Here is the scene as I figured out the core of this song late last night.
I tried a hymn structure to go along with the underlying metaphor of angels going extinct. And I forbade myself any of the dirty chords or over-extended phrases that I usually fall back on. Turns out to be pretty easy to write songs if you use a refrain and a standardised structure.
Thanks to my brother Joe for teaching me what is a secondary dominant chord (G major in this key, substituting G minor), which stops this song from being unbearably dull. And thanks to mother Lyn Geddes for pointing out that hymns often change chord on every note. Although sometimes the change is to another voicing of the same chord, I now understand.
And also thanks to the Apostle Matthew, for recording Jesus’s remark that God notices even one sparrow falling, and isn’t a human life is worth “many” sparrows. Perhaps so. But how many? Just like the missing bugs splattered on windscreens, which many of us had been worrying about but not dared to think the truth, for the last few years I’d had a funny feeling that there was something up with the sparrows, and it turns out there is. I’ll probably come back to this.