Musical Marginalia

When I was at university, my friend and I taught ourselves to say “Fresh.”

Now, I understand that this is not a particularly complex word, and in the same way you should understand that we weren’t using it in common parlance (in the same way that we are trying to bring back the word “fierce” and milady might be spreading the wonders of “behold”), but more as a one-word response to things.

This is entirely Frank Turner’s fault.

At the end of ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’ from the Campfire Punkrock EP, which you can hear around the three and a quarter minute mark, Turner signs off his song with “Fresh”. Suitably, we found this hilarious (and continue to do to this day), and in the manner of the usual response when coming across something funny at university, we endlessly repeated it.

(Also, our medieval training meant that were were sometimes liable to alter the spelling to FRESC.)

However enthralling this story is, it is a mere anecdote to introduce my interest in those little parts around the edges of songs in published media. It’s the same reason that one of my Manowar live albums has a track called “Joey speaks to the crowd” and that I don’t mind listening to the live Hammerfall album despite their crowd-talking taking place in a language that I’ve still not quite worked out.

These little snippets are an interesting insight into the process of the recording, and of the state of mind of those taking part. It’s the same reason that albums will often end with comments about the recording itself – usually a congratulatory, “We did it”, or words to that effect.

In the same way that the illustrations around a medieval manuscript garner the attention of academics, these little parts of musical marginalia cannot only interest me.

Please share with me your favourites.

Musical Marginalia

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