Follow along with the transcript below for episode: Singing Through the Pandemic With The Marsh Family
[00:00:04] PF: Thank you for joining us for On a Positive Note. I’m your host, Paula Felps. Each month, I’m sitting down with a songwriter, recording artist, or music insider to learn how music can lift our spirits and heal our hearts. Music is a great tool for bringing people together. During the days of the lockdown, the Marsh family from Kent, England began sharing song parodies to express what they were going through.
As it turns out, they were exactly what we needed. Their viral videos now have received more than 30 million views. They were dubbed the Von Trapp Family by the New York Times. Today, I’m sitting down with parents Ben and Danielle Marsh to talk about how their family’s humorous approach to the pandemic helped them keep their own sanity, while turning their family into a global sensation.
[00:00:52] PF: Danielle and Ben, welcome to On a Positive Note.
[00:00:56] DM: Hi.
[00:00:57] BM: Thank you.
[00:00:57] DM: Nice to speak to you.
[00:00:58] PF: Oh, I’m so excited to have you here. I’ve been watching you on YouTube all through the pandemic. You really changed the pandemic experience for so many people. The world has fallen in love with your family. I want to know, to start it out, was your family already singing together before the lockdown?
[00:01:17] DM: Yes. Not to the same degree and not with a camera normally. It was just something that we did from when the kids were really little, actually. Yeah, I think I’ve said it before, but it was always a very cheap Christmas present for grandparents. We rally them to do some such as, there’s so many musicals, wasn’t it, that we got them to do in the days gone by, when they were little. It’s lovely to look back at, because none of them could say any of the words. It was just for us. It was our family album.
[00:01:44] BM: Yeah. It started off with playing songs with the kids, singing along, like lots of people do bad guitar playing and that sort of thing. Then it grew into something that we’d occasionally share with family on Facebook. Then we made one of them public, I think, on Facebook, because some of our family were saying, “This is really good. You should make it available.” That was when everything really kicked off at the start of the pandemic.
[00:02:06] DM: Yeah. I think, we were just right at that moment when there was nothing to fill the airwaves, and everyone was really scared and at home and not knowing what to do. The week before everybody lockdown in England, we pulled our kids from school and said, “Right. Okay, what are we going to do?” There was nothing. Yeah, we just got the instruments out and had a bit of a go at a song, and then it seemed like a nice thing to do for my mum’s birthday, which we realized we weren’t going to save for. Then, yeah, that was it, really. We went to bed one night and you were supposed to be in the States at a conference, and a friend that you had been planning to meet said, “Oh, that song that you put up, it’s brilliant. Can I share it?” We went, “Yeah, okay.” Went to bed, woke up the next morning and there were millions of views. It was totally bizarre.
[00:02:50] PF: You truly were an overnight sensation. Talk about that song. It’s that One Day More from Les Miserables. Tell us a little bit about crafting that song and what you did with it.
[00:03:02] BM: Oh, well. I mean, it’s such a rousing song from such an iconic, amazing musical for us. It was always listening to Les Mis was great, because that ate about 5 hours of cardio around the UK. You have to put it on. We always had to explain it to the kids when they’re a bit young, because obviously, there’s some sensitive material in there to do with prostitutes, all sorts of stuff. We’d make up these stories around it. There was always a bit of humor in that, and people would take in turns to sing songs, like All Females, I think. I Dreamed a Dream and there’s so many.
We take in turns in the car. We always loved One Day More, because it’s such a brilliant chorus piece that brings all of the genes together, brings all the characters together. It’s been on our radar as one that we’d always sing along to anyway. Then when we thought we could give, you know what? This is exactly what we’re all living through, this idea of one day more. Suddenly, our world had been completely and utterly destabilized, because we didn’t know where the shopping was coming from. In the UK, we had all the panic buying of toilet rolls. Nobody knew what –
[00:04:03] PF: We had that here, too.
[00:04:05] BM: All the advice was frantically being cobbled together, because no one quite understood what was happening. In a sense, we were all glued to our televisions in quite a traumatic way. Glued to the news. We just needed to restore something at home and have something to do. Yeah, the song became a way of putting that experience into one piece that we needed a laugh. You were ready to be shocked that everything that was arriving, trying to figure it out. It was part of our parenting, really, which is just to try and make something fun and less frightening.
