Paper City 2019 [demo]

There is a studio recording of this which is more rock ‘n’ roll, but I haven’t really done it in public since the disbanding of the Flying Piglets (yeah, I know, but the name wasn’t my idea…) so I thought I’d try a new arrangement. Needs work, but I think it will be OK.

I woke up with my mind’s eye facing your direction:
I looked hard and I saw you needed help.
You’re choking on paper and tape and legislation,
But you can’t produce one thing to help yourself.

Paper city at the heart of a paper empire:
You’ve got strings to pull, you’ve got wires all over the earth.
Sky-climbing parasite, concrete and paper jungle,
You’ve got money to burn, but I know you’d rather freeze to death.

You’ve got stacks of stocks and shares and bonds:
You’ve got telephone and telex,databank and dateline too.
But you can’t produce as much as one lead pencil,
Or a bar of soap, or a rubber band to pull you through.

The media twitch at the flash of a freemason’s handshake:
Speeches are made and the punters gather round;
Paper politicians and faceless company men,
Taking the pulse of an ailing paper pound.

I bet you know just what you’re worth on paper:
When the market crumbles, what will that do to you?
A lot of cold people don’t own the earth they lie in:
Will you be all right in your green-lined paper tomb?

Paper city at the heart of a bankrupt empire:
Your towers get higher as your assets hit new lows.
Nose-diving parasite, I wouldn’t mind you dying,
But you’ll take so many with you when you go.

Copyright David Harley 1982


A rainy day blues [demo]

There are a number of songs called ‘Rainy Day Blues’. This, however, is the only one written by me. 🙂

I’ve probably posted this before somewhere, but this is a slightly different arrangement.

Some days are like a melody
But I can’t seem to hold the key
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

So I spend my day trying to keep  myself amused
Sitting here picking at a rainy day blues
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

It seems the road to fortune never ends
You play God all week and golf at weekends
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

And if we quit the rat-race we could have a ball
But you know those big wheels grind so small
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

You say you love me but it seems sometimes
You stuff my mouth with kisses and my ears with lies
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

Words and Music copyright David Harley 1973

One Step Away (from the blues) 2019 [demo]

We recorded a version of this back in the ’80s for which I liked the arrangement, but was never quite happy with the vocals. Finally I have a version where the guitar part and vocal seem to work. Now I just have to think about the additional instruments (acoustic lead, 12-string, and electric slide on the original version). And maybe merging it with ‘Letting Go

Words & Music copyright David Harley


Letting Go 2019 [demo]

You keep asking for time so I’m giving you the rest of your life
It’s been a long way down but you can give it just as long as you like
A fast set of wheels is the only way out I know
I just feel like letting go

Talk about miles of air, that’s all I need
I’m leaving light as I came ’cause that’s just about my speed
I came in 29 and I’m leaving feeling 44
I just feel like letting go

We started out dancing but we’re each doing different steps
And I’m sick of waiting for a miracle to connect
You keep changing the rules but I’ve an end game all my own
I just feel like letting go

Sometimes I get the strangest feeling lying in your bed
While my body makes love, there’s rubber burning in my head
A fast set of wheels is the cleanest cut I know
I just feel like letting go

Copyright David Harley 1982

Tune demo

I was thinking about whether to put my banjo up for sale, and found myself playing a Tune…

Played here on guitar with a rough second guitar part overlaid. Bit of a mash-up, but I thought it was worth keeping to see if it goes with anything else on my to-do list. One or two nice moments, even if it is a bit ‘Bert and John’-ish.

The jury is still out on keeping the banjo. I suspect I already know my wife’s opinion…

David Harley

Now How Long? [demo]

Copyright David Harley 1971

A very young song with an obvious blues influence, though not a conventional blues structure. For some reason it came back to my head recently and refuses to dislodge, so there should be a more confident version here eventually.

Heard some lonesome whistle blow
How long Lord?
I guess it must be time to go
How long?
When you get those hard luck blues
All you need is walking shoes
How long Lord?
Now how long?

Empty pockets, empty bed
How long Lord?
Empty dreams in an empty head
How long?
When you get those walking blues
Radio just plays bad news
How long Lord?
Now how long?

Standing by the railroad track
How long Lord?
Heading out with no way back
How long?
Waiting in the pouring rain
Must have missed that Gospel Train
How long Lord?
Now how long?

[Optional verse 3]

When you hear those cold winds blow
How long Lord?
You know the way you have to go
How long?
Thought I heard the DJ say
Got no reason left to stay
How long Lord?
Now how long?

This guitar just plays the blues 2019 [demo]

There’s a more straightforward country-ish version of this here, but I suddenly felt the urge to change the arrangement. Words and music copyright David Harley, 1976.

A trace of your scent still lingers on my pillow
And raises echoes in my memory
And I believe you’re missing me almost as much as I miss you
But I wish to God that you were here with me

The sun will surely rise on another soft blue morning
And lying in your arms is where I’ll be
With sweet dreams still in my eyes, I’ll wake and kiss your hair
But it’s a long cold night while you’re not here with me

This guitar once played for keeps, but since you changed my life
This guitar just plays for you, if that’s OK?
This guitar rang bells for losers, but there’ll be no more songs of losing
Though this guitar just plays the blues while you’re away

David Harley