Toilet Roll of Love

This is my musical tribute to the brilliant eco-friendly company, Who Gives A Crap? Their toilet rolls kept us going during the shortage in 2020, and our household is huge fans of their products and the company’s values. Not only is all of their packaging plastic-free and recyclable, they also donate half of their profits to help build toilets in areas worldwide where they are desperately needed.

The song’s style came from the phrase ‘Toilet Roll of Love’. I knew it had to be a ballad, and two songs came to mind. Cherish by Kool & the Gang, and The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, by Prince. After writing a few lyrical phrases in the first chorus, I let the music take the lead and enjoyed discovering where the verse went. I then wrote the lyrics over it. The most important thing for me was to include that Who Gives a Crap are both sustainable, and donate profits to build toilets. Although the song is quite high for a baritone singer, adding harmonies to this was a delight!

Thought Garden Theme Song

When Rachel approached me to create a theme song for her podcast, I was excited by the challenge. It was a personal interviewer-interviewee conversation, but connecting it back to nature and what thoughts the audience could take into their daily lives. Rachel wanted a nature-themed song, but to avoid the cliches such as mimicking birdsong and the expressive flourish of a harp. Instead, she wanted a livelier country vibe that had a connection to nature but also kept its feet firmly on he ground.

We had a couple of passes at creating the right sound, and eventually landed on a hybrid from the ideas. The result was this mellow but upbeat number. Rachel was pleased, and as a listener of her podcast, it gave me much satisfaction to hear it introduce and conclude the episodes.

Rachel Woods is a passionate coach who helps guide clients by helping them discover themselves and where they want to get to. She is also an HR specialist and is can provide invaluable support to HR. professionals. Her Thought Garden podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, Listennotes and other streaming services. She is starting a new podcast called We’re Human, launching in September 2022.

Flex 4×5 YouTube Series

I met Bridgette Sunman when networking online. Bridgette is a yoga instructor, Life Coach and Wellbeing Professional. She was keen to share her knowledge within an online series demonstrating short, easy exercises that people could do from home. She approached me as she wanted a theme tune for the series.

For this theme tune I tried to walk the fine line between relaxing, comforting, but without sending the listener to sleep. This was an exercise series after all. Once Bridgette had selected her favourite idea I created the final mix ready to use.

If I had to select my favourite elements from the song, it would be the section from the 7th to the 9th second after the first chord change. The guitar notes momentarily whisk me away to the Mediterranean! As for my least favourite part, if I was to redo this song now, I would look for a different instrument sound for the keyboard at the end (15-20 seconds) as it doesn’t quite sit right with the guitars for me.

Bridgette Suman is a lovely and very experienced life coach, whose business is called B Active for Change. The Flex 4×5 series is available on her YouTube channel.

It Begins with an Instrumental

Today, the music wanted to be written, and I wanted to work on a more positive subject after tackling world news the day before. The result is ‘It Begins’. The idea is simple but the rhythm is a playful 6/4 and allows for different harmonies to jump around.

To me it is the expression of a spark or an idea that becomes something greater. With that in mind, I complemented it with motivational photographs that encourage the viewer to take the next step on their journey.

Shelf Indulgence Theme

This is a jingle I composed for the absolutely lovely Shelf Indulgence team. They are book enthusiasts who created a podcast on Microbrew Radio to discuss the books they’d read. More info below.

What Wendy of Shelf Indulgence requested was musical segues to introduce regular sections of the podcast, but once I discovered the name of their podcast I was keen to create a jingle as well.

Many years ago, I created an a cappella song on my multi-track cassette machine called ‘Self Indulgence’. It was a song that stayed with me, as it’s a particularly strong ear-worm. With some lyrical updates the song was ready to perform.

See No Bounds Theme

Networking is an integral part of any business, and so it proved to be when I met Jamie and Charlott. I met Jamie on a zoom call during an online networking event. He and Charlott had set up a networking directory called See No Bounds, and being a positive opportunist, he offered me the chance to join for the price of a jingle.

Every week they interviewed and promoted one of their members and wanted to enliven the introduction. After talking with them I knew what mood they wanted to capture and that it needed to align with their 30 second video countdown.

