Archive for the 'my music' Category

Aquamarine

Here’s a newly-recorded version of one of the favourite songs I wrote (crappy cassette 4-track demo previously posted). 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. The Shakespeare reading is by my friend Richard Crowest. Bass guitar and production is by Shez.

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 is 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.

I will be here for you if you’ll be here for me
Dry stones and white bones
and everything is monochrome.

Aquamarine –
This music crept upon the water to me
I’m a machine
Powered by your electricity.
You sail across still memories
You bring me emeralds and energy.

I will be here for you if you’ll be here for me
From the horizon
The world can turn monochrome.

What seas, what shores,
what great rocks?

Seize what’s yours;
What grey rocks?

What islands? What waters lap at the bow?

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

Lie still, be calm, and dream.
Aquamarine.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 1991, all rights reserved.

Number Stations

A new song. It’s inspired by numbers stations, “a shortwave radio station characterized by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which are believed to be addressed to intelligence officers operating in foreign countries. Most identified stations use speech synthesis to vocalize numbers”. This got me thinking about clandestine communication and betrayal.

I heard chatter on the network.
But I couldn’t crack your code.
I was waiting defenceless
for your bombshells to explode.

If you’re here, there is a reason.
Your ciphers are all known.
To everything there is a season.
Now you’re here, your cover’s blown.

I don’t recall why we are enemies.
I don’t understand what we are fighting for.
I forgot my ideology,
half way across the bridge
in this cold, cold war.

You walked down to the checkpoint.
I saw graffiti on the wall.
You presented your false papers,
and the wall began to fall.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production and bass guitar: Shez of @silverlakemusic.

Candyfloss Moon (Yakamoz Moon)

Here’s another old song that my band The Lucies used to gig, mixed last Wednesday. I’ve no idea what it’s about—I was in a “special state of mind” when I wrote it. “Yakamoz” is a Turkish word which is used when the moonlight shines on the sea, ocean etc.

Candyfloss moon
there is only half an hour til daybreak
You leave me too soon
Stay a while and I’ll watch your heart break

Through all the tears and the rage
This is our golden age
Through the silver rain
I see you wax and wane

Candyfloss moon
I’ve been torn apart and reassembled
Here in this room
I can see the stars that you resemble

Turn off your mind
turn down your radio
I hear angels singing all the time
Shut down your shadow
slow down your heartbeat
Why do your eyes shine?

Yakamoz moon
I see you glow on tranquil seas
Your flowers are in bloom
lilies, fuchsia, rosemary

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2020, all rights reserved.
Production: Shez of @silverlakemusic.

She Just Loves To Be Loved

A very old song that I wrote when I was about 17, inspired by melodic pop-punk of Buzzcocks and The Undertones. Shez and I gigged it in a school band, then I forgot it. When Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks died, I remembered it, so recorded it. My old chum Shez played bass when we were in a school band, and mixed it yesterday, 37 years later!

She just loves to be loved.
She just needs to feel needed
And you know she will tear you in half in the end.

She just likes to feel liked
And it doesn’t really matter who by
And you know she will break your heart, my friend.

Don’t ask her does she love you?
You’ll get a vague reply.
So what, she said she needs you?
Would she look you in the eye?
And when she upsets you
Don’t let her see you cry.
She feeds on your emotions
She’s gonna bleed you dry.

You thought that you’d got her to keep.
She says the novelty wore off after a week.
And you know she just loves to be loved.

She’ll love you for ten days
and then she won’t remember your face
And you know she just loves to be loved.

And now that you are just her ex,
and you see she’s moved on to her next.
And you know she just loves to be loved.

Everyone knows she just loves to be loved.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 1983, all rights reserved.

Sailing Ship

A Swing/ Big Band song! Many thanks to Chris Taylor – a Big Band scholar – for advice on what’s authentic and what was out of place. Produced by Shez

Leave these stupid people.
The time’s exactly right.
I have got a sailing ship,
let’s sail away tonight.

You can be the captain
I will be the crew.
I have got a sailing ship
so I can sail away with you.

Help me weigh the anchor
I’ll look out while you steer.
Come aboard my sailing ship
Let’s sail away from here.

We’ll sing along with mermaids
who will help us chart our course.
be guided by dolphins
from these weary, dreary shores.

The map says “here be dragons”
but perhaps it’s Shangri-La.
Let’s go and see what lies beyond
this half-life where we are.

Through the doldrums, ice and tempests
we’ll cross the oceans deep.
We’ll make all pirates walk the plank
and croon the Kraken back to sleep.

My ship is called “Clarita”,
her sails are big and bright.
The wind is up and the tide is high
let’s sail away tonight.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2018, all rights reserved.

Lady Merchant

My Lady Merchant, although Fortune favours folly,
She won’t smile on me for the things I tell you now.
When you calculate all your losses and your profits,
you’ll know that I did everything that you would allow.

My Lady Merchant, although you fear Time is flying,
there’s no-one you can bribe to clip his chariot wings for you.
When you balance up all your selling and your buying
You’ll know that I did everything that you asked me to.
You’ll know that I did everything that you would let me do.

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2018, all rights reserved.

Song: “Who Are You?”

Here’s a song that I finally recorded, about 27 years after writing it. It was originally written for my music partner Alison to sing, so it’s in a very high key. However, when I recorded the guide vocals I was surprised to hear that I could actually reach the notes, so kept the first take.

It’s a bit of a power ballad, but hopefully the dirty guitar goes some way to de-Celine Dioning it.

Thanks to Shez of Silverlake for bass guitar, advice, mixing and mastering.

Now my facts melt into fiction
while I watch this leave-taking performed.
I have to hear your valediction –
you choose to go, and you forbid me to mourn.

