In his quiet place, Mundy is struggling to write a song. He searches in vain for that spark of inspiration that other songwriters say that they get sometimes. Not just any song will do, though. Mundy wants to write one of those ‘name songs’, maybe not a person’s name but something that a lot of people will recognise instantly. He wants it to be one of those radio-friendly songs, something that’s catchy, that people can sing along with from the first time they hear it. One of those infectious songs that people have trouble getting out of their heads, no matter how hard they try. Mundy knows exactly what he wants the song to be, yet he’s finding it difficult to start writing. Truth is, he’s got nothing. No ideas. No starting point. Just notions of potential rewards for the unknown end product. He’s worked out a bit of a melody on his guitar, alright, but it’s no use without lyrics to match.
Mundy leaves his quiet place in search of songwriting inspiration. It’s a glorious Summer day. Clear blue sky with not so much as a speckle of cloud, only clear sunshine combined with a light, cooling breeze for a pleasant warmth. Crowds of people are out and about to enjoy the fine weather. Mundy walks to a nearby park with a pen and blank notepad handy, just in case an idea takes shape. He sits on a bench and takes in his surroundings. He performs some breathing exercises, even spends a few moments in peaceful meditation. He examines the conscious and unconscious and subconscious of his mind, gently probing for that elusive idea, that burst of creativity.
Some time passes.
Mundy twiddles the pen between his fingers, aware that his pen and notepad seem more like props to appear like a writer than useful tools. He’s got to break through this. Mundy looks around the park, observing the other people there and the things they’re doing. “That’s it,” he thinks, “a little writing exercise to get started.” Mundy narrates whatever he sees around him, jotting down little notes to match:
The smell of fresh cut grass… blue sky… people smiling… women passing by… women sitting in groups… women removing any layers in the heat…
Mundy writes it all down, as he sees it happening around him with no filter whatsoever, no reflex to critique anything he’s writing. “This is good,” he tells himself, “no filter, no editing, all of that can wait…” Nearby, a small dog barks as a homeless man, drinking from a 2 litre bottle of Linden Village, walks too close to both dog and owner; the owner stretched out asleep on a bench. So, Mundy writes that down:
And a mongrel begins to bark
At a wino in the park
And his owner doesn’t care
’cause he really isn’t there.
Without intending for it to happen, the notes already rhyme. Mundy is writing on auto-pilot and he’s delighted to find it’s happening so naturally for him. He lets his mind wander from the task, however, staring at a group of young women as they sunbathe. He’d like to lie down himself, but that would involve moving; a thing he cannot do because of an awkward erection he’s gotten from staring at the same young women. Mundy snaps out of it, but not without converting this brief distraction into some lyrics:
I can’t lie on my pocket trout
So I sit back in the easy chair
Mundy reads this back to himself and is satisfied that ‘pocket trout’ is an obscure-enough reference to a penis to work as song lyrics. Looking up from the notepad, he notices that a woman now sits on the other end of the same bench, reading a book. Beside her is a baby buggy and Mundy sees the little infant within stretch one hand to strike at musical toys suspended above the buggy. He casts a sideways glance at the woman and decides she’s in her forties. No doubt about it, woman and baby are getting added to the song lyrics, whether they like it or not:
And a woman of middle age
Licks and thumbs another page
And a baby sucks it’s thumb
To the sound of a steel drum
Mundy reads through what he has written down so far and, feeling an overwhelming sense of laziness, decides that it’ll probably do. Barely an afternoon of what might be called work and he has the lyrics down for his catchy little summer tune. Mundy sits back and smiles. He can already begin to plan for those sweet, sweet royalty cheques. “It’s a piece of piss, this song-writing lark,” he tells himself…
Wait… no title or chorus. What can he do for a chorus? Mundy shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders. He’s over this. He really can’t be arsed anymore. At the top of the page, he’s written the date but he strikes through the numbers for day and year, leaving only the name of the month behind. “That’s it!” he realises with glee. A month as the song title, that’s the kind of instant recognition Mundy wants. Better yet, he can make it the chorus as well. As he walks out of the park, Mundy recalls the melody that he already composed and sings the chorus to that tune:
“Oh-ma-ma-ma, Oh-ma-ma-ma, Oh-ma-ma-ma-my, July…”