Marmaduke - Artwork: Eva Krusche
The human condition.
An interesting condition to be sure. We are complex animals, capable of many varied things. Ranging from the beautiful to the ugly. The compassionate to a cold cruel vicious spitefulness. The innocent through to the predatory.
But here I make a list of black and white. From one end of the spectrum to the other. But life and humanity is ever more complex than that. And understanding the complexity of behaviour can take years of study just to step inside the threshold, to be able to start to see the patterns.
So, who is Marmaduke?
Somebody that exists in my overactive and vivid imagination.
Based on people I have met in the real world.
Somebody that craves attention. Someone, who perhaps finds conventional socialising something of a mystery. Someone who has a rather large ego and also enjoys rebuking those who rise to the bait of being drawn into curiously observing them and as both reward and punishment will unleash a torrent of bile and fury in their general direction.
In my songwriting for many years this sort of 'fantasy character monologue' approach has seen many lyrics in this style. Somehow perhaps it's like being an actor. Taking on a role and behaving in this manner. For the lyrics I take on the persona and write the words.
This has brought me complications in the past, where people will listen to the lyrics and think that the 'person', the 'character' is actually myself - thinking that the words reflect my own thoughts and feelings. I suppose this is understandable as many songwriters will write songs from their own perspectives, putting forward their own ideas and principles. And sometimes I also do this even if the real me is often disguised or 'embellished'.
But I'm completely fine with this. I don't feel I need to explain myself to anyone...
...well, sometimes I will explain, if I feel encouraged by the situation and the person asking.
Otherwise I may stare in your general direction, pants upon my head and waving my jazz hands with all my might, bellowing the words. "Why are you looking at me!?"
Why is everything, oh so unfair,
I mean especially to me,
you see I’m special,
and I like to take offence at almost every situation
why are they lookin’ at me, why do they stare so?
I bummel* along
My name is Marmaduke
incase you were wondering about it,
but I don’t want you to shout it
Cause you’re bound to mis-pronounce it - oh
Why are you looking at me, why do you stare so?
Why are they lookin’ at me, there ain’t here nothing to see,
I wear my pants upon my head and do my Jazz hands,
But when I talk they turn away, I don’t exist their faces say,
Why are they lookin’ at me why do they stare so,
so, I’ll find a way,
to get attention,
I’ll - make them pay,
a Just for looking,
Cause I know that look upon the face
will show disdain for my ah situation
oh no, why are they looking at me
why are they looking at me, why are they looking at me
why are they looking at me, why do they stare so?
Why are they looking at me, there ain’t here nothing to see
Why are they looking at me, this ain’t no freak show
Ian Chapman: vocals, guitars, cornet,
Dine Doneff: drums
Carles Camós: e-bass
Sandra Hollstein: accordeon
Julian Hesse: trumpet
Thorben Schütt: trombone
Just John Jones: vocals
Matthias Zeindlhofer: trombone
Producer: Dine Doneff
Music, Lyrics & Arrangement: Ian Chapman
*Bummel - taken from the Bavarian dialect. It means to wander along without a care, taking a look in a shop window here, sampling the aroma of a flower there.