Oh Death [demo]

Not sure the world needs my version of this, but playing with an arrangement anyway, in case I ever take the resonator out in public again… Recorded by Charley Patton and Bertha Lee in 1934. There’s a better than halfway-decent version by Jo-Ann Kelly and Tony McPhee, too. There’s a John Renbourn song with the same name, by the way, but that’s very different.

David Harley


Weeping Willow (Corrina)

I’m pretty sure I’ve recorded this before, but the guitar is better on this version, I think.

This is a song I learned from Michael Cooney many decades ago. He told me recently that he learned it partly from Guy Carawan and partly from Bess Lomax Hawes, but had changed it around a lot. As have I (not least by making a slide piece out of it). It’s the folk process, folks. I particularly like the last verse, which also occurs in Robert Brown’s ‘James Alley Blues’ and Judy Roderick’s ‘Born In The Country’, which is based on Brown’s song.

David Harley

Pick My Pocket (rough demo)

From a time when I was playing mostly blues, and even my own songs were mostly in that idiom. First time I’ve played it in decades, and a different arrangement, so a bit rough, but gives the general idea.

Got no fare / For a boat or plane
I got shoes to walk / But I’m here just the same
Buddy, you can pick my pocket / Got no greens to lose
Just a handful of empty / And a head full of blues

I keep looking for a highway / I can make it down alone
With every hobo, sewer rat / And rolling stone
Buddy, you can pick my pocket / Got no greens to lose
Just a handful of empty / And a head full of blues

I’ve got a new way of spelling / Ecstasy
E is for Exit / And the rest is blowing free
Buddy, you can pick my pocket / Got no greens to lose
Just a handful of empty / And a head full of blues
Just a hat full of empty  / And a guitar full of blues

(c) David Harley 1972

Before I Fall (later demo)

A slightly more confident version of the tune…

Before I fall (Harley) Copyright 1982/2019

I know I can be clumsy / I’m hamfisted as they come
I’m blessed with two left feet / And my fingers are all thumbs
But I can tie my own bootlaces / I can use a knife and fork
I get there in my own time / And if I can’t run I’ll walk

I don’t need a nanny or a minder and if I can’t cope, I’ll call
But please don’t pick me up (x3) before I fall

I know I tend to stammer / And my tongue gets tied in knots
I get confused and nervous / Tripping over my own thoughts
But I’ll make up my own mind / If I’m wrong I’ll take the blame
And I can finish my own sentences / Thank you all the same

I don’t need an interpreter and if I ever do, I’ll call
Only please don’t pick me up (x3) Before I fall

I’m defensive and I’m obstinate / When things I say and do
Turn out upside down and in reverse / I may get mad at you
As well as me, but I’m sorry / And I hope you understand
I appreciate your putting up / With me the way I am

I’m trying to do better, for you, most of all
Only please don’t pick me up (x3) before I fall


Animal Charities Fundraiser CD

Dave Hughes tells me that he is trying to secure some advance orders to offset production costs for a CD ‘Quantum Entanglement’ he has compiled as a fundraiser for two animal charities:

The two-disc CD is expected to contain 32 tracks, and artists whose tracks have been contributed include Julie Felix, Fairport Convention, Dr. Strangely Strange, Mike Absalom, Keith Christmas, Daevid Allen, and Gryphon.

The early cost is £5 plus p&p. When the CD is released in October, the cost will be £8 plus p&p.

Please contact davehughesmp@gmail.com for more details.