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Songwriter Forum => The Writing Process => Topic started by: PaulAds on December 30, 2018, 06:04:07 AM

Title: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: PaulAds on December 30, 2018, 06:04:07 AM
I didn't think I'd ever post this...but I thought I could sneak it in here almost's a song from February, but seeing as I'm feeling rather melancholy about the whole songwriting thing and after hearing a few very confident songs...I decided to "show my arse in Fenwick's window" as we say in Newcastle.

You know that look of disappointment that people accidentally give you? The one they hope you didn't notice? You know how everyone pinned their hopes on somebody else and they only allowed you to pull your boots on when their preferred options had let them down?

I wrote this whilst driving my works van. The words and the tune just came to me, so when I got home, I grabbed a guitar and did it there and then in one go. I didn't have a chorus or a middle eight or anything and I could have played and sang it better too but I didn't think it mattered. After's a song about people being unimpressed with you. No point trying to make it excellent.

Imagine My Surprise

Imagine my surprise
When I looked into your eyes
And saw what you want to see
And it didn’t look like me
Though I appreciate your efforts to disguise

It’s like seeing some old friend
I hoped I’d never see again
I don’t know him anymore
I keep showing him the door
But i know that he’ll be with me til the end

Recriminations now commence
but I’ll say this in my defence
it was my name that was missed
off everybody’s list
until we were overtaken by events...

I find listening to this a bit uncomfortable. I always switch it off when I hear it.

I imagined it to be like an epilogue for an album...a sort of out-take that had to be included to fulfil ones contractual obligation to deliver 12 songs or something...and that's where it ended the end of my latest album "More Tunes,Vicar?"

Like when the guy on the BBC reminded you to turn off your telly after the late night film and the national anthem...
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: CaliaMoko on December 30, 2018, 06:39:43 AM
I think a lot of people feel this way and hide it. It's a perfect song for a melancholy mood. And I say, if you (or anyone me, for instance) isn't what "they" were wanting, that's just their tough luck, isn't it? I have a LOT to say on this subject, but this is not the place.... :P
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: MonnoDB on January 01, 2019, 08:48:36 PM
Why is this hiding in here @PaulAds (;u=20253) ? It's raw and it comes across as heartfelt and honest. And I really like it for that and I am glad that I happened upon it, a little gem tucked in here out of the way!

Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: tboswell on January 04, 2019, 08:19:24 PM
I think we all feel this way rather more often than we'd like to let on @PaulAds (;u=20253). I'm pretty luck in love these days but still feel it musically all the time when I play things to people, you pour your time and heart in and people seem to give it half a listen at best and a bit of shrug!

I think your song is a beautiful and poignant thing and I'm really glad we got to hear it  :)
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: Skub on January 05, 2019, 03:49:48 AM
@PaulAds (;u=20253)

Yo Paul...purely commenting on your songwriting.  ;)

Ya recall your song,'So Haunt Me'? The thing I remember about that is how you wrote it years ago and you thought it a bit immature lyrically.

I love it and it has left a lasting impression on me. I hugely enjoyed covering it. Of all the songs I've written and recorded the last few years,I wish with all my heart I could claim that song as my own. It's complete and needs nothing.

Playing our songs to others is painful when you are unknown. Folk measure a song by commercial success and are inclined to dismiss anything else. This hurts.
My wife of 38 years has never heard my songs,has no interest in my songs and views it all as a silly man hobby. I must get over that.

We all must find a place of self belief,a confidence in what we do,regardless of opinion. This is not a recipe for commercial success,just faith in ourselves to write and carry a song.

I need this as an outlet,I need it for my mental well being,so I can not afford to be cowed or swayed by non constructive or offhand dismissal.

This is my bedrock and my anchor.

Your songs have and will continue to leave a mark,Paul. Believe my brother.  :)
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: pompeyjazz on January 05, 2019, 04:14:52 AM
It's an absolutely brilliant brutally honest song @PaulAds (;u=20253) . You've laid your heart on the line which for a songwriter is perhaps the most daunting thing to do. I haven't got all the way there yet but I think that self expression opens up a new dimension. Shit, this is a song that I related to immediately. I'm going to agree with Davy on the comments regarding self expression. My songs are listened to by very few people but that kinda makes me more inspired to write some more stuff.  Your songs are always heartfelt, genuine, clever and full of real world stuff and that's what I personally like to listen to  :)
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: PaulAds on January 06, 2019, 04:08:57 PM
Aw...thanks, folks! You're all very kind. I really appreciate you visiting this dusty corner of the forum and taking the time to indulge me in my self-inflicted mini-mope  ;D

Lovely sentiments from you all which really means a lot to me.

Oddly enough...I think that I've sort of stumbled into something I really like where I could post a song that is maybe too much its own thing to want to get involved in the swirling cauldron that is the "finished songs" section...

Thanks again!

Ps I'm ok y'know. I'm always ok. Realistic...but ok!
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: adamfarr on January 07, 2019, 11:39:53 PM
Uncomfortable, maybe, but in life as in songwriting, I think a lot of us are right there. I once went on social media and admitted to being less than 100% confident and rosy, what a mistake that was.

