There’s a Mouse in the House

A blog by singer and guitarist Andrew Healey about his song Mouse in the House.

I’ve written a lot about lockdown. Which is what most of my upcoming album is about. And, if you’ve read some of my posts, you’ll know that my experience of self-isolation was largely positive. Until the incident.

I don’t know what day it was. Heck, during the weeks I spent holed up at home, every day felt like Sunday. Anyway, it was early evening. Kathy, my partner, and I were watching something on T.V. and then … Kathy saw a mouse.

Now, I wasn’t particularly thrilled to discover that I was sharing lodgings with a mouse — and possibly its family. But, being the rational guy that I am, I was secure in the knowledge that mice are harmless. Heck, what can they do? Eat our faces off when we’re asleep? I think not. However, Kathy wasn’t so sure. And, judging by her reaction, you’d think we were under siege.

So, from the couch, like it were a flimsy raft upon a lake of crocodiles, Kathy ordered me to “catch that mouse!”

I tried my best. But, the mouse was one slippery customer, and figuring out where he’d had gone, was hard enough, let alone catching him.

Needless to say, Kathy was none too pleased, and so she retreated to our bedroom. Door firmly closed.

“Hey, Kathy. If the ‘mouse terrorists’ can infiltrate the lounge, what makes the bedroom so safe?”

Anyway, it was clear that Kathy had no intentions of leaving the bedroom until the mouse was gone. So, faced with the prospect of delivering supplies to her ‘safe place’ for goodness knows how long (I’d hate for Kathy to starve), I took action.

That action to the form of driving to the supermarket (one of the few businesses still open) and buying a couple of mouse traps.

If you watched Tom and Jerry as a kid, you’ll know that mice love cheese. Well, I’m sure they do, but the instructions accompanying the traps suggested that butter was better bait. So, who am I to argue with the experts? I followed the advice.

The butter must have been too tempting to resist because on the first night that I laid the traps I got me a mouse! I was an alpha male. I’d protected my ‘woman’ from danger.

Unfortunately, the warm glow of success didn’t last long because the next day, Kathy saw another mouse. Oh, hell, we really were sharing our place with a family of rodents!

So, the campaign continued. And, over the following days, I laid more traps and more mice fell — apparently word hadn’t spread among the mouse community about my traps.

Then, eventually, there were no more mice, and the traps remained un-tripped — except for the two times I stood on one while visiting the kitchen at night.

And, so life returned to some kind of normal.

A new song

Why am I telling you this tale of man against mouse? Well, for one, I think it’s funny. More importantly for me, though, is that it inspired a new song: Mouse in the House. What a surprise.

All my new songs take a positive spin on life, which is a bit strange, really, because I generally view life through a cynical lens. Anyway, Mouse in the House stays true to feel-good theme of my other songs.

Musically, I’d describe the song as reggae, and I play ukulele for the choppy chords that you’d expect with that genre. To add groove, I use my Taylor G.S. Mini to play the main riff. Mouse in the House  is a simple song (only three chords), and apart from a little percussion, I don’t plan to add much more instrumentation.

Here is a short sample of what I have recorded so far. To be honest, I’m not at all happy with the vocals — there are some weird frequencies that I suspect are the result of reflections in my recording space. So, I’ll be doing more experimentation and getting a sound shield before I record a definitive take. Putting the imperfections aside, I think this sample will give you an idea of where I’m heading with the song.

Latest news

My most complete song is The Sun is Up. And, in a couple of days, the drummer from my jazz band, Standard Deviation, will be adding some percussion. I’m looking forward to hearing what he comes up with. I’ll let you know how we get on. Stay tuned.

For updates on the progress of my album, please subscribe to my blog by completing the form below.

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Andrew Healey

Editor

Andrew is an Auckland-based writer and musician.

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