Utopian Track Breakdown: 9) YOLO
For anyone not familiar with the phrase, where the hell you been?! YOLO means You Only Live Once.
This was written as a celebration of the simpler things. In the current predicament we're all experiencing, those things we often (but not always) took for granted now seem like the very fabric of a Life Lived Well. In this song I let my mind run free, extolling the currently-distant memory of an enjoyable car journey in the summer, riding a bike down to Otterspool promenade in Liverpool, a place my father introduced me to in my youth - a place now also recognised by locals as a stopping point for carnal, lascivious lunar activities.
I have a vivid memory of my college Mabel Fletcher College Of Music, Art and Drama where I managed to avoid joining The Real World from leaving school to when I eventually dropped out in 1980. I'd been taking private tuition in theory and practical every Saturday morning from the age of 12 so I knew it all anyway (or at least I thought I did). I once skived off for around five months then went in to take an exam and scored 100%. My tutor Earl Howarth was hip to my schtick and told me not to come on again as he knew what I was up to and it didn't make the other students look good or like me.
I learned to play pool to a reasonable level of proficiency in the pub across the road when I should have been taking classes, and the fiscal rewards from my occasional wins from the Ne'er Do Wells who frequented the joint helped pay for beer. College kids didn't go near the place. In the Common Room/Refectory at Mabel's there was a jukebox and I would often play Bill Withers' Lovely Day 45 which was in the charts at the time.
Being that this was an arts school there were plenty of pretty young fillies - often dancers - hanging around, but I was very shy and still to acquire the bravado and seemingly limitless fearlessness of youth and young manhood which would come much later than required. I first got on an airplane when I was 22 and from that point on I've seen much of the world, usually at someone else's expense. From this vantage point I do wish I had been more appreciative of my good fortune.
Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong 4/9/19. 19.04pm.
Travelling, even socialising - seems like a dream to many of us now. I just want to jump into this picture. Go and have a beer and some noodles. Shoot the breeze with some locals. Taken on my second visit to HK to perform just one solo show on The Island.
Cruise on down to where the moonlight hits the waves,
get your best baby by your side windows open as the music plays,
takes a little time to drink in what you see,
scent of jasmine on a summer night, put away your troubles and you'll feel alright,
YOLO you got no time to waste, YOLO,
burnin' through the years like you're in a race,
YOLO you better get it while you can, YOLO,
a man needs a woman and a woman sure needs a man...
Some old song takes you back to your college days,
lovely day in the refectory, weekend gig at the Waterways,
all the young ladies seem so hard to please,
ride your Raleigh down to Otterspool,
now you're reminiscing like some old fool,
YOLO the old days were the best, YOLO, it keeps gettin' better who'd of guessed? YOLO the people all understand, YOLO, 'cause a man needs a woman and a woman sure needs a man...
So cruise on down to where the moonlight hits the waves,get your best baby by your side windows open as the music plays, takes a little time to drink in what you see, scent of jasmine on a summer night, put away your troubles and you'll feel alright, YOLO got no time to waste, YOLO, burnin' through the years like you're in a race, YOLO you better get it while you can, YOLO, a man needs a woman and a woman sure needs a man...
Written by R.I.McNabb © Peermusic (UK) Ltd. 2020
Ian McNabb: Lead vocal, Ciaron Bell: Fender Rhodes, backing vocals. Bobby Bilsborough: Alto sax: Drums: James Wilberforce.