Why do I feel compelled to sing & write songs? – A guest blog from Dan Whitehouse

October 24, 2011

This is the second guest blog post and it is written by a wonderful singer songwriter from Birmingham called Dan Whitehouse. His debut album is out now and it is brilliant. Please have a look at his website (http://www.dan-whitehouse.com/) and buy his album from the link at the bottom of this post. A big thank you to Dan for writing this very, very interesting blog post…

This is a diary entry I wrote in 2004. I’d recently been dumped (by a musician partner, not a lover) and perhaps I was looking for an explanation, didn’t see it that way at the time though! It was a Sunday afternoon in November, sat on a bench in covent garden. I was really hungover but it was one of those good ones, where in addition to the sandpaper tongue / piercing headache / intermittent retching you actually feel enlightened, a good blow out. I was feeling quite tender (emotionally and physically!) and wanted to make sense of the stuff spinning round my head, to find a reason why someone I had trusted and expected so much from had up and left, without warning. Having a good writing session really cleared my mind, and I felt so happy and excited I even began to find answers for other questions hanging around my neck, like why do I feel compelled to sing & write songs?

Then the answer came. Hurrah. So chuffed. Some weeks later I bought an A1 size piece of yellow card and copied this paragraph out in HUGE letters and stuck it to my wall, I remember being so pleased with myself, convinced I’d worked out my own little meaning of life. In the years that have passed it’s remained relevant to me, so I stuck a bit of it inside my album sleeve. Been a little worried folks won’t understand the fragment I stuck in the album, so here it is in full:

Sometimes, I understand you.
 
We don’t know each other. We think we do, but how can we when the information inside our heads is hidden, by a lot of flesh, bone and expression. There are some holes in the face of course and these reveal a little. When Tim Booth sings “sometimes when I look deep into your eyes I swear I can see your soul” the key word for me is ‘sometimes’. Sometimes thoughts get mixed up, or misunderstood. You may have communicated with someone and just them mouthing words, making sounds – this act alone has made you really upset or angry or whatever…we are all compassionate. We hold each other in the communal cradle of our actions, of our words too, and of course (the fun bit in my opinion) our expression.
 
Dan Whitehouse. Sunday November 21st, 2004