(A Song About How Little I Know About) Aethelred the Unready

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« on: July 11, 2021, 01:02:46 PM »
Hello forum friends,
This is not my usual kind of output, but I'm trying to experiment a bit and keep up some momentum on songwriting again.
This is a short, simple, slow track called "(A Song About How Little I Know About) Aethelred the Unready".
For the non-Brits, Aethelred was a not-particularly well known English King from about 1000 years ago.  For some reason I was thinking about his name the other day and realised I have no idea why he is called "the Unready"... his nickname is all I know about him, and it felt kinda harsh  that he's been labelled that way, when we have other Kings called things like "Richard the Lionheart", "William the Conqueror", or "Alfred the Great".  He must be really bummed out to be called "The Unready".  And that got me thinking about how history might remember us for our bad days... for misjudged tweets or things we did in our youths, that we might never live down.
Well, any song that needs that much explanation is probably way too contrived!  But any comments welcome.
Ta v much

Oh King Aethelred did you have a bad day? When history anointed you with that sobriquet
Did you sleep in a little late?  Take too long to gel your hair?
Maybe misread the invite, but posterity's a bitch and just don't care.
Among the lionhearts, the conquerors and greats
Aethelred forever runs a little late.

Some fall between the cogs of time and some must bear the pain
Of a thousand years of labels with no chance to explain.
So will we be remembered, if remembered ever
For the days we let the side down not the days we managed to keep it all together?
Among the lionhearts, the conquerors and greats
Aethelred forever runs a little late.
It's all too beautiful.

The Holographic Rodeo

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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2021, 03:48:09 PM »
Im a Brit and I hadn’t heard of King Aethelread.. you learn something new every day :). Good on you for trying something different. I can’t think of a point-of-reference track I can liken this one too - but it did keep me interested throughout. The highlight for me was the uptick with the drums and extra instrumentation and the change in vocal sound that came in with the second verse. Wondered if it may benefit from some additional instrument or sounds coming in on the ‘among the lion hearts’ bit of the first verse to add to the buildup. Mix seemed clear, bright and polished throughout. Good one!


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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2021, 07:54:30 PM »
Hola @PaulyX

I will never go to bed without knowing something else ... It's great!

I really liked your adventure, I love the lyrics and your way of singing it in a style that takes us back to that time.
We also had a king named "El Rey Pasmado" King Astonished hahaha
Going back to your song, it has a strange harmony, an inner movement with a life of its own.

From approx 1'20 comes a change that I love! The only thing that I want comment to you is the I find the level of the voice too high, at least  in my headphones.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 11:17:33 AM by moraamarolaloba »
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2021, 09:38:27 AM »
this is new for you
I'm all for trying new things

this song isn't a grower on me
but keep stretching
It's either this or that, then again it might be the other. 

I can promise you a future of slow decline.

And there you have it. 




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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2021, 12:56:06 PM »
Hi @PaulyX nice to hear you experimenting. Love the title and the lyrics - very clever IMO.
The song is nicely understated with that low vocal and sombre backing.
Very creative and well delivered. :D


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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 06:27:20 PM »
Hi Paul,

Well, I never thought I'd stumble across Æthelred's path again.
Takes me right back to my days studying Anglo-Saxon history in King Alfred's backyard (Winchester).
Who would have thought he would have been immortalised in a 21st century song. :D
Let's face it - those who have now heard his name are unlikely to forget it.

Love that drum tone, and the slightly exotic twist half way through. It does have a sort of modern-meets medieval lilt to it.
Sort of like when Golden Years sparks up in Knight's Tale.


man made material

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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2021, 10:23:20 AM »
@PaulyX  this is a really different and interesting topic to tackle… I just love the lyrics, brilliantly written with a great sense of humour, really like the idea of this ancient king gelling his hair! Really really enjoyable. I also really like the way you’ve treated the percussion in this, old sounds but really clipped, makes me think of Art of Noise in some way…. Really clever and innovative👌
Sound formed in a vacuum may seem a waste of time...


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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 05:14:37 PM »
@PaulyX - He wasn't the only "The Unready" - he obviously knew my daughter, shes never on time... I remember my Nana talking about him, never thought I get to hear song about him, Love that varying vibrato Gtr, just love it, also the movement from minor to major into the Verse.

Who can forget the tension at the Battle of Maldon, a bad gig for him having to bow to that old rascal Sweyn the Forkbeard (Whatever happened to Monachs with "The" something or other after their name - such as Edward The Confessor - What did he confess to? do you think that's wise Edward?)

Anyway, Loved the idea of the song, might work with a another LVox track on V2... very clever Paul The X...just listened again and I can imagine a far away heavy guitar (maybe an eBow -as much as I detest them) interlude followed by V2 reprise, retaining the gtrs, but hey, that's a just a disposable idea...


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« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 10:49:52 AM by cowparsleyman »


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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2021, 11:22:25 PM »
Very interesting lyrics @PaulyX - I always love being drawn into a new theme and story.. Love it when the drums take off.. Wow you've got some deep notes going on there with the vocal - love that! Impressive ...

Love listening to songs that make me think, both lyrically and musically in this case..

Nice work, sir!

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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2021, 07:57:44 PM »
Original drums. The vocals are well recorded. You have a unique style!



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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2021, 12:20:33 AM »
This is great. It kind of reminds me of early Pink Floyd in a way, though the lyrics make a lot more sense! No crits from me. This is a clever song and very memorable. I feel that it could be used in some way as part of a film or TV drama. I really enjoyed it. :)


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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2021, 05:55:56 AM »
Interesting piece. I'm sure King Aethelred is appreciating the empathy.
Love how you found the idea for this. Very creative!!
"I know the truth, by my struggle against it"


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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2021, 10:40:02 PM »
Thanks so much Holograhic Rodeo, Mora, Rightly, Paulski, Digger, MMM, CPM, MonnoDB, Maya, Chris and IronKnee for the comments on this little oddity, it's much appreciated, and the suggestions make good sense.  Ta.
Some people commented on the drums.  They were a sample from a CD I've got of Japanese Kodo drummers (those dudes in the loin cloths with those massive drums they hit with baseball bats).
@rightly yeah thanks for the honesty.  I agree, it's not a grower.  What's the opposite of a grower... a shrinker?  It's a shrinker.  :-)
It's all too beautiful.