I started writing for Dandelion in 2007 when I was pregnant with my son Louie. The first song I wrote was “Pretty Young Things”. It was loosely based on the time we spent recording as a band (Waking the Witch) at Beaumont Street in Huddersfield. There were a lot of prostitutes working in that area, beautiful tall girls but some didn’t have any teeth. It really made me think, god how would I feel if that was my beautiful girl out there?
The next song that came along shortly after that was “Leeds Lullaby”. This was written in a blissful moment laying in bed and thinking about my baby. Who it would look like? Is it a boy or a girl? Would it hear the rush hour every morning and think it was a waterfall like I did? I did, seriously when I first moved to that house I was convinced there must be a waterfall nearby. One that you could only hear in the mornings and late afternoon. I wasn’t living in the city centre or anything, It was in a very beautiful part of Pudsey, down a farm track. It was total heaven and you’d never know how close you were to both Leeds and Bradford, if it weren’t for the traffic noise at rush hour.
After that there were quite a few songs that happened, “I Saw the Sun Today” was very much based on Pudsey. I loved Pudsey so don’t get me wrong but blimey there was a lot of dog poo. One day I was walking home from the shops and the sun was shining down for the first time after a really long and mucky winter. Every thing suddenly looked so beautiful and I noticed that even the dog poo had blossom all over it. I wrote that line in my head then and there, ‘dog dirt was dappled with early almond blossom, like little French cakes with fairy pink frosting’ and wrote the rest of the song around it. How daft!!
“The North Wind Will” came next. It’s kind of a story I had in my head. I still picture these two miserable old gits sat by the fire with only themselves and a really nasty cheap bottle of whisky for company.
“Monkey” came after the birth of my son and a dissolved relationship. Nothing like a dissolved relationship to get the writing juices going is there?
“Family” oh my word this was a self indulgent song. I couldn’t ever finish it without crying! I was feeling very sorry for myself at that time although I don’t think the song reflects that in the end. It just sounds like a joyous day out to the sea.
“Let it Go” is exactly what it says on the tin. Everybody feels like that some times and you have to, absolutely must let it go and get some sleep.
“Princess and the Pea” is an old one that I couldn’t just leave alone. I thought it deserved a second chance. I like it. It’s just whimsical and a bit trite but I really love to play it live.
One song that started off entirely differently was “Amy Sharpe”. I was writing a boy meets girl song and boy hurts girl’s feelings by running off with a circus girl. God I was bored, it was just one of those songs that was never going to get finished unless I made it more interesting and could really see the characters. That’s where Catherine Lloyd came in. She was married with two children but they were really poor. She has a trick that is pretty unique so every year her cruel husband sends her off with Billy Corrigan’s Travelling Circus. She spends two miserable months of summer erecting a dark tent on village greens throughout the north east and the company isn’t all that nice either. One day while the Circus was on the move through a wooded area they bump into Amy Sharpe, she has a brace of rabbits over her shoulder and they stop to buy them from her. She offers to catch them more while they’re staying in the village nearby and that’s how our heroines met. You don’t hear any of that in the song. But that’s what I was on about.
I did have a few other songs but they didn’t make it. It wasn’t that they were crap, well not as such; it’s just that they didn’t really fit in with the feel of the album. I still do them at gigs though, so with these few others dropped, I only had a nine song album. I was ordered to write a small pretty song to fill, so I wrote “Dandelions and Foxgloves”. It was May and it was nice, nothing nicer in fact. God, it was May 2011 by this time. It really was a labour of love and it has seen some ultimate up’s and downs. It was worth it though!