It was a delight to create. I really enjoyed the challenge of providing an uplifting mood that gradually built towards the end to set up the beginning of Jamie and Charlott’s show.

As for See No Bounds, it was an excellent investment and has grown into a valuable, trusted community.

Overwhelm of These Days

When looking for inspiration for a song, ended became swept up in the news, and These Days reflects that sense of overwhelm. It’s important to see the light and hope, and I wish you all a positive day, no matter what is going on.

Winter crisis is coming,
Climate crisis has come.
Leaders keep profiteering,
But Earth’s profits are none.

What are we here for?

Water floods Pakistan,
Russian tanks flood Ukraine,
China threatens Taiwan,
Europe’s desperate for rain.

How long are we here for?

I know you don’t think it’s right,
I know, cause I feel the same.
Don’t know when the ends in sight,
But I hope that we’ll remain.

It may be a chink of light,
But I’ll sail there anyway.
If one day, they ask me ‘why’?
I don’t want to be to blame…

For these days.
They deserve much better,
Then these days.
We must help each other,
Through these days.

Photos used during the verse are from BBC and CNN websites. The two photos of hope in the chorus are by Marc-Olivier Jodoin and Nick Fewings on Unsplash.

Community Shop

I had just started creating cover songs for my Networking groups when Elaine, my wife, pointed me in the direction of a Facebook post from local shop, Cousin Normans. This shop is special to us because of the community spirit the owners have constantly shown. During Covid lockdowns, they ran online raffles and started delivering cooked meals to the doors of customers. They also have refills for laundry and washing up liquids as well as running clothes swapping events to promote re-use, especially for school uniforms. 

In this case, Cina was just making a fun comment about customers referring to the shop as “Norms”. 

The song itself is a slice of eighties electro-pop cheese. It’s catchy and allows the lead singer to reach her target audience, teenage boys. I tailored the lyrics to fit the many virtues of the shop. Rather than a call to action to have a good with boys, this was a call to shop at Cousin Normans. Happily, ‘Norms’ has many virtues, including excellent gifts and very tasty coffee!

The timing was perfect. I was looking for activities and Cina put out a comment about a theme tune, to Sanita’s ‘Boys, Boys, Boys’. Something I’m learning is that you’ve got to be open to fulfilling someone else’s wish, and this one was in my gift to do. Cina really enjoyed the song, and it gave me a bit of publicity as well. Plus, Cina gave me a free latte when I was next in the shop!!

To bring more of a party sound to the mix, I persuaded my friend Miranda, a singer and long-time collaborator, to sing backing vocals on this project. With her lovely, bright sound the song has a fuller tone and is truer to the original. The best compliment I had was Cina telling me that after she promoted the song, a customer shouted across the street “life is greener, with Mike and Cina!”. That made me so pleased!!


I Wrote a song in tribute to #FoxOfTheDay, which is a hashtag used by many people on Twitter and championed by Wildlife presenter and conservationist, Chris Packham. It has been a brilliant, positive way of reminding everyone just how wonderful foxes can be, and cheering up my newsfeed no end!

As usual, the lyrics came first. After I had written the first couple of lines to give the song context, the mellow jazz style felt very natural. The rhymes are playful and a casual musical style complements it. The final twist in the last verse is that Chris Packham actually wrote “I could think of comfier spots, but then again I’m not a fox”. A fun natural rhyme such as this had to be used!

All Is Forgiven

Twitter is an enjoyable Social Media tool because I tend to fill it with joyous tweets. I find it balances out the news stories and political updates. Aside from the pictures of artwork and cute videos of animals, the most inspiring tweets I get are from writers such as Gordana Biernat. Their wisdom and positivity shine off the screen.

As I was thinking of what to create music for, I read Gordana’s latest tweet about grief and felt compelled to adapt it to music. The quote explains how we can learn to let go of unexpressed emotions once it is too late to tell someone how much we love them. It’s both both a sad topic and a beautiful one.

For the music, I let the words guide me, the chords and melody finding the rhythm of the verse. It was an enjoyable, very visual experience, as Gordana’s words are so positive and spiritual. Finally, I added instruments, playing with percussion, piano and bass. This version has a latin grove that picks up in the middle section, but it could just as easily be left with just a piano. As for harmonies, it didn’t feel right to add any. I just let the words speak for themselves.