Archive for the 'my music' Category

Song: “The Woman Who Weeps”

The tune was written 5 years before the lyrics came together, the title stolen and song inspired by TS Eliot’s La Figlia che Piange. Alison Eglinton sings vocals, I play guitar. It was done in 1 take, except the final 5 bars (which we got wrong), then 1 take for the guitar overdubs.

The woman who weeps has borrowed my life tonight.
I’m failing to keep myself to myself from you.
I watch as you sleep; you breathe untroubled, rhythmically,
and I do not wake you to ask you to hold me.

This woman who weeps could love you if you’d return it,
But feels it weak to lower defences.
this woman could teach you so much if you’d like to learn it.
I wonder why we live such pretences?

The woman who weeps has kicked up the autumn leaves.
This woman you see has seen very few summers through;
this woman who weeps can’t be what she wants to be.
I weep for me. I don’t weep for you.

Words and Music ©Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved.

Song: “From Ocean To Sky”

From Ocean To Sky” was written when I’d been reading a lot on Pythagoras’ discoveries of the mathematics of music and the mathematical foundations of Da Vinci’s paintings. I’ve always wished I could draw or paint. The long outro didn’t work as I’d hoped; the first take had some screaming feedback guitar for the last 45 seconds which the engineer’s son accidentally taped over when he was pissed. Ah well. Vox are Bruce and Alison, quad-tracked harmonies so there’s never a breathing space in the vocal lines; violin by Naomi Cooper. Guitars and keyboards by Bruce.

When we were singing songs
you said, “All music is proportion – rules and numbers.
the words are unimportant, and each one
has the feeling of autumn with its dying fall.
A melancholy sweetness; rules and numbers.

Falling down, I know that everything I see is falling down.
Towers, homes and all your lies are falling down,
to be built up again, twice as beautiful when
they stand, and then they crumble. Falling down.”

Everything to me sometimes seems so real I wish that I could paint you what I see;
shapes and shades and shadows to show you
perfect symmetry.
And in the centre, there’s me, neatly caught between points A and B;
in mathemagical proportions. Rules and numbers.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved.

Song: “Then You Come Down”

Found another song lurking on a dusty cassette – that never got recorded in a studio because I never managed full lyrics – " Then you Come Down". It was made on a rainy Sunday; the tune came into my head, the scratchpad words while working out the chords, and the demo was made in an hour: headphones on, quickly plug a mic into the Fostex 4-track, point mic at guitar and subsequently at mouth, and you’re done.

The analog 4-track is still a great machine; sure, I’ve got 256 audio tracks at 9 gazillion bits/ second sampling rate on the computer, no tape-hiss, but by the time you’ve got everything set up, you’ve forgotten the song.. The Fotex really is plug-and-play.

Song: “The Song of Laughter and Forgetting”

Alison Eglinton and me on vocals, I play double tracked guitar. there’s a couple (!) of guitar fuckups, but I really like the fade-out.

All of your secrets are pressed between the pages
Of the books you don’t open and nobody reads.
All out of sequence, in cryptic arrangements;
they’re reminders of the memories that you no longer need
but I have seen how the winter is reflected in your eyes.

I will sing a song of laughter for you.
A song of forgetting,
A song to remember me by.

You stand, wrapped in memories while the twilight is filtering
the warmth from the world, and the darkness falls again.
You hide all your feelings, despise them as your weaknesses
when the world seems bewildering, you wear your mask of cold disdain.
I have seen how the winter sometimes darkens your eyes.

I will sing a song of laughter for you.
A song of forgetting,
A song to remember me by.

You look like two children, one golden with spring’s blessings;
the other quiet and frightened by the solitude and dark.
When the world seems unforgiving take my song of forgetting;
there’s no shame in admitting that you’re scared and you’ve been scarred.
I have seen how the summer can be greeted by your smile:

I will sing a song of laughter for you.
A song of forgetting,
A song to remember me by.

A song to remember yourself by.

Words and music, © Bruce Lawson

Song: “Killing Time”

Done with my band The Lucies – our first ever attempt at recording. Shez on bass; Andy Cope on drums, me on guitars and vocals. Mark Ponsford guested on piano. I wrote it about getting to know a girlfriend at the time, and spending ages in conversation through most of a summer but somehow not really managing to say what we felt.

Centre Stage is Julie; in prompt corner’s Bruce.
I say I love you truly but you make a poor excuse.
We’ve listened to your records by the New Kids on the Block.
the conversation’s drying up, the intimacy’s lost -
and what comes next?
Won’t you come round for a little while and we can get together.
Won’t you come round for a little while? We’ll talk about the weather.
Did it rain on your holiday? There were blizzards during mine.
Metrological conversations help to fill the time.

You put on airs and graces and I put on a tape.
you cower in the corner like I’m contemplating rape.
Did you see that programme on the TV last night
about the duck that’s learned to skateboard and the monkey that can write?
So what comes next?

Won’t you come round for a little while when the pub has closed?
Won’t you come round for a little while and we’ll discuss your clothes.
Your brain is made by Gucci, and your breasts are Calvin Klein.
designer label conversations help to kill the time.

We’ve talked of quantum physics and the duality of man
and how you’ll trade your Mini in for a supercharged Trans-Am;
poetry and politics; do you think God is real?
We’ve told each other what we think but never what we feel -
and what comes next?

Won’t you come round for a little while and we can get together.
Won’t you come round for a little while? We’ll talk about ‘forever’,
because I’m looking for a union of body, heart and mind;
we’re killing ourselves slowly when we’re only killing time.