[00:04:37] DM: Also, relatable, because there’s big, massive things going on in the world. Here, I couldn’t get a delivery slot for some food to be – You can’t panic about everything out there. You bring it back to what’s happening with your lives. Ben disappeared off for a bath and came back and said, “I’ve written some words.” We sat round the table and I vividly remember singing it through the first time. As we reached the end of it, we all went, “Well, that was good, fun.” We said, “Well, let’s have a go.” I think, we came back from the double – the kids, it’s always, the half the videos that we’ve put up on YouTube, there’s been various states of pajamas and things, because it was always after bath time, or after tea time, we’d say, “Well, let’s give it a go and see if we can manage it.”
Yeah. We just sang it through. It wasn’t perfect. There’s an argument in the middle, the beginning, I think of Thomas and various people. Yeah, we just did it because it made us feel better. I think, fundamentally, that’s why we’ve always done it. It gives you a reason to all get in a room together and talk about something other than what was on the news, or what you’ve done today. Yeah. It was really good fun. Then very quickly, we realized, it was quite important to other people and that seemed quite startling that you could be locked in your own living room and other people were feeling the same as you across the world and appreciating the stuff that you were doing. Yeah, it made the world smaller at a time when everything felt partly big and scary.
[00:05:58] PF: Talk about, Ben, the lyrics for it. Talk about the premise of the song for those who haven’t heard.
[00:06:04] BM: Well, say that in the original, Valjean is the character that ties all of the plots of Les Mis together, and in our house, it’s mommy is the heart, the beating heart of what goes on. If something’s wrong, you hear her from whatever room you’re in. If everything’s fine, you hear her laughing in whatever room you’re in. It made perfect sense for her to be. In terms of vocal range, it went really well as well. She opens up the song and talks about the prospect of the next day. She’s been shopping for online delivery, but we don’t know when it’s going to happen. We’re not allowed to go to supermarkets. Is the material going to arrive? Are we going to be able to eat? Are we going to get what we ordered? All that sort of stuff.
Then one by one, the other characters come in. In this case, in our pandemic version, the characters are arriving with our own individual problems. Because Thomas is really grumpy, for instance, youngest son. We’ve got two boys, two girls. He’s the second and he loves football. He’s really into football. We’re all Watford fans in this house. I should say soccer for an American.
[00:07:07] PF: Thanks for the translation.
[00:07:10] BM: Yeah, he was gutted, because all the matches got canceled. He couldn’t play with his friends. He was stuck indoors. He plays Marius and start singing about problems with football. Then piece by piece, each of us come in and add a different dynamic for where we’re suffering. Elle is missing her friends and she’s trying to find them on the phone. We’ve got problems with Internet signals and how much –
[00:07:32] DM: Grandparents who can’t use Skype.
[00:07:34] BM: Yeah, trying to reach out to grandparents who we’re not going to see for a while, who is struggling. Then I come in already with a bottle of beer open, I think, just with the nightmare, which we all faced. Anyone with kids. In fact, grandparents as well face it like, how do you entertain children? Then try and pretend that you’re schooling them as well. It was that realization at the start of pandemic that all these people that our society generally just gets on with their jobs and rather overlooked, like binmen and teachers and nurses, suddenly, were absolutely at the center of what’s important in society. That’s something is depressing that we’ve moved so quickly away from all that, because there was a moment where we realized how interconnected we all were. I think, that’s a little bit what we wanted to channel during the pandemic.
[00:08:21] DM: Yeah. Then it ends with as all such as waiting to see what tomorrow brings, I suppose, but hopefully, in a slightly rousing way. It certainly wasn’t the best. There were a few duff notes and there were bits and pieces that we could have done again, but it captured that moment. We did it. We walked away and we thought, “Oh, well. Grandparents will like it.” Off we went.
[00:08:40] PF: Oh, my gosh. Because you did. You captured what everybody was feeling. There’s each character, or a person in that song, there is someone who feels that way in your house. Sometimes you felt multiple things of those.