I've had quite a few of those looks and more or less covert whispers. So much so that most of last year I produced nothing musical (on the basis that I was convinced I wasn't capable of producing anything musical). You may remember my self-censorship issue as well...

I've got to the stage of not caring (temporarily). I also get the thing about the "Finished Songs". The expression and creation should be (and are) the reward in themselves; but sometimes communicating something to even one other person may - unbeknown to the creator - go beyond that.

Thanks for putting this up after all this time - I think it is a proof of the value of this place and how different it can be from most of the internet.
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: pompeyjazz on January 08, 2019, 04:23:56 AM
You keep going @adamfarr (;u=20124) You are a huge talent that deserves to be heard. I think that probably the majority of us guys on here have been where you have been. It's a thankless business and whatever we produce it's almost like we're novelty acts with a harmless hobby that occupies more of our time than it should do. I do post some of my stuff on social media but I can guarantee you that I would get zillions more responses if I posted a picture of my dogs (I've tried it !) Unfortunately that world is generally a bag of (rude word that rhymes with tank). I love this forum (most of the time) as I've met some wonderful people who have encouraged me and if they hadn't I would have given up long, long ago. Never give up man  :)
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: adamfarr on January 08, 2019, 02:45:03 PM
Thanks @pompeyjazz (;u=20269) - was really intended to express my appreciation of @PaulAds (;u=20253) 's post but came out as a rant about my personal feelings. But then if Mrs @Skub (;u=20061) thinks she is dealing with a silly man hobby I don't even want to think where the rest of us stand...
The proportion of awesome people on this forum is spectacularly high.
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: Wicked Deeds on January 08, 2019, 04:42:08 PM
@PaulAds (;u=20253),

This is a great song my friend.  It was easy for me to relate to. I'd say it speaks to many people. It's a cliche to say, but life, really is a rich tapestry of experiences both good and bad.  The bad ones can impact upon our life so deeply and leave us experiencing that melancholy feeling.  As much as it is uncomfortable, that feeling Leaves is in the perfect place to connect with our emotions and communicate with others on a deep level. 

The lyrics are heartfelt, the melody, instantly catchy and I recognise this as a song from a confident and able writer.  It is an ideal album closer that invites the listener to connect with their feelings, whilst also inviting them to listen to the album again. It leaves a lasting impression.

it's great to hear a fellow Northeastern musician in fine writing form.  I really should catch up with you over the summertime when I am visiting my home town of Hartlepool. I'm there quite often.

Keep your chin up fella!

Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: PaulAds on January 11, 2019, 12:21:24 AM
Thank you, @adamfarr (;u=20124) ! I always make a point of checking up whenever you post anything...your songs are always full of super, thoughtful and clever stuff...and your comments are too. I have a bit of an idea for that collaboration I threatened you with a while back, if you still fancy trying something?

And a big thank you as well, Paul @Wicked Deeds (;u=19231) very kind of you! It’d be great to meet for a coffee, an ice-cream and a chat sometime...Hartlepool is not if an opportunity presents itself, feel free to drop me a line...that’d be cool  8) Especially round here in the summer  ::)

I’ve written quite a lot of songs since I joined the forum that I’ve never posted...might be nice to have a place to share them around if others have too. A kind of Forum Borstal where all the waifs, strays and ugly ducklings get dumped!
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: adamfarr on January 11, 2019, 04:23:04 PM
@PaulAds (;u=20253) you're on, I'll send you a PM. Best get in there before FAWM fever kicks in...
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: shadowfax on January 12, 2019, 09:50:05 PM
You shouldn't be feeling down about your songwriting talent Paul mate...if Tim Rice disappeared tomorrow you could fill his shoes easily...I'd love a tenth of your lyrical skill....

best Kevin. :)
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: MartynRich on April 09, 2019, 10:27:55 PM
Just goes to show what gems you can find when you go looking around the forum. Paul, this is superb. I won´t trash out a load of soppy adjectives just because it´s a heartfelt, emotional, from-the-gut, kick-ass song (oops). Don´t hide stuff though. I´m pretty crap at relationships so I get disappointed looks, arguments and swear words all the time...I´m just surprised I´m still with my partner. What is nice is to hear a song that sums it up so eloquently.

As for confidence with songwriting, I´ve found the whole process a lot easier and a million more times creative since I stopped giving a f*** what people think. If they don´t like it they can move on.
Title: Re: Imagine My Surprise
Post by: Jamie on February 29, 2020, 04:35:35 PM
@PaulAds (;u=20253) Hi Paul, I don't think I was around the forum when you posted this, so better late than never.........

I think most people can relate to this which makes it a 'universal' theme. When you get a job, was it because the best candidate turned it down, did you get a girlfriend/partner because the first choice wasn't available,etc etc. Who hasn't been there. Also, on the songwriting thing, unless you are a musician, and I use that term loosely in my case :P, people have no idea of the skill,effort and energy that goes into doing what we do, and when you get a less than effusive response to a song it's pretty disheartening, a bit like saying to somebody that there baby was ugly.Always enjoy your stuff Paul, keep on keeping on, as they used to say...........