‘It was like that then’

A story love song about two fictitious characters, Lilly and Max. It’s based on my life experiences and of those close to me. It about making the most of love and life- it’s so precious!


  1. Lyrics- It was like that then

    Her shin has started bleeding, it wasn’t deep but really hurt
    She’d tripped on his old cricket bat, his socks and dirty shirt
    He was laughing from the bedclothes saying “don’t drip blood on my bed”
    He was drinking in her nakedness and said ‘the hungry must be fed!’
    She hopped across the bedroom, laughing as she fell
    Into his arms and gently kissed him, and soon she could tell
    Than another Sunday morning would be spent there in their bed
    Loving without end, it was like that then

    Jackdaws chatted in sunshine as the walked towards the stones
    They saw some tourists in the distance, but in the field they were alone
    They laid a blanket by a hedgerow, and lay there holding hands
    Listening to the insects, they drank some wine and made their plans
    And Air Force jets flew overhead, as she gently held him tight
    And they stayed there undetected as the day turned into night
    And a barn owl left its hiding place and swooped down on its prey
    Loving without end, it was like that then

    And she sensed the magic seep
    From the sarsen stones as sleep, wrapped itself around her in the night
    And she dreamt she saw a chariot, with warriors, swords and shields
    “Live life to the full, grasp it hard, yes hold it tight
    Savour and devour it, because nothing ever lasts
    Don’t take things for granted, change comes hard and fast
    Remember how it was, remember how it was”

    She lay still in the bed, and looked out the window,
    It was too warm in the ward, she watched the falling sleet and snow
    The kids had sent a card and it was on the bed beside her
    She looked down at herself, at the gown, the tubes and cannula
    She thought about the hard years, the arguments and debts
    The everyday monotony, the things they said and should forget
    And he woke up in the chair, and knew that he was losing her
    Now and then, loving without end

    “Don’t take things for granted, change comes hard and fast
    Remember how it was, remember how it was”

    (Loving) Loving without end, it was like that then
    (Loving) loving without end, it was like that then
    (Build a foundation), loving without end, it was like that then
    (Build a foundation) loving without end, it was like that then

    James Whiteman

  2. Really enjoyed the listen. Tasteful arrangement, lovely lyrics. It had a hint of my favourite Genesis album (Selling England by the Pound), which can only be a good thing.

  3. The lyrics really paint a picture. I like the way you have created two apparently fictitious people to tell what feels like a very personal story. You’ve found a nice wistful tune to tell the story – well done.

  4. Thank you Andy, Paul, Ian, Andy and Huw for those great comments. I have to say Huw made my day about the hint of the great Cat Stevens. When I was young I was obsessed with ‘How can I tell you’ and used to try and sound like him. Also, I listen to Genesis a lot so the influences are poking through! Thanks again.

  5. Julie Meikle – thank you so much for that. Lots of real life experiences (mine and of those close to me) thrown in there. The dream bit is an old daydream I had as a kid in the back of the car visiting family in the West Country. Thought I’d use it for this!!

  6. The song was so engaging that I wanted to skip to the end of the lyrics to find out how it ended! A very compelling story, like watching a film, I loved the Genesis sound and the way you used your voice for the highs and lows of the song. A very refreshing and interesting approach musically and lyrically which I really enjoyed.

  7. The way you’ve crafted the lyrics made me believe this was all real, lots of detail in the description as the story unfolds. Really interesting chord shifts which makes it quite unique. Enjoyed it.

  8. You certainly manage to capture a lot of the minutiae of a relationship as well as the emotions and intimacy. There’s a lot going on here and you manage to encapsulate it cleverly in just five and a half minutes. Nicely done.

  9. Wow..quite an epic tale! Yes it’s like a whole novel in 5 mins! Good for you for being brave and doing something different. I thknk it ‘s great tobhear this from a male perspective…tends to be women who gobknto emotions more generally…hope that isn’ t sexist! Loved it!

  10. Following on from the Genesis comments, I think it has a bit more of a Big Big Train vibe in the way that you have fused the brass/flute with guitar. That band is, of course, rooted in Genesis. It is a lovely production. I love the acoustic prog. vibe that you have created here. It is familiar and unpredictable at the same time.