Fragments (a book of lyrics and poetry)
"I opened a window to my soul,
and poured the words into my lyrics,
the darkness, the shadows, the light
I pray that your soul can hear it"
I’ve had an obsession with music since before I can remember. Maybe it was the songs my parents played when I was a baby. Perhaps it was ‘Top of the Pops’ on the TV or the radio in the car. I’ll never know for sure, but it was always there.
I played my Fisher Price record player to death. I dressed up like my favourite pop stars and sang along to all their songs. My only dream as a small child was to one day become that person on stage, comanding an audience with my words.
That dream kind of came true, just not in the way I’d expected. As a motivational speaker and performance coach I am often on stage and my words have helped transform thousands of lives and businesses.
I’ve also had some successes with my own music over the years, winning awards for unsigned artists, getting featured by magazines and eventually getting interest from record labels.
But none of that stuff had my vocals or lyrics. I was too shy to share my words. Too afraid of the potential rejection that could follow.
Earlier this year I published my first book ‘Done Beats Perfect: The Secrets to Overcoming Procrastination and Getting Things Done’. It is a self help book that since publication has been getting a steady string of five star reviews and some incredible feedback on it’s life changing impact.
This book you are holding is very different. Think of it more as a ‘self’ book than a ‘self help’ book. It’s filled with words I wrote for me, many of which have never been shared with anyone else.
In the words of Dilated Peoples: “My lyrics take care of me, they therapy. Get shit off my chest.”
I’ve written lyrics and poetry for years. Lyrics are a way I process life. In the good times and the bad.
I had books filled with lyrics that I wrote in my teen years, but alas, my fear of judgement resulted in me using those books to make a bonfire in my early twenties.
Now in my mid-forties I have work I’ve created over the last couple of decades. It’s been gathering dust on various harddrives and in random notebooks. Lately life has given me a few little nudges to encourage me to do something with them and hence I’ve compiled this book.
I’ve been inspired by so many musicians and songwriters that I’m not going to attempt to name them. So many genres and styles of music that a random playlist might sound like a broken jukebox.
The lyrics, poems and fragments of life in this book have been written in hotels, at home, on planes, trains… often just as notes on my iPhone as the ideas have come to me.
Every word is inspired by life. Either my own experiences or those of people I’ve been close to. Every word in is this book comes with the stamp of my soul. Every word is personal and has a meaning. Some of those meanings with be more transparent than others.
Like every song I’ve ever listened to, the true meaning is the one that you, the listener, will give as you hear the words ring through your ears (or you read them off the page). Your meaning may be very different to mine. It happens as we blur somebody else’s words with our own life experiences.
Some of the content of this book is not for the faint hearted. Some of it is dark and some of the language is coarse or strong. It lets you into some of the deep reccesses of my soul and the dangerous neighbourhood that is the mind of someone who once lived with mental illness.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
A window to the author’s sole.
Fragments is not the sort of book I would ordinarily read - but I am very glad that I did. The lyrics paint an interesting picture of someone emerging from the darkness of despair and struggling through the gloom into the brightness of hope and joy. It’s like a window into the author’s sole! Well done Neil Martin, it is a book I that I thoroughly recommend.
Im no reader but couldn't put it down!!!
Now im not a really reader of many books. But I have just sat and literally just read it cover to cover!! So many relatable emotions touched. I will be reading this again and again!