[00:08:54] DM: I think, what was quite surprising and I think this is what really cut through right in those early days is that there were six of us in this house and there were a lot of people sat at home by themselves, or with a couple of people, people who loved to sing, people who ordinarily would have turned to groups, like choirs and things. You just couldn’t make that volume of noise. We were thinking, where am I going to get some quiet and some peace? Because everybody’s in the same room. You realized other people are watching, going, “I wish I had that. I wish I had that volume and that capacity and those people around me, because I’m alone.”
It was nice to recognize that the things that make you tear your hair out when you’re thinking, “How am I going to feed you? Can’t want to eat again.” Surely, it’s just being lunch time.
[00:09:33] PF: I fed you yesterday.
[00:09:34] DM: Exactly. There are other people watching from Australia and New Zealand in America saying, “That reminds me of what my house used to be like, or that reminds me when my kids were young, or when I lived back at home with my brother and sister.” It was completely overwhelming and delightful and terrifying, all in one go. Yeah, and we started very quickly getting lovely messages from people saying, “I work on an intensive care unit. I came home this morning and this made me smile for the first time.” Those messages really cut through. You think, yeah, maybe I’m just sitting in my living room and that’s the best I can do to not be out and about and not put pressure on health services and everything else.
If we can add something extra, if we can add a bit of a smile and then that quite quickly became a bit of a focus of ours, I suppose. It was nice for the kids to feel like we were making a difference for some people even if we weren’t going anywhere.
[00:10:26] PF: I mean, you were really putting into words what a lot of people felt, and you were doing it with humor and levity and beautiful music. I mean, those things combined in one package, you could not find it anywhere else. How quickly after that first hit, after that first viral video, how quickly did you start doing more? Did you take a breath, or did you say, let’s jump on this?
[00:10:49] BM: Well, it was a bit. I mean, it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest, to begin with. Because suddenly, we had all of these – We were trying to do our jobs remotely as well and homeschool the kids. Then suddenly, we had all these messages from international media, wondering if we could perform this, or could we go on this show. We didn’t want to say no to anything, because we didn’t think that we can make any difference to how anyone was feeling. We thought the best thing we could do is just get out of the way and let the people deal with the pandemic you were in the best place to. Yeah, for a week or two, it was – we had headaches through the whole thing. It sounds really weird to complain about.
[00:11:23] DM: I know. I’ve never been that exhausted. I’ve had four children and I was more exhausted in those two weeks.
[00:11:29] PF: Really.
[00:11:29] DM: We felt a real weight of responsibility and we were scared. The British press are renowned for putting somebody up on a pedestal and then deciding that they don’t want them there anymore. We were very aware that we didn’t want to do – we didn’t want to say yes to some people and no to others, and we didn’t want to look like we were – we didn’t want it to look like we were profiting out of anything that had happened. We didn’t want to look like we were – Yeah, the pandemic has been brilliant for us.
We were really minded that all we wanted to do was talk to people that wanted to talk to us. We actually said, we’ll do two weeks and then we’ll go away, because we want to say no when people felt that we mattered and we’ve made a difference to them, but we really didn’t want to be there going, watch us again. We did that. We drew a line. I think, it was about the Thursday of the second week and a couple – lots of other messages would come inside, but we’d moved from being a news story to, I suppose, being would you like to come on this show and chat about something different?
We just felt that wasn’t our place and we didn’t feel comfortable and we were exhausted and we just said, “Thank you very much.” We turned the last things down and we said, that will be us. Then, because of these messages that we’ve had, the few people that cuts you, many of whom are still messaging now, we didn’t want to completely shut off. Because I got one message from someone who’d been at their father’s funeral that day. He said not, “I came home when I watched this.” It felt like, if we could keep a window open, I suppose and at that point, we just set up this YouTube channel. We didn’t tell anybody about it. We just put it up, and we put the One Day More song on it. And a couple of other songs that we’ve done previously. We did one right at the beginning of the pandemic, a version of the Rapunzel song, Tangled song, and a couple that we’d done before any of this happened. We just left it at that.
What was nice was because there weren’t many people, subscribers, I don’t think we’ve ever said like and subscribe, but we had very few people apart from those small number who found us, we could then just keep going in a quite quiet and down play way. We just kept using it as our therapy. Each time we put out a little song, maybe a few more people watched it, or shared it and it built quite slowly from there. Over the first summer, we did a few more songs.
