🎶 02 – SWEDEN 1

Song title: Modern Day Stress

Music by: Ben Robertson

Lyrics by: Ben Robertson

Artist: Ben Robertson

My name is Ben Robertson and despite growing up in the United Kingdom I moved to Stockholm, Sweden in 2011. My first Eurovision event in person was the 2010 United Kingdom National Final (first but not the best!) and I’ve been to more than 20 National Finals since I have worked out, alongside going to Eurovision itself.

I previously took part in HCSC in 2018 with ‘Schrödinger’s Life’ and last year was a part of the ESC Insight guest jury for HCSC 2021. 

This year I submit the song ‘Modern Day Stress’. I wrote the song last year at a time when life became unbearably busy and I was struggling to be the person or the father that I wanted to be. Even though we had a piano at home I barely got chance to play on it, for example. I had this idea to write a song about what I was going through and I forced myself to take a day I didn’t really have to sit at the piano and make the magic happen, and this is the end result. I find writing songs to be incredibly introspective, almost like having a diary, and I’m happy to say that this song helped me work things out and I’m in a much better place today than I was then.

The recording was completed at a recording studio in Shrewsbury, England, last year. I had a couple of songs I wanted to record the morning we booked the studio and we tried a few different ideas to lift the track. Eventually though we settled on a three-minute one-take version with just me and the piano, which gives the biggest focus to the lyrics. 

Modern Day Stress

Why am I awake at 4 a.m?

I barely even got the bed sheets warm

My mind is racing and I can’t switch off

I know all the work it is piling up

I tried to write a list, but it’s too much

I have to fake I’m in control

Is it me, is it life that is going insane?

Cannot cure what it is driving me ‘round the bend.

Trying to keep up with the Jones’ 

In a world that’s so exhausting

And yes, yes I know picture perfect I know that’s a lie

But it won’t stop the feeling that my life’s awry

From the stress more than 9-to-5-ing

Modern day stress – I’m just surviving

Ticking over a day at a time

Rely on vices to make me feel fine

But what good’s that drug fuelled stimulation

When it became my medication

And one day all its satisfaction it did stop

Is it me, is it life that is going insane?

Cannot cure what it is driving me ‘round the bend

When the pace of life it’s rushing

Just this world as a 30-something

You don’t have the time for the chores and no time for the joy

Even writing this song was a guilty decoy

From the stress more than 9-to-5-ing

Modern day stress – and I’m just surviving

The way, you looked, you looked in my eyes

So forlorn, and lost, oh you were surprised

That I’m half the man you married

A tenth of the dad that I wanted to be

And please I don’t mean this, oh don’t be alarmed

But I thought some things, you can’t understand

How I stare out the window from my desk at work

I see the five-floor drop escaping the hurt

How did it get to this? A life without rest

That’s going to get cut short from the pain in my chest

Of the stress more than 9-to-5-ing

Modern day stress – and I’m just surviving