2. Playing with the Big Boys   (6:02)

music & lyrics © 1990 by colin nicholls & walter nicholls


This song was assembled from three separate themes that seemed to want to be in the same piece. We collaborated on the music and lyrics. As I recall, Walter had an alternative set of lyrics and melody for the middle section, but this was never recorded and has since been lost.

The synthesizer solo in this track is actually Walter's original performance, captured in the MIDI sequencer back in 1995.

Production Notes


Fender Telecaster


Carvin BK5. I think this is probably the best recorded bass tone on the album.
I used the Line6 POD 2.0 as an amp simulator, then used track FX of EQ and Compressor, with additional FX on the bass buss consisting of the Cakewalk FX2 Tape Sim.

 There's a low note from the Novation PEAK in a couple of places.

The Wendler Fretless bass shows up for the "outro" section starting at about 5:00.


XLN Addictive Drums VSTi play by sticks on the Roland SPD-20 pad controller. Incidental "live" percussion of tamborine, shaker, handclaps.


PianoTeq 4 VSTi (clavinet, and electric piano)
Roland VK8 (hammond organ)

The Roland D-550 contributes two important tracks: The infamous "GlassVoices" patch; and the keyboard solo is "Grrtarr".


Cakewalk's Dimension Pro with my "Quartet Ensemble" patch.


Two trumpets and a saxophone pulled from various patches on the Korg TR-Rack and Roland Fantom.

Early Stages

Diving back into the cassette archives turns up some interesting fragments. I try to do this research before finalizing anything in the project, in case there is something worth recapturing - an odd note, a turn of phrase, or something, that was present in the early versions and deserves to be retained.

 However, in the case of this song, I think we got everything we were looking for. These (edited) historical archives are for true fans and paleontologists only:

Themes 1 (1988):

Themes 2 (1988):

Themes 3 (1990):

Instrumental demo from 1990:


Watch them run and jump and play outside my window
I want to go out and join in the fun
Mother tells me no, she says that I'm just too young
They play too rough, and I'll get hurt in the end

I want to play with the big boys
Playing with the big boys
Playing with the big boys, is where I want to be

Watch them throw and catch the ball, down in the park
I want to go down, and join in the game
Sometimes it's rough, being the smallest kid
When they choose the sides, I'm always left at the end

She stops me playing with the big boys
play with the big boys
playing with the big boys, is where I want to be

And one day, when I am big and strong
I'll walk through the gate, and feel I belong
And when I get there, will it have to be so hard?
Big boys are playing in another back yard

Playing with the big boys
Playing with the big boys

At night, when Mother tucks me into bed
You know, I always dream of staying up late, instead
And in the morning, though I have grown by one day
You know, I'll always be too young, to be a part of their play