As with most of the things we do, they weren’t necessarily – we weren’t thinking, what other thing can we say about the pandemic? We were talking about a lot of things that were going on in our lives, and that we were talking about with the kids. I think we did some, yeah, Black Lives Matter was a big thing at that point in time. Then we did one about going back to school or not going back to school. It just built very slowly, until we got to, I don’t know, the Christmas of the first year and the Hallelujah song happened, and I have the new job happened. Yeah, basically after that, it increased incrementally, I suppose, but it was not something that we were seeking.
[00:14:18] PF: Right. You were providing a service, an emotional service for so many people. The first time I heard Totally Fixed Where We Are, I lost my mind. I’m like, that is the most brilliant parody. I’m such a huge fan of parody. I was like, “Oh, my gosh. That just killed it.” I probably listened to it five times back-to-back that first time, and it was just amazing to me. That one really went viral. That one, I saw everywhere. Did that kick things back up for you?
[00:14:51] BM: Yeah, it picked up again, I think in January 2021 with have the new job. But with a song which is about vaccination, a real urgency in the UK and lots of concern, like there has been all over the world. Obviously, vaccines are a complicated subject matter. People have very strong feelings one way or the other. This was at the point of a big second wave in the UK and really, the only outlet for us is sadly, the death toll was really driving up. Once again, we were back in full lockdown with these new vaccines.
We chose to present a pro-vaccination song that hopefully, had some humor in it, but it was part of this bigger idea that has grown with us, I think, over the course of the pandemic, which is that we are connected to people that we didn’t realize. People in America who aren’t just early American – my early American historian, peeps and friends on my network, but people in New Zealand and people in Finland and reaching out.
Suddenly, there was there was an odd sense that actually, we were going through the same thing because of the pandemic and we were in touch with them. Yeah, we tried to build, I think, on that sensibility and then totally fixed. I mean, we’ve always loved parodies. We’ve listened to, besides musicals, which we’ve talked about, and the other stuff that we’ve always laughed along with the kids, too. People like Weird Al Yankovic.
There’s that side of songs and humor. Really what happened with totally fix where we are is these two things came together and it’s a power ballad that is so – I mean, it’s so weird in the first place. It didn’t time alike. I think the original was 12 minutes long or something, the full version. We’d always loved this ridiculous video that was created at some point in the 80s, in a Gothic house.
[00:16:33] PF: Yeah, the little shining eyes and otter flying around.
[00:16:37] DM: Children of the Damned. As well as being an iconic song that everyone knew, it already felt one that you could take the mickey out of with it. Because it’s so long and because the way the lyrics sit with it, I think it just offered itself up to a whole set of reflections about what it’s been like to be stuck again in this second big lockdown.
[00:16:57] DM: I think, the second time around, the first time, obviously, there’s a rising panic. This has never happened before. What are we going to do? The second time around, there was a grim familiarity. We knew what this was going to be like. I mean, this time is winter and it’s cold and there’s nothing. It just felt a bit bleak, especially by the end of that January. When we did the song and we did record, I mean, I vividly remember saying, “Look, if we’re going to do it, we’ll have to do it now, because I’ve moved the sofa.” We just stood there.
I think we knew. We did about two runs through. We did the second one and we knew it had gone – You can tell when they’ve worked, because we all feel a bit like, “Yeah, that was a good one.” We all look at each other, as if to say, “Did you make it?” “No, I didn’t.” I think I made it. I think we’re all alright. Then we walked away again and Ben did his magic by putting the video together.
Again, and the thing about viral videos is that you lose control of them. They’re not yours to just give out to whoever chooses to see them. Yeah, that one was a perfect example of that, because we were both working. I was working. It was a Thursday afternoon or something. I kept getting messages from people I haven’t spend with for a long time saying, “It’s brilliant.” I was thinking, well, I can see on YouTube that it’s had a lot of likes, but not that many. Obviously, somebody had taken it and it had gone wild, but it ended up in a format and a way that we couldn’t keep hold of.
