IronBark song by song – What The Orderly Saw

The Miser’s Will II: What the Orderly Saw

What’s it about?

The second song of the Miser’s Will is from the point of view of a hospital orderly. He witnesses a doctor cutting a brain out of a body, placing it in a jar and then trying to diddle the man who hired him to do so. He is killed, as is the orderly.

The Writing Process:

This is connected to the first song musically both in terms of the arrangement, at least to begin with, and the minor arpeggios which aren’t a million miles away from the Cartographer’s Tale either.

Here’s the original demo. As you can hear, it was pretty much fully formed by the time I recorded it:

It’s through composed, the music changing to follow the story, and most of it turned up pretty easily. I’m not the sort of songwriter who slaves over songs, constantly editing and rewriting. I much prefer to let things simmer and stew at the back of my mind until they come to fruition of their own accord. What the Orderly saw obliged me by doing so very quickly. As we shall see, some other tracks on this weren’t as easy to write.

The Recording Process:

There’s some actual live percussion in this! Most of the percussion on Ironbark is programmed drums and sound effects. What the Orderly Saw has real tambourine and Djembe as well.

There are also lots of messy synth sounds which I recorded with my trusty Sonuus G2M midi converter.

Inspired by/Blatantly steals from:

Black Holes in the Sand by Gravenhurst, the poem ‘There was an old woman who swallowed a fly’ and a couple of Opeth numbers


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