This is track three form Chico Chica’s album Mélangerie. This was a song I presented to a lyricist on a previous project. These were in fact dummy lyrics, but they were so daft I thought they just might pass off as surreal. I did not want to suggest the rhyme scheme to the lyricist as I thought that was her job so, unusually for me, there is no rhyme in the entire song. As soon as Hilary heard the song she immediately said the last A section should be raised a forth. This never occurred to me and it turned out to be an inspired move because it raises the tension after the bridge.
We recorded two versions, the first was in a Kurt Weill style, with Hilary coming up with some crunchy dissonance. For the outro we went into a fast Free Jazz freak-out – it was supposed to represent the unfamiliar, other-worldliness of the fish’s experience of being pulled out of the water. After the take, as we listened back, there was an uneasy atmosphere. We felt we hadn’t told the fish’s story with enough poignancy. The whole take was flapping about on the studio floor. We needed to re-cast our musical rod into the lake of our souls. So out of respect for the fish, someone, I can’t remember who, probably a vegetarian, suggested a Tango version. Hilary immediately came up with the opening motif and followed it with the arresting and dramatic piano intro. She told me afterwards that when she composed the piano introduction, she was thinking of her Argentinian friend Lucia Caruso whom she met in New York while she was at the Manhatten School Of Music.