Despite the somewhat judgmental and political tone of the lyrics as they stand today, Elastic Man began its life with me simply singing from the point of view of someone who would do and say whatever (and even be whomever) it takes to keep his significant other happy - bending over backwards, as they say.
It was initially sung in the first person - "I'll try to be what you want, do the best that I'm able; be the head of the restaurant or a crumb at your table", but as the lyrics began to take on a more silly, cartoonish vibe and the flip-flopping Elastic Man theme began to assert itself, I began singing in the third person because, well, who doesn't like pointing fingers and shaking their heads in bemusement at the follies of phony politicos? On top of that, singing from the point of view of a soulless, spineless, vacuous and opportunistic liar would come across all creepy, like.
Although the majority of my songs are written on the acoustic guitar, sometimes I like to write something on the piano. Since I am to piano playing what Mike Tyson is to hand puppetry, this leads to lots of uncertainty and errant chords. This is good, in that it throws you out of your comfort zone and although much of what you play might be overly simplistic and trite, occasionally one of those happy accidents comes along to thrill you.
It happened almost right off the bat with this song. I was trying to play a simple chord but missed it; my hands landing rather clumsily on the wrong keys. I didn't really know what the resulting chord was, but I knew that I liked it. It married with the melody in a far more interesting fashion than the chord I'd actually tried to hit, and it proved to be the kick in the pants I needed to continue on experimenting with the song.
No such clumsiness from the rest of this song's contributors, though. Snazzy drum tracks courtesy of our good friend Chuck Darling; acrobatic (elastic, even!) bass part from Andy Irvine; sublime electric and slide guitar playing supplied by Sir Dave Gregory; and the usual inspiring aural fingerpainting from our Ed all conspire to make me feel like the luckiest sod around. At the risk of sounding kinky, I'd bend over backwards for the lot of them.
Bendy fool has spoken!