And I’ve got to say, that we must make hay
’cause the sun won’t always shine.

Music / Words copyright © Bruce Lawson

Song: “Gentle My Love”

This song was written on Koh Samui island, Thailand, at the start of the monsoon. It’s supposed to be like a meditation to concentrate on the moment. Alison and Bruce sing vocals, Alan Wrightson wrote and played the sitar part, Bruce plays guitar.

Gentle my love, gentle my love; tonight we’ll admit no tomorrow.
Gentle my love, gentle my love; predict or recall no more sorrow.

Gentle my love, gentle my love; like the sound of the rain as it washes and cleans.
Gentle my love, gentle my love; like the murmur of sea that claims everything;

But if we were to ride on the surge of a wave
We would never sink or drown.

Gentle my love, gentle my love; Don’t hope for, or fear, all that follows.
Gentle my love, gentle my love; tonight there will be no tomorrow.

Words / music ©Bruce Lawson

Song: “Silka, Wearing Fancy Dress”

Done with my band The Lucies. My ex and I had both been sitting there sadly having yet another end-of-romance post-mortem, and she said ‘When we were “in love”’, making little quote marks with her fingers. And that one hurt; not the love fucked up, but the denial that it had actually been real. What’s the point of hurt if it can’t be transmogrified into bitterness and then made into a song, hey?

Silka walks in those evenings When you feel like you’re still a virgin.
You don’t trust your feelings, Silka’s certain she’s hurting.
She is dressed in lace when she says, “Yes, yes, I will; of course I will, yes” -
But if you feel the need to believe her, remember – Silka’s in fancy dress.

Silka in black satin, her long blonde hair in rich profusion;
Something useless happens, reinforcing stupid illusions.
And after all the sinful applause and your unsatisfying taste of success
Comes the knowledge of the flaws that you hate because they’re yours,
And in walks Silka in fancy dress.

Bejewelled in a shattered promise, she’s wearing fading fraying denim.
You’re pierced by inverted commas
that have appeared round the tales she’s been telling you for so long.
She’ll decree: “Everybody loves me”, but it’s too late for you’ve already guessed
Underneath there’s nothing that’s real to see; Silka’s only fancy dress.
Really, she’s merely fancy dress.
She’s very nearly Silka, wearing fancy dress.

Song: “Girl by my side”

Tidying up, found an old cassette tape containing some old songs that I’d forgotten writing. These were doodles done with a Fostex 4 track home studio, a machine which played one side only of a normal cassette tape, thereby getting 4 tracks (the 2 sides’ left and right stereo tracks make 4, you see) then you mix them out and record them on another cassette. Great for testing ideas, harmonies etc before presenting them to the band.. or forgetting them entirely.

Here’s a 3-chord wonder, that Shez added bass to after I’d done the rhythm guitar and vocal line. I remember getting drunk and coming back home, plugging in the guitar and doing the guitar solo here with no planning in one take, oblivious of the overdriving of the amp or clipping the sound through the mixer. You may well say it sounds like what it is – a drunkard with no rehearsal; to me, I love the sheer nastiness of the solo that reflects the lyrics, ostensibly a celebration of the current girlfriend – but really a petulant thumbing of the nose at a previous romantic partner. Heh.

So, just when you think that it’s all cut and dried
Somebody appears for whom the rules do not apply.
I thank you for the pleasure that you once supplied;
It means very little now this girl’s at my side.
All the pain you were hell-bent to provide
Is almost forgotten now this girl’s at my side.
I thank you for the tears that you and I cried;
They made me the person loved by this girl at my side.
There are small laughter lines in the corner of her eyes
Which make me feel a tenderness I hoped I could disguise.
Unfamiliar feelings that I’d fought and then denied
Are like a runaway juggernaut, and I’m here for the ride.

So, this is mawkish and naive? It’s merely meant as an aside;
I’m not good at self-expression, but at least I’ve tried.
Sometimes I feel I’m overflowing with pride
To share something so spectacular with this girl by my side.
Blah blah blah.

Song: “Nothing Of This”

Here’s a solemn warning against drum machines, over-enthusiasm on guitar and making up lyrics in the studio after beer and amphetamines. A band composition: Andy Cope/ me / Nick Sherrard / Shez, called “Nothing Of This” because I liked the painting by Ernst.

Song: “Sweet Sadie Sings”

Done with my band The Lucies. Shez on bass, Andy on drums, Val Colman guesting on backing vocals. I keep this one because (a) I remember who “Sadie” is and (b) because I like the really cool G with an added 9th chord.

Sadie sings sweetly
about all of the things she’s done
and says, “They can’t be classified neatly
into those I’ve lost and those I’ve won.
For experience gained
My innocence has been shamed.
until only empty words remain.”
Sweet Sadie Sings.

Sadie sings softly
of the last twenty-seven times she’s been in love
and says “If you would only get off me
I could transcend this wrecked room and rise above
My stupid hopes and my facile fears
My futile dreams and my fatuous fears.
I never claimed that I was proud of these last three years.”
Sweet Sadie Sings.

Sadie is grieving
for the dreams she’s nurtured and then denied.
She said, “One November evening
I took them out and I laid them bare and there they died.
I know that I am far too small
to contemplate ever achieving them all,
so on the way some of them fall.”
Sweet Sadie Sings.

Sadie sings sadly
conscious of her words’ ambiguities.
She says “Who’s to say I’ve done so badly
when all I’ve ever really done is try to please?
For experience gained
My sense of wonder has waned.
What’s in a name when the name’s been changed?”
Sweet Sadie Sings

Words/ music ©Bruce Lawson