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Hidden Agendas

Posted by Simon Parke, 23 July 2019, 5.55am

Martin and I were friends at school.

He was a very good musician, with a wonderful gift on the piano. And I probably wanted to be Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s lyricist.

So aged sixteen we began to collaborate on songs and I learned that there’s nothing quite like the joy of hearing a lyric of yours put to music.

Oh, and how the music strengthens the words to the power of a hundred.

As Bernie Taupin himself once wrote in a song about this moment, ‘Something happens - it’s so strange this feeling.’

When school was over, and we were duly qualified for nothing, we went our separate ways; but I kept writing lyrics and bunging them in the post to Martin. (Do you remember the post? We were still using slide rulers as well.)

I wrote many songs between the ages of 19 – 22 and then let them be. We do something; and then we stop doing it, drawn elsewhere by life.

Fast forward fifteen or so years and those songs become an album called Hidden Agendas.

I am by this time a vicar in London and Martin, a music teacher in Newcastle. We didn’t meet often for tea.

The good news for me, and may be for you, is that these very songs are now available on Itunes, Spotify and Youtube, whatever your taste and your fancy.

This is a link to CD Baby Store, where you can listen and get a sense of them….

(Or, if this doesn’t work, just put Hidden Agendas Parke Hoile in your search engine. You’ll get there.)

It is strange listening to words written forty years ago, when I hadn’t lived very much.

Though it’s possible I knew everything then, and the rest of my life has simply been a commentary on those truths.

This, I sense, is true.

Here’s a taster, ‘Circle of Love’, something upbeat, good for Monday mornings… via youtube.

Though ‘One Day’ feels particularly topical.

I’m now remembering that great (and unintentionally funny) line in a music review: ‘Lyric writers - the unsung heroes of our generation.’

Over to you.

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