The making of The Spy 

Marina Bloom (music and vocals):

This is what Michael calls "a perfect little song". It is perfect from start to finish like a mustard cheese croissant toasted to perfection on a cold morning... 

I am saying that because this is literally what we were comparing it to :)

In fact, I have to say there was something a little magical about how the music for this song came about. I was driving to Albany (North Shore, Auckland, NZ) one day for work, and on the motorway, I had this melody on my mind, but I couldn't find the words for it, so I was just singing instead - "Mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror".

As I got home I opened the lyrics that Michael sent to me in the morning, which I didn't get a chance to read properly before. As I was reading it I realised that the music I which came to me in the car, was fitting the verses perfectly. Then the pre-chorus absolutely came out of nowhere, sweeping me off my feet, I couldn't hold back the amazement that I had found that rhythm in Michael's lyrics! What was interesting that Michael couldn't see that rhythm before it either! The chorus reincarnated a couple of times, but then it became something much more grandiose than it was initially.

Michael Davis (lyrics): 

"The Spy is possibly my favourite Moving Stuff song. It has so much atmosphere and, to me, is such a perfect blend of words, music and an incredible vocal from Marina!  

I was walking through the Auckland streets early one Sunday morning. It was a crisp spring day; chilly but lovely and sunny. Just as I was thinking how beautiful the morning was, the church bells started to toll! It was so incredibly atmospheric and romantic at the same time.  

For some reason, it reminded me of some of my favourite spy movies like the early scene in Mission Impossible 1 which was shot on a moonlit night in Prague. Or the classic black and white movie; The Third Man with its cobblestone streets and ‘baddies’ looking out from every doorway.  

The first line was basically a reflection of exactly what I was doing: ‘Sunday morning, church bells ringing and this old city slowly coming to life’. 

The image of a city waking up with ‘yesterdays papers’ blowing around just seemed so apt.  

It didn’t take much to head back to the image of spies in the shadows and trying to stay ‘one step ahead of the game’  

The two verses and the pre-chorus were written in the time it took to walk 4 blocks! It flowed so easily as sometimes lyrics do. One of my favourite lines was a deliberate reference to the James Bond movie; From Russia With Love which is not only a classic 007 movie but is also the birthplace of my wonderful composing partner, Marina!  

Although 90% of the song was written on that morning, the chorus took forever! We ended up changing it twice from the original. It just never seemed right, always like a square peg in a round hole! However, we persevered and in the end, we came up with a much simpler chorus that worked so well with the verses and also hinted at a love story lurking behind the iron curtain with ‘everyone in Berlin’ sleeping with the enemy!  

The Spy really is a song that delivers on all levels! Hope you like it!

Watch the live performance of this song in Kapiti by Marina

Lyrics:

The Spy 
(copyright Bloom/Davis) 

Sunday morning, 
church bells ringing 
and this old city’s slowly coming to life. 
The wind is blowing 
yesterday’s papers 
and I’m walking the streets like I’m barely alive. 

Cos I’ve been chasing your shadows 
down dead end alleys 
but you’ve always been one step ahead of the game. 
But I’ve finally found you in my line of vision 
Should I pull the trigger or invite you on in? 

Nobody knows how cold it can be 
When you’re falling for traitors and all lost at sea 
From Casanova to Mata Hari 
Everyone in Berlin 
Has slept with the enemy 

Monday morning 
the week is calling. 
and this old city’s finding its feet at last 
The rain is falling 
like tears from heaven 
and I feel like an extra in ‘From Russia With Love’ 

Cos I’ve been chasing your shadows 
down dead end alleys 
but you’ve always been one step ahead of the game. 
But I’ve finally found you in my line of vision 
Should I pull the trigger or invite you on in? 

Nobody knows how cold it can be 
When you’re falling for traitors and all lost at sea 
From Casanova to Mata Hari 
Everyone in Berlin 
Has slept with the enemy

 

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