Who would've thought it figures?
Who would've thought it figures? radio stories
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yearsgoby Community member
Autoplay OFF   •   2 years ago
A miserable musician submits an original song to BBC Introducing even though he knows there's no point.

Who would've thought it figures?

Alan Morrison's self-penned, autobiographical, undiscovered piano-pop song is going to be played on Radio 2 at 4:55 p.m. on Friday the fifth of March.

Oblivious, Alan dejectedly makes himself a cup of coffee. Even the way he lazily lifts the kettle wreaks of hopelessness.

Feeling a twinge in his lower back, he silently complains to the unresponsive universe that things never worked out. At this precise moment, it is 4:50 p.m.

It was with this same hopelessness that he had uploaded his latest DIY home-recording to the BBC Introducing web-page the previous day. And it hadn't been easy.

What kind of word was up-load anyway? 'I suppose they will DOWN-load it on the other end of the line' he had said aloud to himself on that rainy Thursday morning.

The luminous yellows and oranges of the website pained his dry eyes.

In the 'Describe Your Track' text box he typed - jabbed rather, one key at a time, with his bony middle finger - 'JUST LISTEN. '

Listen they did. Friday mornings at the BBC were listening day; two bright-eyed, ear-pricked interns were handed the task of filtering through hundreds of submissions each week.

After reading countless descriptions of 'unique' and 'original' songs that after ten seconds sounded like twins of each other, Alan Morrison's rude capital letters were just the sort of dire humour which broke up the monotony of the job.

And so it was that his self-penned, autobiographical piano-pop song was the first to be put forward as a potential among four others.

4:51 p.m. Alan had the radio on out of morbid curiosity. He knew there was no chance of them choosing his song.

For one thing he had only just sent it in and they were bound to pick some auto-tuned pile of noise that he heard every time his nieces took control of the television.

The twinge in his back prickled once more.

A new song had just started playing. The soft, whispery yodels of a Canadian singer-songwriter from the nineties. Alan remembered this song. He liked this song...

"...an old man turned ninety-eight...

...he won the lottery and died the next day..."

She sang as if she were sighing. Then the clean, crisp, jangling guitars were overtaken by driving distortion in the chorus and the singer's voice had metamorphosed into an angelic siren.

While Alan was appreciating this, the two young interns at the BBC were apologising profusely to the Radio 2 presenter who was now dabbing angrily at the hot coffee that had been spilled onto her cream-coloured blouse.

In the mellay, there wasn't enough time to discuss which budding songwriter's track to choose for the BBC Introducing segment of the show.

"We're running out of time. Just pick from the top of the list" a producer said from the other side of the glass window. "Get it loaded."

Alan Morrison's eyes were closed. 4:54 p.m. For the the final time, the radio was blasting, "and who would've thought it figures."

Alan had entirely forgotten why he was listening to this station in the first place, caught up in the song's nostalgia...

4:55 p.m. Piano. Delicate piano. Something about it was familiar but the DJ's usually smooth voice sounded hot and agitated, distracting Alan's attention from the intro.

It was translucent; he could almost see through, almost recognise the shapes of the chords and the timing of the cadences.

And then he started singing.

HE started singing.

Alan stood up quickly, open-mouthed, with gentle tears forming unwittingly and held his hands up to his face.

They trembled and there was a lump in his throat that seemed instantly connected to the sweet sting at the back of his eyes.

He didn't know what to do with himself.

"Just listen" he heard, as if from a distant corner of the universe.

Thanks for reading :-)

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