Three continents, 1999 to 2021

The birth of words, and evolution to a song is a curious affair. So it was for My Old Girl. This is a true story.

In 1999 the songwriter was stuck in a mining town. The continent – Africa. He had lost his job – his boss cooked up a story and served him papers. For months he pored over his Casio keyboard.

Cradled by alcohol, he drifted into melancholy labour. Heaving and pushing, the words for My Old Girl slipped out. He suckled a melody, composed a repeated phrase – the key F major. Looking back, he should have chosen a sadder key.

The song is about a man who meets a woman. They marry, buy a house and have a child. Then the woman dies. We don’t know the reasons. But the man is sad, and remembers his lady.

From where this came, is a mystery. The songwriter was young and unmarried. Neither did he have any memory of losing a loved one.

In the middle of the noughties, the songwriter moved. The continent – Europe. He brought his sheet music, but abandoned his creative desires. Instead he chased pleasure with European beauties and pissed in dirty pub toilets. Carpe diem – when a balding head sprouts hairs, you run your palms through the growth.

But an online explosion of social networks drew him back to the world of music. Navigating through a crowd of millions, he found a singer. Continent – North America.

They conversed, and worked on two songs  – the hammering Running In Love and the dark, horrific Christmas Time.

The final song – My Old Girl.

Kinda sad, remarked the singer.

I hope so, answered the songwriter.

The vocals were recorded. The songwriter accompanied it with piano, a flute, bass and cello. It was a reversal of the heavy production work of the first two songs. This time, the music was stripped down to basic elements.

The result was coupled to a video with a slow-moving image.

The tortoise was met with a paltry 3 views.

 

Stereo Story #582

Shane Pillay

I am from Amsterdam, The Netherlands via South Africa. I collaborate with world artists on projects that include producing animation films, performing music, creating drawings and paintings. My short stories have been published by multiple journals, including Hawaii Pacific Review and Nthanda Review. My horror novella, The Knocking, will be published by indie publisher Alban Publishing.