I wrote the words (more or less) in the late 60s. The original tune was later used for something else, so I was kind of making a variation up as I went along on this demo. Of its time, but I like it. Sketch for a better version later, when I finally learn it.
Marianne: Words and Music copyright David Harley, 1969
In the intimate oblivion of collusion
I see you dancing with another man
And I know that you’ll tell me it’s a really groovy scene
But I never much liked dancing, Marianne
So go take your problems to a new confessor
Perhaps he’ll listen while he holds your hand
But don’t expect him to provide you with the answers
It’s not a caseload that he’s after, Marianne
I’ve tried to talk it over as a lover
But I can’t seem to make you understand
You’re not the kind to be content with me the way I am
And I like to make my own scene, Marianne
I’ve got a little story I should tell you
How sometimes a woman needs a man
But I don’t think you even need someone to need you
And I don’t think you’d believe me, Marianne
And you tell me that I’m fettered by illusions
And you’ve had all the chaining you can stand
I’d hate to be the one to block your freedom
But I’m not into two-timing, Marianne
And you’ll tell every word I say is empty
And I know that you don’t need my helping hand
I’m not the one to say I didn’t love you
But I never really liked you, Marianne
Actually a very rough demo, but there you go. Now I’ve remembered it exists, I’ll do some work on it.
Backstory: drinking with a friend in Manchester in the early 70s while both our girlfriends were out of town, making some musical plans. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but shortly after he and his girlfriend got married and moved (to Wales, I think): I moved somewhere else and married someone else entirely.
Why that story got into a song when so little of my back-catalogue is strictly autobiographical, I can’t say. It seems long ago and far away. Oh. Actually, it was long ago and far away (from Cornwall, at any rate).
Blues I blew: Words and Music copyright 1975 David Harley
There we were, my buddy and me
Two grass widowers out on a spree
Between the bar and the BBC
And nowhere much to go
Plans to make a wave or two
Adding up to two plus two
No complaints of nothing to do
With another 12-bar to blow
Another place, another day
Nothing very much to say
Another song I threw away
Another blues I blew
Maybe my favourite blues piece of all time. Robert Johnson actually recorded two versions of this that I know of in his San Antonio session on November 23rd, 1936. And, of course, thousands of guitarists since have gone ahead and added their own verses.
For this version, I’ve taken verses from both takes and slightly rearranged them. I don’t play it with a slide when I play it in public- who wants to compete with Johnson’s version? – but on this occasion I’ve overdubbed a little slide, and damn the torpedoes.
Another review for Folking.com, this time of two fascinating albums by The Lowest Pair.
Another review for Folking.com, this time of two fascinating albums by The Lowest Pair. I even managed to resist including any banjo jokes. Though my wife will tell you that my banjo-playing is a joke.
These guys, however, not only play rather well, but write some great songs: country-ish with a tinge of old-time and bluegrass with some really clever lyrics.