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I have written a song about domestic violence.

I worry about it though.

I think it could be a good one. I think also that it could be an important inclusion in the final nine. So it had better be a good one. Statistically, at least two of these nine women will experience some form of domestic abuse during their lifetime. I don’t want to get into the whole idea about these nine women mathematically representing the entire population, it isn’t that sort of project. However, the nine women are my responses, my ideas. I can only work from my own head, my own areas of experience, interest and research. Any other bits are someone else’s problem. Given enough artists, there will be enough overlap to cover the whole gamut of problems. But it can’t be one artist’s remit to cover them all.

I have in my life done work with families in refuges, have encountered domestic violence in schools I’ve worked in, and witnessed the effects it has on the children involved. I have met women who have experienced it at first hand, either as the abused, or as the child of the abuser. Not one woman has the same response as another. Their thoughts are as individual as they are, as the circumstances are. Each dealing with it, or not, in the best way they can.

My song is an amalgamation of about three or four of these histories. An invented woman taken from these places. I wanted to put forward a strength and stoicism, an acceptance of a situation that seems wrong to those on the outside, but that sometimes those on the inside feel they have no power to change.

This song originally had another section, that I am undecided whether to reinstate at the moment. I have removed it from here, and from the very rough demo I recorded to play to Dan, because it shifts the meaning somewhat…. It will need thought… Or perhaps that verse might become the germ of a different song.


Stride out, hold your head high 
No one knows what’s inside
Extra make up behind dark glasses
Don’t show you’re afraid

Prefer the winter to 
Small clothes of summer
Sleeves hide the marks 
On your tired skin

Smile at the adults 
Who used to be children
Don’t show them the man 
Their Daddy’s become

Take the secret 
To the first grave
Hope that it’s his
Fear that it’s yours
Fear that it’s his
Hope that it’s yours

Mustn’t tell anyone
Must hide the shame
He swears while he’s crying
Won’t do it again

This post can also be accessed as an audio file on SoundCloud.