As You Lean Into The Light


“I wrote this for a friend who was going through a rough time. The title suggests that, though leaning into the light you may become clearer, the shadows you cast fill the room with other complexities.”Paul Weller (333)

Brand New Start


“I remember trying to finish this in time to play it at a benefit concert we were doing for Shelter. It’s a simple message: whatever’s broken in life is there for the fixing.”Paul Weller (334)

Broken Stones


“Me and my son, when he was little, were on a beach and he was asking me where all the pebbles came from. I told him we were all part of one rock before and we all got smashed down in time and splintered and sent around the earth. I don’t know if that’s true or not, scientifically, but that was my explanation to him anyway. But even if it wasn’t true, as a metaphor for us as a human race, human spirit, that we all come from one source and we just got splintered and sent round the world, there was a sense of spirituality that we’re all seeking to get back to that core again or get back home. So to that spiritual element I married the gospel accordion chords. It’s like an old gospel or spiritual tune to me.”Paul Weller (335)

Country


“In the early nineties, I started going back to my home town and revisit many of the places that were special to me as a kid. Just ouside Woking [Surrey, in the UK, just South of London – Ed] there is some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen and I’ve always felt this is the place to recharge and re-align my world vision.”Paul Weller (336)

Heavy Soul


“I was really trying to express my feelings that we are special, that we are touched by nature and beauty and that it’s OK to believe that. Water, fire, wind, sun – I always go back to the primal elements. But for the opening couplet I had another romantic image in mind – another suburban image perhaps – of a couple in an old-fashioned steamy cafe writing love hearts on the window.”Paul Weller (337)

Out Of The Sinking


“I wanted to write a great English mod love song. How did I feel when I wrote this? Frightened, insecure, crazy but powerful. The middle section is pure Small Faces and proud.”Paul Weller (338)

Porcelain Gods


“This has that air of paranoid druggy menace and it’s about fame on one level and personal ego on another. I had this image of a small plaster Buddha toppling from the mantelpiece and shattering on the floor.”Paul Weller (339)

Science


“Some things are unexplainable, however much scientific knowledge we have, and I think we should rejoice in that. You can’t chart every inch of the world. The reference to boxing was for my dad who fought for England ABA. The sweet science.”Paul Weller (340)

Stanley Road


“When I was a kid I remember asking my dad how long a mile was. He took me into our street, Stanley road in Woking, and pointed down to the far end, towards the heat haze in the far distance. To me there was a magical kingdom through that shimmering haze, the rest of the world, all life’s possibilities. I always return to where I came from, to get a sense of my journey and where I’m heading next.”Paul Weller (341)

The Changingman


“Autobiography, written during another period of great change for me. My fortunes were rising once again but I was also splitting up with my wife. It’s about me needing to mix up the puzzle just when things are falling into place, set fire to it, light the fuse. And then try to put it back together again, awkwardly. It started with the title, which came from my daughter, Leah – she was playing with a little doll and I said “who’s this then?” She said “it’s the changingman”.”Paul Weller (342)

He’s The Keeper


“What I like about Ronnie Lane is that for all that ‘cor blimey’ East End stuff, he was like a seeker in the spiritual sense. Especially in the music press there’s that college snobbery that if you sound a bit like Arthur Mullard you can’t be spiritual or intellectual. People like Ronnie Lane disprove all that of me. Some of his lyrics are fantastic, stuff like ‘Debris’ and ‘Love Lived Here’. After he left The Faces – which must have been a hard thing for him to do – I like the idea of his Passing Show, that circus big top he took round the country, trying to get people motivated. Lost a fucking fortune on it. Someone who always done his own thing and had the balls to do it. Always came across as a very sussed geezer, especially in the lyrics, without being all air-fairy; a Don Quixote figure. That lyric, ‘He’s the one knight/On a knackered stallion/His rusty armour/So undervalued’, is one I’m proud of. I played it to Ian McLagan; he was really touched by it. Which is nice”.”Paul Weller (904)

Old Castles


“It’s that old story of the greedy old king who doesn’t really see how we subjects are suffering, or care, until one day all that he’s built up crumbles around him.”Paul Weller (1189)