A lesson in blues

Writing class homework last week was to write the blues-lyric of a draft play-script. This is supposed to focus our minds on our draft’s “base-line”, or underlying rhythm; an analogy from David Mamet, apparently. I’d half intended to skip it; I’m not really working on my play at the moment, and anyway, not exactly inclined to waste precious free time writing useless song lyrics when I could be, I don’t know, writing this blog, or mumsnetting.

However, it was raining that morning, I couldn’t go on my usual post-school-run run, was bored with Mumsnet, and had no blog idea, so having checked email, Facebook etc. fairly exhaustively, I sat myself before a blank Word document, as one does.

Playwriting homework

I typed, and continued:

“Base” of play in blues’ terms: Conflict; personal & political (possibly romantic).
“Treble”: the setting, the story; the secondary characters: Sergei, Sergei’s family, Emily’s colleagues.

Then, lo! To my astonishment, the following lines materialised as if by magic:

Glasnost Blues

I thought I could grow up without you
I thought I could cope on my own
But inside I’m still just a baby
Waiting for Dad to come home

We crossed the oceans together
We tried to agree for a while
But distance was just an illusion
My wound like an ulcer inside.

I tried, then, so hard to appease you
And laboured to bring you to me
But you couldn’t hear what I made true
And walked to your own kind of free.


It just goes to show, folks. You never know what you can do till you sit down and try.


About marytuda

An accidental first time mum in her fifties reflects on all things maternal from position of perpetual outsider and prolonged state of shock. An urban odessy through parenthood plus from one who thought she'd never go there.
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