It was a shock again, because people were saying, “It’s been sent to me by someone from Australia.” We were thinking, what are you talking about? Then very shortly after that, we got a message from a Richard Curtis’s team who organizes big charity over here, a Comic Relief, and they asked us if we would perform it on their show. Yeah, it went from being we’re stuck in our house, what are we going to do to, oh, my goodness, we might actually have to do something outside of our house.
[00:18:38] PF: You wore your pajamas for it.
[00:18:40] DM: Oh, yeah.
[00:18:41] PF: That was amazing.
[00:18:43] DM: Yeah, they supplied the pajamas. Yes, that was slightly ironic. Yes. We finally get out and I’m still in slippers. I think, whenever the kids are asked now, because of course from Tess’s point of view, so much of her life is being now taken up with all of the pandemic and everything else. If you ask them what their most amazing highpoints were, going on Comic Relief and doing that song was definitely up there.
[00:19:04] PF: Once you did that, you did that performance with Comic Relief and you’ve done some other things that have changed the direction. You really used it to send some positive message you did something about prostate cancer. You were going to talk about your new song here in a minute. How did that change to like, we want to get these causes out there and we want to make people aware?
[00:19:25] DM: I think, with all the stuff we’ve done, we’ve come at it from our own personal point of view. We had some lovely messages quite early on with people saying, “Would you write a song about?” We’ve generally shied away from that, because we didn’t want to parachute in on somebody else’s issue, or something else and start telling people how to deal with it, or talk about it. What we realized when we did have the new job song is that what we were able to do that a lot of people couldn’t, was we were able to start conversations that people would sit around a table and say, “Have you ever had your prostate checked out? Or, why don’t you want to have a vaccine? What do you think about it?”
We cut through in a way that I suppose, when we’re becoming more and more entrenched in our opinions and more and more polarized in our world, we could cut through in a way that a lot of other people couldn’t. They might be incredibly angry and disagree entirely with what we were saying, but they would still say, “But the girls sang beautifully.” Or, “I really liked how you did that, but I don’t agree.”
I suppose, it challenged people in a slightly different way. Rather than being entirely defensive with a lot of their opinions. They might listen, maybe ask a question that they wouldn’t have asked and certainly, the have the new job made us realize that obviously, you set yourself up for a lot more vitriol. People will also say, actually, I did ask that question, because I wasn’t sure about that.
When Prostate Cancer UK came to us, we’d spoken to them way early on, because we’d written a song where my dad got the all clear for prostate cancer, which we’d done well before the whole pandemic singing thing happened. We put that on the YouTube channel and they’d come to us, because they’ve seen it, prostatectomy song that we did for my dad’s Christmas present, the year that he had a big operation. They said, “Would you would you do something for us?” Again, it was a personal thing for us.
[00:21:08] BM: I think, it’s one of those where music consists of softened things and satire and parody can often sharpen things, and you get into a really interesting terrain, especially with science messaging, or science communication and health issues and health communication, because it’s quite a different place to be thinking about the subject matter, or sharing the subject matter, or whether sharing personal experiences, or talking about much bigger issues.
I felt, it’s quite a rich area as well to stray into. As usual, with us, it’s partly also just about teaching the kids about discussions about vaccination, or about cancer, or hormones, or whatever it may be. It’s a great place to channel some of that thinking that’s not confrontational. It feels at the moment, especially when you look at social media or something that everyone is drawing their little Venn diagrams of their people that they don’t like taking a step beyond that.
This is a way of ourselves doing it. Yeah, it felt like it’s something that maybe other people don’t do, because if you’re a professional artist, if you make your living from entertainment, or whatever, then it suddenly becomes a lot more complicated what you’re able to say and what you’re not able to say. Because we’re not, it’s something that we can, yeah, we can do as long as we don’t end up sounding massively preachy, or –
[00:22:27] PF: Right. Yeah, because I had a great writing mentor who taught me that humor can open someone’s heart, and then that gives you the doorway to put your messaging in. That’s really what you guys did. You make us laugh and you also make us think. We’re more welcoming of a different mindset, because of the humor.
