Week 18: Vitamin X

This is a song I’ve had floating around for a while and couldn’t finish. Now it’s finished. Yay! That’s what deadlines are good for. This could almost be a children’s song. Playful but serious too. A great one to play with the band. Looking forward to recording a band version of this, if it makes it onto the next album – lots of competition though, all these songs are going to be pushing and shoving to try to make the final cut – only the strongest will survive. That’s nature for you. Wow I have a lot of songs now. Look at me go! By the way, it’s all rather stressful, writing a song every week, so I hope you’re appreciating it, but hey, we all have to work in this world, why should musicians get to goof off? Exactly! Enjoy …

      Vitamin X - Simon Van Gend

18 Vitamin X

I’ve got a million nerves
Serving me up what I deserve
You swerve right and I swerve left
I spin round at your behest

And all the things I could’ve said
Read like books inside my head
Don’t you love the way I sway
Seasick starbound sail away

Vitamin A I love the way
You help me see the light of day
Vitamin C up in the tree
We love the fruit that grows for free
Vitamin D the yellow sun
Shining down on everyone
Still I feel a little perplexed
Think I might need a little Vitamin X

Causes great and causes small
Give me pause and make me stall
Kick me loose to free the next
From what has not happened yet

Juggle me up and juggle me down
Coddle me deep in your eiderdown
Spare a thought for the big idea
That won’t let any feelings near


Some days I couldn’t give a hoot
I pull myself up by the roots
Fling myself across the day
I don’t mind the things I say

But sometimes everything grinds back in
I get lost in wondering
Who’s to crawl and who’s to fly
Who’s to laugh and who’s to cry


Week 17: Delivered alone

I started this tune while hanging out in Pretoria during our tour a few weeks ago. I found the chords and melody and then got a bit stuck for words. I finally sat down one evening and just let the words roll out without thinking too hard about it. I was trying not to be too fussy about the meaning and to concern myself more with how the words sounded. I have no idea what “caught you in the Everglades dreaming of the end of the sun” is supposed to mean, but it sounded good and it conjured up images of dinosaurs and the immensity of time in my mind, so I went with it. Remember that little guy from my song “Blinking and Breathing”? Well, he seems to have spoken up again in the chorus here, bless him. Hope you like it.

      Delivered Alone - Simon Van Gend

17 Delivered alone


I chase away the shapes I’m afraid to know
And I hide the innerscapes of the space I’m afraid to show
And when I’m alone I bemoan the tone of the wind that whistles in me
I settle down deep in the hollow sleep and long for a little relief
From the darkness I see

I keep my ears wide open for the sound of your love
Please won’t you free me of the need to be dreaming you up
Fade me back in to the shimmery world pull me up out of the sea
Lay me down softly in an open field and pull my scattery dreams back from the clouds into me

I was delivered alone to the breast
And for a little bit there I found some rest
And I was livid in waves of distress when my needs were assessed to be wrong
And through the testing I learned to be strong
And I adjusted my self and my heart to belong
But all through the hurting I never could silence the sound of my song
There’s an untamed voice in the deep that’s calling me on
Telling me I’m a fool to be cool in the crowd where I’ll never belong
And it wakes me crying in my sleep and pulls me back to the deep
Where I go diving in seas of emotion for love that is gone

I caught you in the Everglades dreaming of the end of the sun
The seed of the vision is buried in everyone
Digging for water at the end of the world
After all the crying is done
Take me back up the slippery track
Back to the time before all my love came undone


Week 16: Bottled in a Scenic

Last year in September we went on tour in my Renault Scenic. It snugly fits the three band members and all our gear. This song tells the story. It was fun to write – somehow it’s easier to write a song when there is already a story to tell. Nice to have something light and breezy in the repertoire too. Enjoy.

      Bottled in a Scenic - Simon Van Gend

16 Bottled in a Scenic


Waking at dawn, packing the gear
September tour, a nip in the air
Stop at the toll, digging for change
Snowy Cape-fold mountain range

Got to be quick, so far to go
A 12 hour drive to our first show
Do you remember the Laingsburg flood?
This whole town was buried in mud

Bottled in a Scenic like a bullet on the big road
We got a chicken in a bag and bottle of flat Coke
When the feelings are bad and the car’s too small
We find a way to laugh at it all
(My mistake oh come let’s shake your point of view’s the one I’ll take)

Back in the car, feeling the vibe
Last night’s crowd was a long-lost tribe
Looping around the back of the ’Burg
So many trucks headed for Durbs

We’re gonna be late, what’s the name of this town?
Dammit the map was upside down
Finally there, minutes to spare
Feel the love in the festival air

(Sorry man didn’t mean to flip it’s not important please pass the chips)

We while away the hours on the road
Telling ourselves stories that we’ve never told
Each of us carrying our load
Of untold stories

We learned our lesson leaving KZN
We went straight instead of turning when
The N2 forked, so much stress
Next time use the GPS

The East Cape stretch was a hell of a drive
Dodging cows in the old Transkei
Eric told us about the day
He arrived from France and kissed the clay

(Sorry guys I apologise, hey, check the moon starting to rise)

Week 15: My problem

Groucho Marx supposedly sent a telegram to his club saying “Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member”, and that’s what this song is about. Hopefully others can relate to this in some way too.

      My problem - Simon Van Gend

15 My problem

I’ve got impeccable taste
when it comes to women
I know when I see love in a face
That’s not my problem

And I’ve got a healthy physique
and pretty good hygiene
I’m not somebody who reeks
That’s not my problem

But as Groucho famously said
quoted in a book that I read
If you’d have me in your club
then you’re a desperate dud
and that’s my problem

I’ve got a pretty good way
with conversation
I can always think of something to say
That’s not my problem

And I’m gainfully employed
in a respectable business
With work that I kind of enjoy
That’s not my problem


I meet plenty of girls
‘cause I’m a musician
They keep popping into my world
That’s not my problem

And I’m happy to reveal
all the secret feelings
I’m not afraid to show what I feel
That’s not my problem