Updated: Aug 25
“Reproduction is our means of creation
Never ceasing to amaze and delight….”
The birth of my daughter was the most momentous happening in my life. She has, thankfully, grown into a beautiful young person and I am very proud of her. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to become a parent – one I undertook relatively late in life. I nearly missed out.
The subject is touched upon throughout “The Unknown”, most notably in the first two lines but also in more subtle instances later on. I like the references to “folic acid” and “a wash on the line”. Once the reproductive deed has been done, us fathers have a chance to take on that supporting role of, amongst other things, ensuring mother’s proper nutrition.
I made a point of making meals with lots of broccoli on the side. I took repeated trips to the chemist’s for supplies of folic acid and iron tablets. We bought a juicer, so that mother could have a regular intake of healthy fruit and veg drinks, with broccoli to the fore once again. This may explain why my daughter has been quite happy to eat broccoli from a young age, seeing as she got plenty of it while floating around in the womb.
Support also took the form of increasing the frequency of domestic chores, such as cooking, cleaning and admittedly crappy DIY. I’m as useful with a screwdriver as a polar bear using a calculator. I can paint a sanded bit of wood. I can assemble the odd Ikea cabinet, but only after scratching, cutting or stabbing myself and turning the f**king air blue in frustration. None of that stuff is ever straightforward.
The other activity I was able to be useful at involved talking directly into mother’s belly. I guess this is something couples could engage in without the presence of a baby beneath the skin, but having a conversation with your partner’s ulcer, kidneys or fibroids wouldn’t necessarily have the same resonance. I spoke to my unborn baby on a regular basis, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy, having learnt that the child might then be able to recognise my voice more easily once out and about. Apparently, newborns like the sound of vacuum cleaners or washing machines as they mimic some of the sounds they hear while in the womb. Startling.
I’m still amazed at how we reproduce. So amazed in fact, I wanted to include some sly cosmic references in the lyric, to put a “bigger picture” spin on the process showing how fantastical and random it all is, in this vast universe we inhabit. So…..there’s a “black hole” in the middle eight and a mention of “saving the world”. Eric Idle’s “Galaxy Song” for Monty Python is one of my favourites. It’s funny but, to me, extremely profound, despite the fact that Professor Brian Cox has said much of the physics in the lyric should now be revised as the research has moved on….Churlish.
The guitars are generally aggressive on the track, with my Sustainiac in the Strat being flicked in and out where appropriate – note the long note at the very end, which overlays the electric piano flourish.