Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Shropshire Lad VIII

Another setting of a poem by A.E. Housman. A Shropshire Lad VIII is untitled, but I call it Farewell to Severn Shore rather than by its first line, which seems a little unwieldy as a title. Compared to ‘The Carpenter’s Son’ the guitar part is much more ‘conventional folkie’.

The original poem below is as published on Martin Hardcastle’s site here.

`Farewell to barn and stack and tree,
Farewell to Severn shore.
Terence, look your last at me,
For I come home no more.

`The sun burns on the half-mown hill,
By now the blood is dried;
And Maurice amongst the hay lies still
And my knife is in his side.

`My mother thinks us long away;
‘Tis time the field were mown.
She had two sons at rising day,
To-night she’ll be alone.

`And here’s a bloody hand to shake,
And oh, man, here’s good-bye;
We’ll sweat no more on scythe and rake,
My bloody hands and I.

`I wish you strength to bring you pride,
And a love to keep you clean,
And I wish you luck, come Lammastide,
At racing on the green.

`Long for me the rick will wait,
And long will wait the fold,
And long will stand the empty plate,
And dinner will be cold.’

David Harley 
Small Blue-Green World

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A Shropshire Lad XLVII (The Carpenter’s Son)

A Shropshire Lad XLVII (The Carpenter’s Son)
Words by A.E. Housman, musical setting by David Harley, copyright 1977. All rights reserved.

This is still a demo version but now has an updated version of the guitar part. [updated 23-5-2015]

And here’s a purely instrumental version:

The poem itself is reproduced below from Martin Hardcastle’s page here.

`Here the hangman stops his cart:
Now the best of friends must part.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.

`Oh, at home had I but stayed
‘Prenticed to my father’s trade,
Had I stuck to plane and adze,
I had not been lost, my lads.

`Then I might have built perhaps
Gallows-trees for other chaps,
Never dangled on my own,
Had I left but ill alone.

`Now, you see, they hang me high,
And the people passing by
Stop to shake their fists and curse;
So ’tis come from ill to worse.

`Here hang I, and right and left
Two poor fellows hang for theft:
All the same’s the luck we prove,
Though the midmost hangs for love.

`Comrades all, that stand and gaze,
Walk henceforth in other ways;
See my neck and save your own:
Comrades all, leave ill alone.

`Make some day a decent end,
Shrewder fellows than your friend.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.’

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

The magic fingers of David Harley

I have a history of being almost there in the music and recording world. Back in the 60s, the organizer of something I played at in Bayston HIll or thereabouts was photographed for a local paper playing (or pretending to play) my guitar (I guess that would have been the Hofner). In the ’70s, Wayland Smithy recorded something or other using my Gretsch Anniversary. (I should never have parted with that guitar…) In the 80s I had several songs on an album that was never released because of a contract issue with one of the other guys. My three tracks are here, though.

And I was involved with some other recording projects that were a little more successful (including some of the recordings on this site, hopefully), though I’m not sure whether I should include Peter Buckley Hill’s Tubular Brains in that category in view of Peter’s high opinion of it. 😉 OTOH there are some bits of Harley guitar in there I still quite like, having heard those tracks again for the first time in at least 20 years.

tubular

Anyway, in the next two decades I had other things on my mind, like parenting and IT security (not to mention job security).

However, a month or two ago, I was promoted to body part double for a video by the pseudonymous Virge Clenthills, a well-known C&W name in Ludlow and environs. Not only does it show one of my guitars, but my actual fingers, complete with Virge’s enormous rings. Which would have been a little awkward if I hadn’t been miming.virge video

Not quite overnight success. And I guess if I’m going to get any more music of my own Out There, I’ll have to take Peter Gabriel’s advice and carry on D-I-Y-ing.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World