This track began life as a simple love song but soon became a lot more complex and serious. I think it was the line "our time on Earth is not for us to tell" which first hinted to me that something darker and deeper was going on. As the lyrics developed they dragged in references to Wordsworth's "Intimations of Mortality" and to Tolkien's "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." spoken by Gandalf in "The Fellowship of the Ring". I have paraphrased that line in the chorus as "But the one thing that we choose is what to do with all our time" as it sings better.
In the lengthy coda there are also nods to the Greek Orpheus and Eurydice legend, to Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld, the Wizard of Earthsea novels of Ursula le Guin and to Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle".
I decided that the arrangement would need a 1970s prog rock feel and especially Genesis of the "...and then were three..." era. So I have used a Mike Rutherfordian guitar line (played on a heavily processed Fender Strat with multiple echoes), a Quadra Pro synth lead, an instrument much used by Tony Banks at the time, some Korg Trinity pad sounds, deep Moog Taurus bass pedals and, of course, VERY LOUD Phil Collins drums with his signature gated snare sound and (in the coda) a full set of octobans (high pitched tube tom-toms). I also used some industrial percussion sounds mixed into the drum track to give it a more complex texture.
Inevitably, Richard Burton puts in an appearance in the coda reading "Do Not Go Gentle" and I quite liked the idea of it going on in the background, only faintly heard, until the last verse appears over the dying chords of the song. It's a little like the way in which lines from King Lear are heard at the end of "I Am the Walrus".
For the video I have used scenes from Jean Cocteau's "Orphée" and tried to match some of the special effects used in that masterpiece. I still have no idea how the "falling-sideways" effect was achieved - remember that this was made in 1949, long before CGI and green screen were invented.
Once again I am indebted to Cavan and Mark for suggesting tweaks to the final mix, including cranking up the kick drum and pushing the synth solo more into the background.
So there it is, the ninth track for my "Up on the Downs" CD and there are lots of contenders waiting in the wings to be the tenth and final track.