The Hourglass Trilogy by Wigan Folk-Rock outfit Merry Hell comes to a conclusion with Bob Kettle’s Emergency Lullaby (Wasting Time) song.
Written mandolin/bouzouki player, Bob Kettle, the song displays all the lyricism those of you that now then band have come to associate with his writing. Musically, Emergency Lullaby (Wasting Time) is something a little different from the usual barnstorming style with a late-night reflective vibe – maybe it is all the more powerful for that, although, as ever, there is an element of hope within the song.
Emergency Lullaby, like the other 2 tracks in the trilogy, expresses concerns about the damage that has been done to our planet through pollution and climate change, along with a hope for a more positive future for our children, grandchildren and the planet we share and will leave behind.
It has also provided the title for the next full Merry Hell album that will be called Emergency Lullabies and is currently nearing completion. The single is available in digital form to stream or download from all the major platforms.
W all know that Bob’s an eloquent chap (read his Why I Love on Leonard Cohen here) and here’s what he has to say about the song
“The song ‘Emergency Lullaby’ developed from a melody I’d written on the piano. I was quite pleased with the tune – it had a soft, sleepy quality that reminded me of a lullaby – but, for a long time, I couldn’t come up with any appropriate words to go with it… In the meantime, I was to thinking about climate change and the devasting impact it will have on our lives and environment if it continues unchecked. I’d read about rising global sea-levels, fires in the arctic circle and deforestation in the Amazon.
I was also dismayed by the nonchalant denials of the part played by human activity in this looming crisis – for example, Trump and Bolsonaro’s casual rejection of scientific consensus and willingness to sacrifice our planet’s wellbeing and the futures of generations to come for short-term political and financial gain.
On the other hand, I’m painfully aware of just how little I’m doing, personally, to alleviate these dangers. I ride in cars and draw energy from a grid fed by fossil-fuels. I’ve been negligent with recycling and, because I’m lucky enough to live a first-world lifestyle, I’m generally oblivious to the impacts my actions have in other parts of the world. I’m part of a great sleepwalk into destruction – so, in short, I’m no one to judge anybody else’s behaviour. I wanted to emphasize that, if the climate crisis has a human cause it also has a human solution. We can save our planet if we act immediately. Time is short; the longer the delay, the sooner the devastation.
We need to hold on to hope because, if we lose it, we’re lost. I’m encouraged by the awareness and organization shown by young people. If the older generation follow the young and support them in collective action, we have every chance of securing a cleaner, fairer world that can be sustained into the future. So, I coupled the soft, sleepy melody with lyrics about the climate crisis – to express the contradictory aspects of the problem: we need urgent action but we’re mired in apathy. That’s how I came up with the title ‘Emergency Lullaby’. I’d love to sing it in a spirit of understanding, hope and togetherness.”
Meanwhile, drummer Andy Jones has added his thoughts on Rush to our Why I Love pages.