[00:22:47] DM: I think, we weren’t trying to give a message and tell people that we knew best. We were simply saying, especially with this prostate cancer one, these are the people who you should talk to. If you haven’t, if you’re not sure, if you’re worried, if you’ve put things off, if you haven’t asked the question, then go here and get yourself checked. Ask the question, because you’re important. It doesn’t matter that everything else going on in the world, because this is something that you need to make a priority. I think, if we were trying to do it and tell people something because we want them to know it, because we have the answers, that would be, I suspect, a lot awful and a lot more preachy.
Whereas, this was simply us saying, ask the questions, go look out for yourself. Yeah, coming at it, you found out an awful lot more about the prostate than you had ever known yourself. We are now of the age that those things are definitely things that you expect someone’s going to tell you and then you realize, no one’s actually going to come up and give you that lesson. Yeah, it was came from out in that instance being asked to do it. Then our experiences and everything else and being able to talk about my dad and he’s a medic and he was still nearly too late. He put things aside and didn’t ask the questions when he should’ve done. Yeah, there’s a lot of things we’ve done that have been lovely, because people have felt they were important to them. This felt like it was important and that was a definite incentive to do it.
[00:24:13] PF: That’s fantastic. You have a new song, which hits very close to home for me, I must say. Tell us about that.
[00:24:22] DM: Yeah. Just before the first lockdown, I was diagnosed with a form of rheumatoid arthritis, which I had known it was coming, because my dad had it. They put me on a form of medication that can be used in higher doses as a chemo drug. I was put on this new drug in January 2020. Immediately, it transpired, was then pushed into menopause, but didn’t really know that was what was happening. Then the lockdown happened. All the way through that first two-week chaos and everything, I was thinking, I can feel right if there’s something going on, this is all very peculiar.
Yeah, as an undercurrent, everything else has gone in the past two years. I was told, “Yes, you are definitely menopausal. Yes, you’ve got this and you’ve got that and you’re going to need start this and that.” We thought, yeah, you either just get on and pretend it’s not happening. You say to the kids, “Look, I’m not going to cope as well with life today, as I might have done previously. This is why.” It felt like we don’t do that enough. I suppose, having done that, the prostate cancer thing, we were talking at Christmas, you and the boys had come up with a great riff that you’d been playing through, just having to go out and you said, “Look at this song. What’s going on in our world?”
[00:25:31] BM: Yeah. This was one with the music, because this is one we write ourselves, the music and it came together separately from the concept and the lyrics. Then, once we felt that it fitted, actually a song about the menopause, you imagine, needs to be a certain way. Actually, there are lots of great parodies about menopause. There’s a musical about menopause. It’s usually, there’s a certain style. In our case, we wanted to have something that was able to be uplifting and actually, that you could dance to, because it felt counterintuitive that this is not something you’re supposed to – this is supposed to be a tragic, traumatic moment, the change, where all the great things about youth and sexuality and stuff is being transformed.
We didn’t want to cast it in that light and just poke fun at it. It was a really interesting one to write, because striking the balance, I mean, usually I come up with some lyrics typically in the bath, and I put them in front of the family and people go, “I don’t want to sing that. I’m not going to sing that. That should be theirs.” In this case, because the subject matter, obviously, Danielle had complete veto over what she wanted, what could go in and what couldn’t go in. When we first talked about it, I’d never heard of this word perimenopause. I’ve written a book on gender history, and it was not on my radar at all that there was a thing called perimenopause. It was part of my education and our education and the kids. We thought, well, why not turn that into an uplifting song, a song that you can dance to?
[00:26:56] DM: Yeah. I think even though a lot of my friends are a little bit older than me, none of us really knew very much about what was going on. It was just, I think we all assumed that at some point, you would just wake up and go, “Oh, now I need to go.” Someone will inform. No, it’s all this – I mean, I almost feel grateful that might happened so swiftly that I wasn’t in that – Is it? Am I not? Am I going slightly? Is it, am I down? There was no question about me.
The number of my friends who’ve come to me and gone, “So you did what? You’re taking what? How does that work? How do you feel?” You realize that, again, there is no fount of knowledge that you suddenly get introduced to when you hit 49, or 50, or 50. Everybody thinks it’s older than they are. Everyone’s surprised, I think, when it happens to them. Yeah, why should it be taboo? Why shouldn’t we talk about it? Why should we just say under our breath, “Mommy’s a little bit delicate,” and just expect wake up when we’re through this messy stage and be okay again.
