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The Saturday Morning Story

One of my favourites from the Sweetener album, the song “Saturday Morning” came about when a friend of mine bemoaned a lack of “cheerful” songs in my repertoire. Cheeky git, I thought. This was about nine years ago now. Perhaps the live set lists I was putting together then consisted of material that came across as a mite too “worthy”, or something……I don’t remember consciously aiming to become another Woody Guthrie. However, the constructive criticism concentrated my mind and I began to contemplate potentially cheerful subjects that I could burst into song about (God help me……).

When I was a kid, I lived for Saturdays. Getting home from school on a Friday afternoon was about the best feeling in the world, as the anticipation of the weekend was, truth be told, often better than the weekend itself. But anyway, my average Saturday would begin with a trip into school to play a football match that our talented junior 11 would invariably win……Then, I’d journey home to find the telly on already, for either the BBC’s “Football Preview” or ITV’s “On The Ball” if I was late. Meanwhile, my Mother would be marshalling a massive pressure cooker, half filled with a mix of chicken, vegetables and her mysteriously gorgeous stock. This homemade soup heaven, combined with a selection of bulbous, buttered, crusty cobs, was dinner for Dad and I before the pair of us would head off to Anfield for Liverpool FC’s afternoon exhibition against some unfortunate, lesser football team. We’d stand with a bunch of my Dad’s mates near the back right hand side of the Anfield Road end – yes, the away end in those days, before football crowds were segregated – and I would be placed in front of one of the crash barriers, stood on a foldaway stool Dad had made himself especially for this purpose. My attachment to Liverpool Football Club was bred into me on those exhilarating days and, unlike orthodox religion, I’ve never shaken it free. Once we’d witnessed another Reds victory, we’d shuffle out with the hordes and I’d accompany Father to the Hermitage Tavern for his after-match pint of best. Suitably refreshed, he’d march me home to catch the end of Basil Brush, tea while Doctor Who was on and then a bag of crisps during The Generation Game. If it was Summer, I’d be off out to play for a while until, with the light fading, Father’s booming vocals would soon emanate from the doorstep, requiring my little arse to scuttle inside forthwith – otherwise, I might miss Ironside and Match Of The Day……………

I remembered many of those times when I began putting the lyrics together. You might not recognise what I’ve just described as synonymous with the finished song, but I tried to capture something of those carefree Saturdays I used to have – a feeling, more than anything. And even today, I’m still in mourning when a Saturday Morning ends. Can’t help it.

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