A Child of the Library, revised

Written by Piers Cawley on

Here’s a revised version of A Child of the Library.

Here’s a revised version of A Child of the Library.

Whenever I learn a new song, there’s a period of making it “mine”. This happens as I sing it out to different audiences and find out which bits work, which bits are hard to sing and all the other little details that you only find out when there’s a living, breathing, listening and (hopefully) singing audience in front of you.

It turns out that the same things happens with songs I’ve written.

The biggest stumbling block of the original version is the last line of the first verse:

My wife met Pippi Langstumpf, I met Paddington the Bear

Someone on the comment thread suggested:

Heidi, Pippi Longstocking and Paddington the Bear

Which is fine, except that means singing ‘PIPpi LONGstockING’, and I’m not happy with putting the emphasis on the WRONG sylLABles if I can possibly help it. In the revised version, I think I’ve cracked it. The line is now:

The daughter of a pirate king and Paddington the bear

Which is much easier to sing and follows the rest of the verse by being a more oblique reference to the character. If you know who Pippi is, then it’s obvious who I’m singing about. If you don’t, then maybe I’ve piqued your curiosity.

The first recording also had two slightly different tunes for the verses, this version has settled on just the one.

And, for people who care about that sort of thing, this was recorded with a click track at 110bpm rather than speeding up over the course of the song, which should make life a little easier for anyone taking part in Rabid Gravy’s project to remix and rerecord different versions of the song.

If you’re concerned about Library closures, a good place to start is Voices for the Library. If you’re on twitter, you might also start following @ukpling. If you’re not concerned about library closures, why on earth did you read this far, and what kind of excuse for a human being are you?

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