The story behind the song – Riding the Whale

Feb 24, 2022

Orcas by Josie Tipler

Orcas, lino cut print by Josie Tipler. Available to buy as greetings cards and badges from the Milton Hide merchandise box!.

The story behind the song – Riding The Whale, by Jim Tipler (Milton Hide)

Jim wrote this song about nostalgia, memories of his childhood. One of 5 siblings, he used to enjoy trips to the seaside with the family. Their dad would give the kids ‘whale rides’, letting them clamber on his back while he swam.

It’s the tiny details you remember as a child – they are magnified in young eyes. We can all identify with that hearstopping moment when, as a small child, you lose sight of your Mum or dad. Then that relief of finding them again and gripping a hand, or finger, vowing never to let go again!

Originally featuring harmonies with 2 voices, the song is now just sung by Jim with Josie using the clarinet as the 2nd voice, its deep tones emulating the mournful sounds of the foghorn and the whale.

On the album, Temperature’s Rising, we decided to keep this track very simple with no additional instrumentation. But there are a couple of extra sounds – seagulls recorded on Seaford beach and the sounds of children playing in the water, recorded at Cuckmere Haven on the meanders.

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