Earlier this year Radio One very kindly asked me if I’d contribute some content to their Story of the Noughties series. On Monday they broadcast my first effort, a rant (in verse) about soaps. Jake Thackray said of his commissioned work: “I make a kind of living by writing a kind of song, a point number. Point numbers are songs that I write quickly and principally for money and they are songs that are concerned with the weekly headlines, with what’s happening in the daily news. As soon as the news is forgotten the song looses it’s value, my mortgage begins to look sick.”
What a glorious cynic, and I would also venture, someone who wants to have his cake and eat it. It’s hard to give commissions as much passion as you do your regular writing, but if Thackray was truly embarrassed by his work on the Esther Ransom show he would never have played them live. As a writer I like writing and the commissions are an opportunity to get paid for doing my favourite activity. I wouldn’t perform this poem live but I worked hard at it and it’s not all bad.
You can hear the whole programme here. I’m about 44 mins in.