M62 Lyric Blog

This is one of those songs that doesn’t really need a lyric blog because it lives in the Baked Bean aisle of Asda. I mean it is pretty basic – about four chords, quite a relaxed soundscape and an easy narrative without any peculiarity… but this was still a real challenge for us because we had to fight the urge to complicate it.

When I first played the song to Mickey he liked the riff but didn’t really get the chorus lyric “as I ride across the M62 to get to you”. I had originally just written it with an acoustic and that line popped into my head because I liked the way the t’s rumbled into each other – the phrasing was quite nice. It was only after I explained to him the story of the song that he like it – person A gets up and travels to see person B, but upon arrival person A realises person B has done the same thing and so the journey has been fruitless. Alongside the idea of mentioning the towns and landmarks of the M62 along the way, he thought it was a good one to work on.

It took a while to finish the lyrics as there is so much going on round and about this road – I wanted something that was accurate in geographical order but also reflected aspects of that journey and those towns and cities. I had to reject lots of lines about the isolated farm, Milnrow, Shaw, Rochdale etc etc.

As you can imagine we have played many gigs over the years around the M62 and have travelled that road so many times – in summer, winter, autumn, spring; at day and night; in good times for the band and bad, plus we have an affinity with many of these places – the amazing people of Merseyside who remind us of home; the crowds and diverse audiences of Manchester who at first used to scare us with their apparent “we are Mancunian, what can you give us that we haven’t already seen” attitude (that we subsequently learnt was just pride in their amazingly creative city); Club NME in Oldham to 4 people; our two gigs in Huddersfield; discovering Bingley live; Leeds – possibly the best crowds in the UK; house parties in Pontefract; driving past the Goole water tower on the way to Hull with its cracking bridge (I love a good bridge), Howard Nicklas and venues like The Welly and Fruit.

We have spent a lot of time on this road and it is in a way a homage to our travels and maybe a bit of a love song for this stretch of Northern England – it’s proud, hard working, beautiful (in both an urban and rural sense), has true heritage but also dynamism.

In terms of recording it we based a lot of it on the sound of the demo, keeping the original acoustic guitar as the base – it had such a good vibe to it that we didn’t want to lose. As a template we used George Michael Faith, which is such a great sounding song – and ridiculously confident in its application of tone and parts. I don’t think the idea was to get near it sonically but just to use its overall energy to capture something of our own.

So it really is just a simple bash – I was a bit worried at first that it wasn’t very “Little Comets” – it doesn’t really say anything about anything, but then I really told myself off for thinking that way. I mean it is just a song that we liked, recorded and shared with people. The simplicity of this statement is really what drove us before Little Comets, during Little Comets and will continue to sustain us long after it has gone.

 

Lyrics

Wake up Bootle and out my gate
I clear Huyton by half past eight
Ignore the war in Warrington
I’m up early to see my woman

Kiss the rains of Manchester
She’s the city that I prefer
Oldham looms like an older brother
I want Bury to be my lover

As I ride across the M62 to get to you
Coming right across the M62 to get to you

Speed past fields and abandoned mills
As Halifax peaks through the hills
I want you to be my human shield
But just like Huddersfield you won’t yield

As I ride across the M62 to get to you
Coming right across the M62 to get to you

Liverpool to Hull
Never seems to get that dull
As I ride across the M62 to get to you
Coming right across the M62 to get to you

Steam through Goole and the water tower
I’ll be at yours in half an hour
But under Humber I get your text
Telling me that you feel vexed

Because I’m hers and she’s at mine
A one-way ticket but I’m not buying

And so it’s back across the M62 to get to you
I’m coming back across the M62 to get to you
Coming back across the M62
The trucks, the lines, the lights
The boys in blue
I’m coming back across the M62 to get to you.

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