Dear Mr. McNabb

Re: Love Is A Wonderful Colour

I regret, Sir, that the song that you have ‘penned’ for performance by your functioning sharp-pointed frozen water monickered ‘combo’ requires not inconsiderable critical scrutiny.

Prior to being exposed to your sprightly composition this morning I must admit never to having considered that, to directly quote from the work, ‘love is full of wonderful colours’, and I am admittedly still quite perplexed as to precisely how such feelings of overwhelming fondness are able to be so marvellously and chromatically engorged. As you may or may not be aware, Mr. McNabb, ‘colour’ is nothing more than the admittedly quite spectacular result of electromagnetic hue cycle and retinal interaction. It is, by this very definition, a process, and therefore unable to substantially occupy ardour, which is itself devoid of both dimension and structure.

In conclusion then, and pending verifiable evidence to the contrary, I regret to inform you that the central premise of the piece, coupled with the observation that feelings of romantic attachment are also a luminous device specifically designed to draw attention to a perceived point at which the earth and sky converge (ie. “a beacon on the horizon”), is, unfortunately, wholly untenable.

Aside from the above correction, I hope you will forgive me for noticing that you appear to have an aversion against or hostility towards various forms of arboreal matter. This is clear from the inescapable fact that by your own admission, adjacent to some burning wood, you appear to have been engrossed in conversation to the extent that the blazing structural tissue (possibly the result of faulty wiring in an outbuilding or shed) evinces little to no concern. Furthermore, another of your pop songs, “Chop The Tree”, brazenly encourages the more suggestible listener to fell all manner of large bark-enclosed plants without prior verification of the presence or absence of disease, qualification as an endangered species, jurisdiction or otherwise under the National Trust, and/or permission of the landowner in whose property the condemned topiary stands. I must recommend that your obvious timber-based vendetta ceases forthwith.

I hope that you do not object to the points made within this missive and would like to assure you that my wife Jean and myself are keen enthusiasts of your output. I hope that you will not mind but I must now take leave of my computer in order to attend to a puncture and badly worn rear brake pad. With luck, once the repairs have been successfully completed, I will be able to report that the bicycle works!

Please accept my apologies for the pun above.

Yours sincerely


Derek Philpott



Reply from Mr. McNabb, received 30/1/2014


Dear Mr. Philpott,


Thank you for your letter. I do have to say though that I have often dreaded the long overdue indepth analysis of this song, the more famous of my two entries into the U.K. top forty singles chart (the other being 'Let The Young Girl Do What She Wants To' which I hope you will avoid critiquing due to its relative obscurity), as I myself have been troubled by the lyrics for over thirty years now.


If it has annoyed anyone due to its clumsy, nonsensical, random pseudo-psychedelic lyric, may I put forth that, as irritating as it is, you the listener have not had to sing it onstage for the last 30 years. If I would have been aware at the time how long this ditty would have endured in the hearts of music enthusiasts the world over I would have spent a bit more time on it. I do think you got off lightly however as the original title for this slab of Phil Spector inspired pop was 'My Heart Belongs To A Frozen Lake', so bear in mind that, however bad things are, they could always be a lot worse.


In the eighties (a time much maligned in memory by the many, but for the few it was a glorious time of hit albums and endless world tours) it was a lot easier to get away with nonsense lyrics, as a perusal through many of my contemporaries works will attest. Killing moons and kissing tortoise shells was all the rage at the time. My cruel treatment of wood during this period is a moot point and I hold my hands up to abusing it on a number of occasions, albeit only in verse. Track one on the debut Icicle Works long player has me instructing the listener to "Chop The Tree" and by track two I appear to be talking to a friend as we both presumably sit beside some "burning wood." I have no idea what any of this means and cannot even claim to be influenced by burning other substances in order to arrive at this maniacal wanton abuse of trees, as at the point the songs were conceived I was still a three pints of lager man.


Finally, my abstract metaphor instructing folk that "Love Is A Wonderful Colour" is nothing more than disguised theft of the title "Love Is Such A Beautiful Place" a song by fellow Liverpudlian songsmith Michael Head then of the band Pale Fountains. Thank you for publicly admonishing my lyrical and green crimes, it has given me cause for thought and I hereby promise to be a little kinder to forests (and myself) in future.



Ian McNabb.

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