All You Leave Behind

cover art for Bransby - All You Leave Behind - it shows a beautiful sunset on a calm Welsh beach

I've decided to start saying more about the songs I write because, well, why not? My next release is called All You Leave Behind, it'll be available on this site and on Bandcamp very soon, then on general release on all streaming services from 24th Nov, but what's it all about eh? Well I'll tell you.

This song came out of an event at Chester's arts venue, Storyhouse. The event was Childless, which looks at people's experiences of not having children. My partner, Dawn, and I are childless by choice, we're regulars at Storyhouse so became involved with this too. Dawn does an awful lot, I just turn up and try to be useful.

I was asked to appear on the men's panel. I'd done this the previous year, and it's a strange experience. Many people at the event are childless not by choice and there are a lot of very raw and painful emotions experienced around the subject and at the event. My experience of childlessness is very different, I chose to not have kids and it's a decision I'm very happy with, my experience of childlessness is an unequivocally positive one. It can be difficult to negotiate telling my story and describing my experience amidst people whose experience is very different and whose sense of pain and loss is very real. I try to be as sensitive and understanding as I can whilst also recognising that my experience and perspective are legitimate.

This year the men's panel discussed creativity and legacy. All three members of the panel have creative outlets that are important to them. Robert Nurden is an author, Andy Harrod is an academic and poet, and I write songs. During our discussions we touched on the idea that the act of creation leaves a legacy. Where some people leave children behind when they die, others leave creative works. It's one way of looking at it and one that I hold quite dear.

The act of creation is extremely important to me. I write songs because I feel that creating something beautiful makes the world a better place. If that sounds grandiose or arrogant, please bear with me. I am well aware that I don't have a big audience and that my songs don't change the world. That's not what I mean. The act of creation on its purist level means to make something that wasn't there before. That happens every time someone writes a poem, or paints a picture, or writes a song, any creative act - something exists where previously it didn't. I write songs that move me, that make me feel something, that I find beautiful. It doesn't matter if anyone else feels that about them, or has the same experience listening to them. I'd like it if they did, but fundamentally, if I find beauty in what I create then I have created something beautiful, and the universe is a slightly better place because of that.

That's why I write songs, and that's what I leave behind, that's my legacy.

I thought about that whilst writing this song, but you'll probably tell that the lyrics went somewhere slightly different. The lyrics of this song, the meaning of this song, is not about how great it is to be creative and leave creative works behind. It's about more than that, but you can decide what it means for you. I'm just really pleased to get "the heat death of the universe" into a song. The lyrics are below. The song will follow shortly.

All You Leave Behind

Your wallet, watch and mobile phone
All things you left behind at home
This morning

Your umbrella and house keys,
A scent, a sense, some memories
Your calling

Some words, some notes, some DNA
Are gone tomorrow but you are here today

And all you have is all you need
And all you leave behind are memories

Some sketching of forgotten verse,
The heat death of the universe
Behind you

The thoughts and prayers of one who cares
The voice that comes from up the stairs
Will find you

And all you have is all you need
And all you leave behind are memories

You cannot take it with you
And like all who've gone before you
You will make of it what you will
And your legacy is still forgotten dreams

The things we make are not to be
This life is temporary
And your legacy is all just memories

All you leave behind are memories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *