Archive for the 'my music' Category

Shine to me

Here’s a spooky little picked riff, a pretty tune (in my opinion) and some melancholic words about yearning and missed opportunities. It could have had loads of harmonies and coutermelodies but I chose to keep it relatively sparse. The guitar solo displeases many, but it best expresses the feeling behind the song.

It’s recorded using Audacity (I found the iPad apps I’d been trying were too cumbersome for editing the tracks after recording, perhaps because I don’t know their intricate UIs well enough).

If you come to me I promise we will
Stay here in the silence, lie very still.
messages sing through the cables and the air:
ceaseless secrets spinning from nowhere to nowhere.
There are too many secrets to share.

If you come to me I promise we’ll go
to the places where the faces are beautiful unknowns -
where the past is expired
so no masks are required.
A place where we can escape from our facts.
There are too many questions to ask.

If you look down I fear you might fall,
or lose your grip on something delicate and small.
You ignite the bright light that was dimmed inside me.
When the blood in your breasts throbs violently
come to me, come with me. Now. Shine to me.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson, 2014. All rights reserved.

I’ve got the most beautiful pants (in all of Worcestershire)

Here’s an ancient traditional folk song that I wrote a few years ago to entertain the kids, and came back to me while jamming with the little oiks last night. Daughter’s on ukelele; son is way too cool to be in a stupid video, so is cameraman.

If you’re reading this, George Martin, and want to score it for orchestra and give me a massive recording contract, leave a comment below.

(Note to Americans: “pants” means underwear and not trousers – which are correctly called “trousers”.)

I’ve got the most beautiful pants
in all of Worcestershire.
Wherever I go folks say “hello”,
and everybody wants to know
at which Parisian fashion show
I bought my beautful pants.

I’ve got the most beautiful pants
in all of Worcestershire.
Whenever I pass folks say “what class!
The haute couture cloth that covers his arse”,
and all the young bucks come up to ask
where they can buy those pants.

I’ve got the most beautiful pants
in all of Worcestershire.
Wherever I stay folks say “hurray!
They’re bright and bonny and blithe and gay!”
They’re frequently washed, but they never turn grey -
my marvellous colour-fast pants.

I’ve got the most beautiful pants
in all of Worcestershire.
When I come near, the chicks all cheer
and fathers lock up their daughters in fear,
for maidens don’t price their virginity dear
when I’m wearing my wonderful pants.

As Quietly As Rain Not Yet Fallen

Here’s one from the vaults: a cassette demo from around 1990 whose title I stole from the beautiful poem You come to me quiet as rain not yet fallen by Brian Patten.

It was hurriedly recorded immediately after I wrote it (witness some bum notes with the lead line and buggering up the harmonies at the end) and never tidied up, so I don’t think we ever gigged it.

You come to me quietly as rain that’s not yet fallen.
Your currency is urgency, your pockets full of beauty.
You carry no enquiries when you come around calling
for an instant from the routine and desire derived from duty.

And your lover tells you that he loves you,
and you owe him imaginary debts.
So you go and do the things you feel you must do
and return to the silence, half-clouded in regrets;
oh, my lover, the rain’s not fallen yet.

You come to me gently as the bulbs that have not broken
out into the sunlight, and then when you start to flower
you sing to me reluctantly like it’s a song that you’ve not chosen;
But the tune is as pure and simple as the fading of the hours.

There are people who say I push too hard in questions:
they don’t give answers precise enough to hold.
I saw your sister, the one that steals all your inventions,
on the last day of summer before the season turned too cold.

Oh my lover, today you look so old.

Song: Jacqueline Wants

Done with my band The Lucies. An early 90s live (and unusually mellow) version of a song I wrote about someone who wasn’t called Jacqueline. In fact, while writing the song its working title was “Marigold Says” until I settled on “Jacqueline” because (a) Marigold sounds like a name a farmer would give a cow, and (b) “Jacqueline” scans. The only Jacqueline I knew was Jackie Foster at school, and I quite fancied her, but the song wasn’t written for her. (“Caroline” was another possibility, as it also scanned and I fancied Caroline Fowles, but that bastard Lou Reed had already recorded “Caroline Says”.)

Jaqueline wants, so Jacqueline gets.
How long she’ll keep it for is anyone’s guess.
Mary gets drunk, Mary gets to her knees
She never wants the things that you know she needs.

I am sick and tired of you coming round
And falling down and going home.
I’m sick of getting no response.
Won’t you tell me what Jacqueline wants.

Mary should know but it’s been a long time
And you soon forget those once-intimate signs.
Jacqueline wrote, and Jacqueline said
“I drown as the world comes round and fucks up my head”.

She said “You are you and I am me;
what other way could it be?”
I might have thought differently once”
Won’t you tell me what Jacqueline wants.

I recall the boys in the band taking the piss out of me for “going all prog rock” on account of a D diminished chord in the chorus.

Here’s the normal, rawer (and worse recorded) rehearsal version.

Song: Aquamarine

Down at my Dad’s house, I found some old cassettes of demos I made in the early 90s. So bad luck, blog watchers; expect to find the tech content of this blog spoiled with hissy wow-and-fluttery vanity posts.

Anyway, here’s one of the favourite songs I wrote during that period. I was obsessed with TS Eliot’s poem Marina, a monologue inspired by Shakespeare’s Pericles. So I ripped that off, nicked a line or two from The Waste Land, pinched a bit of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and, while the literary store detective was looking the other way, ran off with a bit of Dylan Thomas too.

It’s a 4-track demo, hastily recorded in order to test out the harmonies swirling in my head, and the cassette suffers from being in a cupboard for 20 years, but maybe you’ll like it.

