Jim Causley & Charles Causley

[Slightly  amended from a post on Sabrinaflu, since not many people in this region are likely to travel to Shropshire for a gig.]

Last night I caught up with our recording of Cornwall’s Native Poet: Charles Causley, screened a little while ago on BBC4.  It’s actually a cut-down (60 minutes) version of a 90-minute film produced by Jane Darke, and my wife recorded it for me, knowing of my long-standing interest in Causley’s verse. (No, it isn’t only Housman’s verse I read…)

I wasn’t aware of Jim Causley until I moved here to Cornwall, and learned that apart from being a highly-rated interpreter of traditional songs, he had set some of Charles Causley’s verse to music. So for me, one of the highlights of the documentary was hearing Jim’s musical settings: it turns out he is indeed a really good singer (and a sympathetic setter of other people’s words to music as well as his own). So now I need to get to one of his live performances.

[This is the bit I’ve changed slightly from the post for Sabrinaflu.] Since I don’t live in Ludlow any more, it’s unlikely that I’ll get to his appearance at The Song House at the Blue Boar on December 15th 2017, and if you’re reading this article, you probably won’t either, but if you do happen to be in the area and aren’t familiar with his work, I recommend that you give him a try. [End of amended bit.]

Meanwhile, I have his CD Cyprus Well on order. 🙂 And if you want to check out the documentary, it’s available on iPlayer until 31st October 2017.

David Harley

Advertisements

Rough demo: The Jailer

Very much a work in progress. I had a fairly complete set of words but no tune. Then I started playing about with a looper I bought some months ago but had never made use of, and realized that the chords I was improvising over would fit the words.

This version is experimenting with a tentative arrangement:

And this version is an attempt to formalize the tune, but it’s not quite there yet. Still, I have a poor memory for tunes and I needed something to refer back to after I forgot it overnight. (Yes, I did forget it overnight…)

The Jailer (Harley) 

The train will soon be leaving
And the man says ‘all aboard’
But you never leave the platform
And you never cut the cord

Most days you think of leaving
But he’ll always talk you round
His words will talk you into silence
And his arms will hold you down

You need so much to leave him
But there’s no one you can phone
There’s no ticket in your pocket
And you’ve no money of your own

Sometimes he tells you that you’re stupid
Sometimes he tells you that you’re ill
You dream of breaking free
And yet you don’t believe you will

He knows just where you are
Every moment of the day
He hears the thoughts inside your head
He owns the very words you say

He says that you’re his lover
And that’s all you’ll ever be
But you know he’s your jailer
And he’ll never set you free

Sometimes he’ll loosen your shackles
But you’re locked inside his head
And you’ve never found the way
To leave his arms or leave his bed

There’s nowhere you can go
And there’s nothing you can say
Because he knows you’ll never leave him
And that’s exactly why you stay

[break]

The train will soon be leaving
And the man says ‘all aboard’
But you never leave the platform
And you never cut the cord

Most days you think of leaving
But he’ll always talk you round
His words will talk you into silence
And his arms will hold you down

You need so much to leave him
But there’s no one you can phone
There’s no ticket in your pocket
And you’ve no money of your own

(All rights reserved)

New(-ish) CD Review

Another of my reviews for Folking.com, though it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a folk album. Heavy-duty guitar-dominated blues/rock. Well, it’s hard to dislike an album that includes covers of two of my favourite Hendrix songs and one of Rory Gallagher’s. And Joost de Lange is a very able guitarist.

The review has been up for a while, but I’ve been tied up with travel/work and unable to find time to post here.

JOOST DE LANGE’S ROCK BLUES EXPERIENCE – Live In Antwerp (own label)

David Harley