It was like, no, actually, it’s not all negative. There are moments where I’m not going to like things that are happening, but I don’t want my daughters who aren’t quite in the first phase of this to look and say, “Oh, remember that time when mommy just lost it?” Everything dreadful happens when you hit your 40s. I wanted them to see it is a powerful move. It’s not the end. It’s just a new phase. Even if I’m not entirely convinced but myself, we can pretend until we actually believe it.
[00:28:20] BM: Fake it till you make it.
[00:28:20] DM: Absolutely.
[00:28:21] PF: I think too, it’s good for men to hear this. It’s an excellent song, because I think as much as we as females don’t know what is going on with us, oh, my God, I think about the men. They’re like “Where’s my wife? Where did she go? Because this is a different person.”
[00:28:38] DM: Somebody said that. Somebody said, “Oh, I don’t think this is appropriate for boys and men to hear.” I was like, “Well, they’ve all got mothers. They’ve all got wives.” Maybe not this particular individual who said it. But actually, this is what demystifies a topic. This is what makes everybody feel comfortable to ask questions, because it is different for everybody. There isn’t a set start and a set end and a one size fits all type of medication. Some people don’t need anything. Some people need lots of different types that they have to try out. The whole point is that we should – it happens to the half the population, so why are we not able to talk about it? Yeah. Why should the kids not know about it now? Why do we take them aside at some point in a hushed voice, say something is going to happen one day and you’ll know when it does. No.
[00:29:22] PF: You won’t understand it.
[00:29:23] DM: You won’t understand it, and you’ll think it’s only you and you’ll keep leaving rooms and overheating and feeling like you need to apologize for yourself. No, we should be much more comfortable in talking about it before it happens and after it happens and during it. Yeah, the song –
[00:29:37] BM: It’s a weird one for us, because we’re at the point – because the ages of the kids as well. There’s a lot of hormones just flying around the house. I generally have a morning, or have an afternoon. It’s made it possible for them, I think, and for us in a way to see this journey that each of us is on. They’re hitting spots and puberty at the moment. Then, we’re in different phases where things are going wrong and going gray and moving to new terrains. It humanizes everything. I think, we need that in a much bigger way across our societies to do with the workplace and women in their 40s and early 50s. You look at questions of retention, promotion, the glass ceiling and all sorts of other ways, people leaving remunerative work, or switching career tracks.
There’s a lot for us to get our heads around in a much bigger way about this, but it has to start with, yeah, with those smaller looks and conversations and sometimes escaping the room when it’s the right moment for everyone to say through.
[00:30:36] DM: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:30:37] PF: What are you going to do next? Do you have more parity planned? Are you going to do some more things, like you’ve done with the biological clock song, or what’s your future landscape looking like?
[00:30:45] BM: What we’d love to do is be able to grow slightly what we’re doing and do some more original songs potentially. Luckily, we’ve got an incredible support base through a cycle patron of people that can support us each month. We’re learning and developing ourselves for now. If in three or four years’ time, there’s something that we’re doing that’s still of interest to lots of people and the kids are old enough to think of it as something that they really want to do as a career, not just something that they’re doing on top of other stuff, then we can be in a position to grab those opportunities. In the meantime, we’re happy carrying on doing what we’re doing.
[00:31:19] DM: Yeah, we’ll keep going as we are for a while and see where we end up, I suppose.
[00:31:22] PF: That is terrific. You have certainly kept us entertained and we so look forward to what’s coming. Thank you for sitting down and talking with me today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this conversation and I know that our listeners will too.
[00:31:35] DM: Oh, you’re very welcome. Lovely to chat with you.
[00:31:36] BM: Lovely to speak. Yeah.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[00:31:38] PF: That was Ben and Danielle Marsh, talking about how their family is using music and humor to bring people together. If you’d like to learn more about the Marsh family, subscribe to their YouTube channel, or follow them on social media. Just visit livehappy.com and click on the podcast link.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of On a Positive Note and look forward to joining you again next month. Until then, this is Paula Felps, reminding you to make every day a happy one.