If I could scream
I’d scream your name;
If I could dream
I’d dream you cancer and pain;
If I could hunt
I’d capture you – make you tame;
be captive again.

You wanted me to proclaim your brain and beauty;
wanted me to sustain your sense of worth.
It was my pleasure, my delight (not duty)
and now I see your self-esteem feeding off my hurt.

I don’t know
if you ever felt what I felt;
I don’t know
if you ever feel at all;
Now you go
to your room full of bird calls
All I know
is I am very sad and small

Who are you
to go leaving me?
Who are you
to stop needing me?
Who are you
to come, and go?
To empty me and fill my hollows
with your shadow?

You want me to play the role you’ve written;
You want me to applaud your exit bow.
You want my blessing and my permission.
You don’t want me – I doubt you ever did, now.

Without you, I will be random
Instead of you, I will love nothing at all.
What you create, you shape and then abandon –
To your Lear I played such a mediocre Fool.

Who are you
to go leaving me?
Who are you
to stop needing me?
Who are you
to come, and go?
To empty me and fill my hollows
with your shadow?

Your perfect shadow.
Now I’m full-to-burst with sorrow.
So why am I so fucking hollow?

Who are you?

Words and music © Bruce Lawson 2018, all rights reserved.

Folk Off! inaugural gig

After my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis in 1999 ate my fingers, I couldn’t play guitar any more, which pissed me off more than anything else about MS. But the songs kept coming to me, so about 4 years ago I taught myself to play (badly) again so I could write. Encouraged by a friend (thanks, Clara) and my daughter, I decided to do a gig, and last night was the night.

My old bassist from my punk band was meant to play second guitar, but he decided to break his arm and legs in a motorbike accident, so La Daughter taught herself to play guitar and learned my songs for her first ever gig, which makes me enormously proud. About five minutes after coming off stage, she was talking about out next gig, so Folk Off! are available for weddings and bamitzvahs.

Here are some abruptly-edited videos of the four original songs, written across 25 years and never gigged before. Trigger Warning: some guitar mistakes, from both of the players. (More tracks)

Gentle My Love

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, all rights reserved

(Old demo.)

Kitty Fisher’s Locket

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

(old demo with female vocals, Original while-writing demo.)

Calling for the moon to come

When I told you I love you;
we were under the crescent moon.
You smiled; she was smiling above you,
I was scared to be ridiculous or tell you too soon.

Now I have to go; so do you –
It ’s still hard, though we both knew this would be so.
I ache for you; I know you’ll be fine
if I call the moon to watch on you & shine

I’m calling the moon;
I’m calling for the moon to come.
to lighten your load,
and brighten the road for you.

I’m calling the moon;
I’m calling for the moon to come;
where are you going?
where did you come to me from?

I’m calling the moon
I’m calling for the moon to come;
now I leave you here in the sun,
I’m calling the moon

I hope that she’ll guide you
You say that you must walk this path alone.
One day I hope I’ll walk beside you
but there are things that I must do now, and I have to be gone.

I’m calling the moon;
I’m calling for the moon to come.
to lighten your load,
and brighten the road in front of you

I’m calling the moon
I’m calling for the moon to come
at the end of your day,
to comfort you; illuminate your way.

I’m calling the moon
I’m calling for the moon to come
where are you going
where will you come to me from?

Words / music © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved

(Unfinished demo)

Cinderella, not quite

Here we sit at the edge of the world
and there’s darkness behind us.

Here we wait at the turn of the date
for the new day to find us.

I was watching you, you were listening to
all of the words that were spoken.

You said “a joining of ways for a couple of days
deceives me my heart isn’t broken.

“Maybe I’ll give you love tomorrow;
I’ve got no love to give you today.
All of my love has been begged, stolen or borrowed.”

When you’re dressed up in your rags tonight
you’re Cinderella – not quite.

You were watching the valley below –
not hard to find, no glass slippers for you.

Choosing the language to make our “hello”;
not hard to find in your dust-covered shoes.

I was watching you, you were listening to
all of the words that were said.

You said “Now our paths cross, nothing is lost
if we both forget the lives we have led…

“Maybe I’ll give you love tomorrow;
I’ve got no love to give you today.
All of my love has been begged, stolen or borrowed.”

When you’re dressed up in your rags tonight
you’re Cinderella – not quite.

Words / music © Bruce Lawson, all rights reserved

Guess I’m Falling In Love

Perhaps the funkiest, happiest song I’ve ever written. The tune and first verse were written while I was at university, and forgotten. Then a friend said two weeks ago “I guess I’m falling in love” while we were discussing her nasty bout of the unrequiteds. I remembered the song, wrote the rest, recorded it last weekend and mixed it yesterday with the help of Shez, my old friend and bass guitarist. A mere 27 years from conception to completion.

The bass was recorded in one straight take (the 57th take, to be precise). I wanted it tense and urgent, after Amy Lowell’s poem Vernal Equinox — “Why are you not here to overpower me with your tense and urgent love?”.

A11y Rocks – the album!

For those who don’t know, “a11y” is short for “accessibility” — the practice of ensuring web sites (and apps) are usable by people with disabilities.

Anyway, Heydon Pickering, a chum of mine from Bury St Somerset O’Groats in rural England, has collected some music made by people from the accessibility (and wider web standards) world, and is selling an album of it for £3, all of which will go to two worthy causes: NVDA, a free open-source screen reader to help people with visual disabilities access the web, and Parkinsons UK.

The track list is pretty varied, from novelty to folk to psychedelia. There’s even a song by me on it, called Imprecise and Infrared, which Heydon described: “Your song has been stuck in my head 4 days out of 5 for the last four months, you catchy fuck.”

It would make a lovely Xmas prezzy, and owning it will make you (up to) 74 times more sexually desirable. So why not buy it?