doesn’t take a war to highlight the tragedy of estrangement. Fortunately for most of you reading this today the opposition we face is redeemable and can be solved through hard work and a willingness to understand. However, the current climate seems to be evolving for the worse and my fear is that forces at work may make our relationship fractures more tangible.
It is in this fear of our future and the reminders of the past where I pitched my ideas for this song. This draft is certainly more personal than situational to any one era or “prediction” of what’s to come though I’ve treated it as a kind of thought experiment of my own positions as well. What would my reactions be if a literal and damaging choice had to be made between the ones I love and what I believe in? Sometimes I think it would be much easier to secede my positions and learn to see the world through my significant other’s eyes. It certainly would ease distress. Could I be this malleable? I love history and have read many accounts of this easing of opposition to the detriment and well being of whole groups of people and identities. Wars and genocides may have been avoided through opposition that hadn’t been silenced and neutralised through the fear of a “difficult” life. Sure, I’m being melodramatic and hate to liken my own situation to the same stakes faced in these examples. I just wonder sometimes what I would do, and what should I do in my own present. I’m not sure if what I’ve written down below has answered my own questions. I know I will always feel the pull of my loved ones and do everything in my power to protect and nourish them. Perhaps I need a smarter and more considered approach. We are certainly losing sight currently that the person on the other side of the aisle still feels the same fears as us and faces the same problems. We aren’t so different and except for a select minority, aren’t evil or vindictive. We may be in opposition but we still share a special bond and connection. I hope that I can keep this in mind.
Notes: I’m still not 100% sure if this song is in an order that I’m happy with, I’ve been playing with a few different approaches. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and as always would be more than welcome to connect in any way over the Internet. The main reason for this page is to find people who love to write and create music and share ideas. It’s still a bit foreign getting all personal and I find it hard to communicate these songs without a voice that I’m comfortable with. So please don’t hesitate to contact me, even if it is just to throw shade! I’m always open to jam and love to hear others’ songs and ideas.
Talk soon CB
1. We are blood brothers but people change
in many a different and tragic way.
Some people flee and some may fight;
We failed to see each other’s plight.
2. When we were kids no limits placed,
no deception and lies or demons faced.
It was in you that I’d confide
but now we just clash and can’t decide.
3. We are blood brothers formed of separate parts.
Both seen the world with broken hearts.
Life can be rough and turbulent
the best of youth is quickly spent.
D E F#m D E F#m
C. I’d still bleed for you though on foreign sands and shores.
D E F#m D E A
I know you’d do the same for me just as you’ve done before.
4. Our views can be different, it doesn’t mean we change.
Doesn’t mean that we’re enemies that start a nuclear age.
5. There’s a silence between us but not a sense of hate.
We can bridge this canyon if we just let the bombings abate.
6. But what’s the point of friendships if they fall apart?
If we go our separate ways, if it breaks my heart?
B. ‘Cause now we just curse and scream and kick
from either side like our views cannot be denied.
F#m Bm D
Irrational thoughts are fears that quench our love
and leave us drowned in tears.
7. We’re walking a tight rope of our own design.
Too proud to admit our wrongs, concede or compromise.
8. I guess it’s just nature as our past confides
but I won’t quit, no I won’t hide,
I won’t let my cowardice decide.
Bb C Dm Bb C Dm
C. I’d still bleed for you my friend though we’ve both done wrong.
Bb C Dm Bb C F
They’ll turn our heads if we let them in. Together we are strong.