Dan Farrell

How Do You See Yourself?

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About Dan Farrell

After a childhood soaked deliciously in Beatles music, a guitar appeared in our family house. Except there was a problem. I was left handed. And my brothers were right handed. After countless arguments and being shouted at to stop changing the strings around, I decided enough was enough, so I flipped the guitar over and learned all the chords backwards and upside down. It’s how I still play.

Records were ALWAYS being played in our house. From Irish Republican folk albums to Frank Sinatra. but mostly The Beatles. I have older brothers who were buying records regularly and apart from The Fabs, I listened to Neil Young, James Taylor, The Byrds, The Kinks, Deep Purple and many more.

Success to me has been the ability to conquer my stage fright. I’d played in various bands in my 20’s and eventually the fear of performing got so bad, I had to stop. I wouldn’t return to performing again for over 20 years and I figured the best way to get over something you’re fearful of, is the “kill or cure” method. I did a course in stand up comedy. Stand up takes no prisoners. You’re totally alone up there. You live or die by your material. I survived about 10 stand up gigs before thinking that playing a guitar and singing a few songs is easy compared to it.

 

I am so fortunate to have been chosen to be part of the Late Night Flying project. I hope the album shows not only the 20 great songs, but the story in how it came about. From competition disappointment to coming together and making something creative and positive.



How Do You See Yourself? - LYRICS

Could it ever be that bad
Worrying is such a drag
That frown is so telling
Time to step away and breathe
Let the air flow through with ease
You’ll find it compelling

You’re like a wine you mature with age
So turn the dial down on the pressure gauge

How do you see yourself
How do you see yourself
What makes you rock
How do you roll
Best to accept just who you are

Banish negativity
Push away so I can see
I’m doing my best here
Once you’re in you never die
So just try to rectify
You’ll find it compelling

You always think that you’re not good enough
Yet all your best lines come off the cuff

How do you see yourself
How do you see yourself
What makes you rock
How do you roll
Best to accept just who you are

Laid down I was hypnotised
Told to rest and close my eyes
Then magic would happen
Acupuncture next for me
Followed by a cup of tea
They said I should drink it

Well you should look at all your history
To find out clues to the mystery

How do you see yourself
How do you see yourself
What makes you rock
How do you roll
Best to accept just who you are

The Story Behind The Song

What is it about creative people that makes them nervous, self doubting wrecks? The world of music is littered with folk who throw up with nerves before going on stage, or indeed those who are physically thrown onto the stage. I read something once that Jeff Lynne said that when he is about to go onto the stage before a performance he’s “half man, half diarrhoea.”!!

The song asks a simple question - How do you see YOURSELF?

My own self doubt was the basis for “How Do You See Yourself”. In it, I try and play Psycho Analyst to myself, imparting good advice in the hope that any future reoccurrences of self doubt are dealt with using my sage words of wisdom.

The second verse which says “Once you’re in, you never die” relates to a job interview I had (being a freelance film editor, I have LOADS of job interviews). I loathe and detest interviews as I always think I’m either not deserving of being in the interview, or just not up to doing the job. I had an interview for a movie I was really hoping to get and I kept telling myself not to get too wound up beforehand. I’d already written the song by this stage and sat on the couch outside the office I was about to be called into, telling myself “Once you’re in you never die. You’ll be fine!” Actually trying to use my own words as therapy. The interview lasted 9 minutes. The shortest ever. I was nervous, talked too much and realised quite quickly that the lady interviewing me had made her mind up about me in 4 nano seconds. I was not to be “their guy” in this instance. Of course I hated them for it, as I do everyone who refuses to hire me, but that’s showbiz folks.

The last verse is me harking back to my 20’s when I tried hypnotism to cure my stage fright - “laid down I was hypnotised”. It didn’t work. I tried acupuncture at a Chinese clinic in London which was hopeless. They were the ones who told me to brew up this foul tasting tea from dried herbs that they sold me for a whopping price - “followed by a cup of tea. They said I should drink it”.

In the end, when I reached my mid fifties, I decided that most reasons for adults being the way they are is because of some things that may have happened in their childhood. For me it was when my parents decided to emigrate from the UK to go and live in Dundalk in Ireland, right next to the border of Northern Ireland when I was aged 10. I didn’t want to go. I cried for ages hoping it would convince my Dad that dragging me away from my home, my friends and my life, to a foreign land in the early 1970’s was detrimental to my mental health, especially with the Troubles in Northern Ireland which was in full swing at that time. Suffice to say, it made me a nervous child and there are remnants of those youthful worries still evident today.

Of course we must ALL embrace self acceptance in the end because it makes life far easier - “Best to accept just who you are”.


Fly A Little Further ...