Anywhere [demo]

Another from my recent flurry of lyric writing and editing.

Anywhere (words and music copyright David Harley, 2019)

I could catch a bus to anywhere
And never think of missing this old town
Instead I’m sitting in a bar right here
Scared to play my last go-round
Last dream smashed and short of cash
Nursing one last beer
Hoping for a bus to anywhere
Anywhere at all but here

I could take a train to anywhere
Shake this country dirt from off my shoes
Turn my face away from nowhere
Trading up to city views
Had enough of you and all you put me through
Pretty sure you’ve had enough of me
Time to take a train to anywhere
Anywhere I know that you won’t be

I could hitch a ride to anywhere
And surely I won’t miss this empty town
Right now I’m sitting in this tired old bar
All set to play my last go-round
Last dream smashed and short of cash
Nursing one last warm beer
Maybe I can catch a ride to anywhere
Anywhere at all that isn’t here

David Harley

Chickens they are crowing (Roud 3650) [demo]

Something a little off-piste for me: a song collected by Cecil Sharp in the Appalachians. I found myself singing it on one of my walks, then started thinking about how it might sound with guitar. Needs polishing, but I think it works OK in principle.

Sarah McQuaid recorded a version of this, from Peggy Seeger. This version, though, comes from Guy Carawan – oddly enough, from an LP recorded with Peggy Seeger that someone lent me for a while in the 1960s. However, Carawan sang it unaccompanied (though he did interpose some passages on recorder).

More info on the song from Mainly Norfolk.

David Harley

We never will have Paris [demo]

In making-the-tune-up-as-I-go-along mode. The lyric isn’t quite finished either. But going in the right direction.

 We never will have Paris (David Harley) (c) 2019

 I know that this is going nowhere
But a honeymoon in Heartbreak Hotel
Yet it seems that all I’ve done is think about you
For longer years than I have words to tell
For longer years than I have words to tell

Sometimes I catch myself hoping
Just once more to see you smile
In spite of all the harsh words passed between us
And all these long and weary miles
And all these long and weary miles

Perhaps you’re on your own tonight
Somewhere out there in the rain
Caught between the raindrops, still hoping
You’ll never be this sad again
You’ll never be this sad again

Again and again along the highway
We kissed at the turning of the road
Till somewhere I forgot to say goodbye
Walking down some sleepy highway on my own
Walking down some sleepy highway on my own

I know we never will have Paris
Or even one more foggy day in London Town
I wonder if you ever wonder
If the going up was worth the coming down

David Harley

The Weekends (are the worst): revamped tune [demo]

This song was originally inspired by a very extroverted old lady I met in the late 70s, but somehow as the song developed, the backstory got darker. Which is fine by me: I’ve certainly known old people who were far more miserable than this, and one or two of them crept into the background of the story…

I really don’t need anyone else to tell me what a drag it is, thanks all the same. But if you actually like it or even have constructive suggestions, I’d be very happy to hear from you.

The Weekends [are the worst] (Harley)

The world has changed since I was born in 1902.
Two World Wars have swept away the world that we once knew:
Two brothers and three sisters , long dead and gone to earth
Our lives were often hard, but now the weekends are the worst.

My old man died just 20 years past.
His health was never good since the Kaiser had him gassed,
But in the end it was cancer that carried him off so fast
I miss him all the time, and the weekends are the worst.

You might say I was lucky, though we never had much cash,
But we had 50-odd good years, more than I’d dare to ask.
I brought up three lovely kids, though another died at birth:
I miss them all a lot, and the weekends are the worst.

I’ve a son in Melbourne, he’s been there since ’62:
I’ve never seen his wife or kids, just a snapshot or two.
My eldest died in the last lot, on a convoy to Murmansk:
It still brings tears to my eyes, and the weekends are the worst.

I’ve a daughter in Glasgow: she writes when she has time,
But that’s a long way off, and I’ve not seen her for a while.
She’s got a son in the army, just been posted to Belfast:
We worry all the time, and the weekends are the worst.

My friends are mostly dead, or else they’ve moved like me
When the street I was brought up in was pulled down in ’63.
Sixty years I’d lived there, child, girl and wife:
Sheltered housing’s not so bad but it can be a lonely life.
Especially since Jim died: we weren’t too bad at first
But now I’m on my own the weekends are the worst.

There’s the club once a week, though it’s just from seven till nine,
And since my fall they only fetch me down from time to time.
There’s my knitting and the TV, for what that might be worth,
But I miss the company, and the weekends are the worst.

David Harley

 

Sarah McQuaid – back in the UK

With the US leg of the incredibly hardworking Sarah McQuaid’s autumn tour coming to a close this month, here’s a current list of dates for the UK leg. Including plenty of venues convenient for those of us living in the West Country. 🙂

See http://www.sarahmcquaid.com/tour for details of addresses, times, ticket prices etc.

Nov 1 Teignmouth: Pavilions Teignmouth
Nov 2 Praa Sands Community Centre
Nov 3 Ivybridge: Folk On The Moor
Nov 4 Blandford Forum: Chettle Village Hall
Nov 6 Preston: The Willows Folk Club
Nov 7 Caerleon Arts
Nov 8 Farnham Maltings
Nov 9 Box (Corsham): Schtumm Extra
Nov 10 Haverhill Arts Centre
Nov 12 Felton (Morpeth): Gallery Forty5
Nov 14 York: Black Swan Folk Club
Nov 15 Ulverston: Water Yeat Village Hall
Nov 16 Buxton: The Green Man Gallery
Nov 17 East Cowton Village Hall
Nov 18 Newcastle: The Bridge Folk Club
Nov 20 Leicester: The Musician
Nov 23 Northampton: Folk By The Green
Nov 24 Hardraw: The Green Dragon Inn
Nov 25 Stockport: The Green Room @ The Plaza
Nov 28 Luton: The Hat Factory
Nov 29 Tewkesbury: The Old Baptist Chapel
Nov 30 Liskeard: Sterts Studio

David Harley