Hi, this isn’t intended to be a thorough breakdown of the lyrics to Temple and Arch as it is about the history of the song and inspiration behind it. This song was the first song I wrote that doesn’t have lyrics that would embarrass me now. There were earlier songs, three of them, just not as good.
The inspiration came from one one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman and his urban-fantasy classic Neverwhere, however there are references and hints to other work of his, particularly The Sandman. As such it was the first based on a work work of fiction. The protagonist of the song meets a man ‘at the World’s End’ a reference less to the Camden pub of the same name as it is to the one in the titular Sandman story. The title itself is simply a saying from the book, an exclamation really not very dissimilar to ‘oh my God! but to Archway and Temple on the underground rather than whichever Above deity we may carry with us.
Whilst I was given verbal permission to use any of the Mourning For Autumn songs I wanted when that band split, Temple and Arch was the only one I felt comfortable taking, as it was the only one I’d penned and still liked – excluding maybe a couple Charlotte and I co-wrote and one of those would have just been weird having Dave sing it. Really weird.
When it came to writing it – as I approached Temple and Arch with the notion of wanting to write about the book rather than because I had lyrics in my head – I made the conscious decision to not try to turn the book into a song. I felt that would be too awkward and instead took the approach of throwing our singer in to that world, having them hear the story, disbelieve it and eventually come to realise it was utterly true. By extension, the audience hearing Temple and Arch draws them into the world of London Below, or indeed the Below of whatever city or town they’re in.
We were intending on making a video for Temple and Arch during 2020 but then this global pandemic set in and so that’s not happened yet. We still want to make it happen though and get to see what sort of Sheffield Below our video crew have imagined for us. I think it’d be a lot of fun.