Archive for the 'my music' Category

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!

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