It wouldn’t have been my choice of a first single; I think there are a number of other songs ready to go that would launch Seeder with more of a bang. But I’m not the artist, and Underfoot is an artistcentic label. I am in fact the ‘muse’, so it gets complicated, an Edward de Bono case of hat confusion. With my label hat on it felt more than a little egocentric and nepotistic to release a song about me. Yet it kind of made sense. “Testimony” is a love ballad, it isn’t going to be on the album, no one wanted to shelve the recording, instead let it stand alone, a simple single to get things rolling again.
Penned by Mic Hardwick, in the wayback machine. The original recording and film clip was made possible by the collaborative energies of creative friends. Recorded, videoed to tape, pre-internet, (Thanks Cye, Brett, Linn, and Andrew). The clip was never “officially” released; it sat forlornly on the shelf, though I did eventually slip it on YouTube a while back. Years passed, life danced somersaults with time and our dreams, bands changed, the world changed and Michael decided to rework his love song with his new band Seeder, and as I mentioned, when the final album selection was made, Testimony didn’t make the cut. Not because no one liked it, it simply didn’t fit sonically with the other songs. So it was sent out on it’s own, dropping into sound streams in Underfoot’s February Love Bomb, free at last.
Michael wrote Testimony shortly after we married, it has journeyed with us for 32 years. Often requested by friends at shows and often sung along with by the audience. There’s something warm, simple and genuine about it that definitely appeals, particularly when played live. And I will admit it’s cool to have a song written for you. It tickles me when I hear him play it. Yet it also makes me wonder if it’s about me anymore? Is that “girl De” still in here, perhaps camouflaged under the wrinkles? Apparently I can still flash the affronted Red-Headed Dagger look of my youth, which still makes him laugh at me, and that still infuriates me and that still melts the fury. Many Sunday afternoons later here we both are, still on the grass. We’ve raised a family and buried parents, we still hold hands when we go walking, and we still giggle when our cold feet meet in the dark under the sheets. We are a witness to each other’s lives, for better and for worse, nobody knows me as well as him, he’s my best friend.
The Latin root of Testimony is “witness”, as in an eyewitness testimony. A solemn declaration of fact with a hand on the bible and one on the heart, the “I swear” with no fingers crossed. The heart doesn’t lie; perhaps the odd hormonal rush confuses it at times, but it means well. In many ways when you know Michael, you can see this song as his foundation, it's at the root of him, love and family first. It’s his Testimony, so this piece of him has to be out there for the rest of his songs to follow. In a panel interview on the iconic Blah Blah Blah Show back in 1988, Michael joked with Andrew Denton about marriage and how much it meant to him. So perhaps Testimony Version 2 is like a renewal of our vows. Worth doing simply for ourselves and also to affirm to friends and family and the great “out there” that long term love is possible. It’s worth trying for, it is worthwhile, and it can stay vital and juicy, and it seems like a breath ago that we began. Thirty years on we are still married, our hearts do stand as Testimony. We are connected like old vines with deep roots, sweet fruit and so many memories. “Testimony” mark 2 has now evolved into family creation, this time around one of the offspring shot and edited the music video, and that feels so cool.
Testimony version One
Testimony Version Two
(Even black and white can't hide the white hair!!)
And may love also find you, and stay with you.
Happy Anniversary Michael xx
Thanks for indulging me