Aquamarine –
I’m a ship becalmed after stormy seas.
You’ve been silver and green;
I love you best now for your clarity.
You sing to me in sharpened keys.
You bring me emeralds and harmonies.

I will be here for you if you’ll be here for me
Sometimes, the tide turns
and everything becomes monochrome.

Aquamarine –
Your wet hair dries in the warm sea breeze.
Lie still and dream
Of the mountains – there you feel free.
Sail across still memories
Under sleep where all the waters meet.

Aquamarine -
This music crept upon the water to me
I’m a machine
Powered by your electricity.
You ebb and flow with melody;
You bring me emeralds and energy.

What seas, what shores,
what great rocks?

Sieze what’s yours;
What grey rocks?

What islands? What water laps at the bow?

The sea’s daughter, you ebb and you flow;
The sea’s daughter, in emerald green;
The sea’s daughter, my Aquamarine.

Lie still, be calm, and dream.
O my daughter.

Song: “Don’t Bring Me Down”

Done with my band The Lucies. A tune by Shez, which we recorded on our ever first day in a recording studio back in 1991.

I rather regret that the lyrics I wrote were pretty shit, and my multi-tracked guitars at the end are way too overpowering. Neither is it helped by the fact that the engineer managed to mic up the drums to sound like Andy Cope was hitting a wet cardboard box with a fish.

But I still quite like my trademark dirty guitar solo, with the feedback squeak as it goes back into the melody, and Shez’s bassline rocks, especially when he goes into the descending alternate riff at the end.

Music © Sherrard, Words © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved.

Song: “Midsummer Morning”

Done with my band The Lucies. The guys in the band challenged me to write a vaguely happy song, so this song celebrates a midsummer’s day when I sat at twilight watching a dozen hot-air balloons fly low overhead, while smoking a spliff with sexy Sangeeta from the shoe-shop.

Shez plays bass; Nick Sherrard on lead guitar; Andy Cope on drums, soundman Paul Williams displays his unerring sense of rhythm on tambourine. Bruce on vocals and rhythm guitar; Andy and Shez on backing vocals. Written and recorded some time in 1991.

I’ve never seen you looking half as attractive
as you did when I woke early, warmed and reborn.
The sun beckons flowers through the rubbish and the plastic
to the purity of midsummer morning at dawn.

And you smile and say,
“today we’ll do the things
we couldn’t do any other day.”

I’ve never felt quite so insouciant;
I’m willing to wander and wonder and learn.
the sunshine provides the time to do precisely what you want -
to live and love until the winter returns.

Right here and now the world is timeless and beautiful;
suspended in space like a carnival balloon.
All my perceptions subtly different from usual;
each moment is musical and perfectly tuned.

Words / music © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved.

Song: “Closing My Eyes”

Done with my band The Lucies. Woh!! Teenage – or rather, early twenties, angst. There was half an hour at the end of a long recording session so we quickly did this – and kept it, sandpaper throat, microphone pops and all, due to our being out of time and money. It was a staple of the live set, the rest of the band nicknaming the song “One for the ladies” due to its popularity with the girls in the audience.

Shez on bass, Bruce on guitar and overdubbed lead guitar, Andy Cope on moral support.

My heart is telling me lies again. I’m closing my eyes to them.
I’m closing my eyes.
My brain is talking good sense again. It’s advice that I’ll reject again.
I’m closing my eyes.

I feel pretty good inside. I’m gonna try to do it right this time.
Gonna try not to hide.

I know that I don’t know you well, but even so I can tell
that with you I could feel free.
And yet, I cannot speak to you about what I think of you
and what you’ll take from me.

I feel pretty good this time. I’m gonna try to do it right for you.
I’m gonna try not to hide.

My heart is intent on hurting me. My good sense is deserting me.
I’m closing my eyes.
My eyes are always deceiving me, my rationality is leaving me.
So I’m closing my eyes.

Sometimes I think I’m too shy; I’m closing my eyes.

Words / music © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved

Song: “Kitty Fisher’s Locket”

Kitty Fisher was a lover of Charles I. "Kitty Fisher’s Locket" was an old English folk song that I’d heard of (it was a rude song, as locket was slang for vagina). I never found the original words or tune, so wrote my own. Alison Eglinton sings double-tracked vocals, I play double-tracked guitars and a bit of keyboard.

(Here’s the demo version, recorded on a rainy Sunday afternoon as I was writing it, with me on vocals and double-tracked acoustic guitar:

If Kitty Fisher gives you pictures Make sure that you frame them.
“Here’s one I drew, that man’s you; It’s of heaven when it’s raining.
There’s saint Peter in a mac, he’s got two wings on his back. Do you like it?”

If Kitty Fisher, seeking pleasure talks of making love with you.
Softly kiss her, speak in whispers, watch how she moves under you.
Hold her while she weeps when you both come.
Let the silence in to soothe her.

If Kitty Fisher gives you treasure keep it in your pocket.
Memories in filigree That’s Kitty Fisher’s locket.
“That’s me and my mother when I was a little girl.
Do you think I was pretty?
That’s me in a forest, another time, a different place.
Do you like me?”

Words / music © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved

Song: “The Libby Purves Megamix!”

A mate of mine, also called Bruce, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by Libby Purves the other day, and asked me to burn a CD of the interview. While doing so, I hit upon the idea of splicing up some of the dialogue and making a dance song that had Libby mocking the size of mate’s dick. I don’t usually like dance music (cos it’s piss-easy to make) but I’m rather proud of this!

And, sorry Bruce!