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  • Writer's pictureJames Hawken

Thank you Mumbo!

Updated: Jan 15

Out of the blue an ol' mucker who I hadn't seen or been in contact with for years posted something very dear to me on social media. It was a photo of hand written song lyrics of mine that I had scribbled down 40 years ago while sat on the bottom of Sarah's bed. I'd just woken up and had the urge, if you know what I mean. The song is called 'Toeses Up Your Noses'. Very romantic I know! It's all about sex experimentation and enjoying a stimulating activity with your chosen partner(s) (I think!). I'll include the actual photo below and you can make up your own mind what it's about, the memory is a bit of a blur to me. Anyway, I thought I had lost the lyrics years ago and they no longer existed. What an amazing surprise to discover that Mumbo (Toby Banks) had them all those years and still performed the song occasionally. I was gobsmacked! And 'over the moon' that they still existed.

During our conversation Tobe mentioned that he also performs another song of mine that I wrote around the same time called 'The Wings of a Butterfly'. Now I scratched my head and couldn't for the life of me remember writing that one, then a glimmer of remembrance flickered in my remaining brain cell. Yes! I did! I wrote it as a love song for Sarah and Tobe reminded me that I had challenged myself to write a song only using two chords and to make it interesting. Yes, it was all coming back to me!

I asked if Toby had any sort of recording of this song. He did! Tobe recorded himself singing the song into a cassette player 30 years ago, he sent me the audio file. Now what was more emotional, more than actually hearing a song I had forgotten I had written for Sarah, was Tobe's beautiful rendition of it, just acoustic guitar and vocals. Mumbo has a lovely soft, mellow expressive voice and he sang the song in such a way that it 'touched' me deeply. 'I've got to do something with this!' was the overwhelming feeling.

Not to bore anybody more than I already am, I'll cut out the technical aspects of what I did, although I find it fascinating and mind blowing! Basically, I extracted Mumbo's vocals from a wobbly, noisy, hissy old tape recording, cleaned them up and created a backing track. Now, entirely in a different league but coincidently, The Beatles have just done the exact same thing with an old demo of John's. Extracted John's singing and created a backing track, it's just been released (Now and Then). How absolutley mind blowing is that?

I sent my finished version of 'The Wings of a Butterfly' to Mumbo and asked if he was happy for me to release it. Tobe left me in no doubt that he was, so I did! It won't be available on streaming platforms until 5th January, but It's here now if you would like a listen:

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