Monthly Archives: October 2015

Teesside Bridges [demo]

I recorded this as a demo for a live project, not a future recording, but it struck me that this is a song whose time has come (again), and not altogether in a good way. It was written by Eric Gooding in the 1960s about a holiday job at the doomed Dorman Long steelworks on Teesside. If I remember rightly it was entered for the BBC’s ‘Songs of Grief and Glory’ competition, but not one of the winners. Well, it was my favourite…

Oddly enough, while I was a student at Bangor a few years later I was supposed to take a summer job at Middlesbrough steel works, but the agency cancelled it at almost the last moment. And now, with the closure of the SSI works at Redcar closing, parts of Caparo going into administration and Tata threatening redundancies, there doesn’t seem to be much left of what was once called British Steel. As Peter Bond said in another great song (Category ‘D’):

‘Its purpose served, the ironworks sleeps, and silence chokes the air…’

David Harley

Everyone’s Song But Mine [demo]

Copyright David Harley, 2015

I actually started to write this a couple of years ago after being heavily and publicly criticized for singing a song that wasn’t ‘cheerful’. While I have to wonder about people who can’t stand the thought of a sad song, this is more about the fact that songs have a tendency to write themselves. At least, mine do, which is why this one came out sounding uncharacteristically ‘country’. But not at the lugubrious end of C&W, I hasten to add.

I don’t own the songs I’m singing
They found me by the road
And let me come along for the ride
Sometimes they’re only wordplay
Sometimes they’re almost true
Telling everybody’s history but mine

There’s a soldier just returned
Forever damaged from the war
There’s a sailor forever lost in time.
Songs to lift your spirits
Songs to break your heart
Telling everybody’s story but mine

Maybe I was killing time
While time was killing me
Ignoring all the people in my head
Peering out of broken mirrors
To tell their broken tales
All the people in my dreams and in my head

A city sleeps in sunlight
A seascape in the storm
A town that I might go back to some time
Words I heard from lovers
For a lifetime or a night
Singing anybody’s melody but mine
Friends and lovers past and gone
Places I should be
Dreams that died and others that came true
Time we spent together
Too much time spent apart
Someone gone forever, much too soon

I was only killing time
While time was killing me
Ignoring all the people in my head
Peering out of broken mirrors
To tell their broken tales
All the people in my dreams and in my bed

I don’t own the song I’m singing
It found me by the road
And let me come along for the ride
Maybe it’s just wordplay
Perhaps it’s almost true
Telling nobody’s story but mine


Hack my Brain

New words by David Harley to ‘Cocaine Blues’.

An earlier version of this one insisted on being included in a security blog: IoT Hacking: Surviving an Online World. [Also referenced in this article: Music, Security, and a Nice Cup of Tea.] However, the whole ‘why-do-I-put-up-with-this-alarmist-BS-anyway-when-I-could-retire-to-a desert-island-with-no-internet?’ thing keeps nagging at me. (The answer is because I’d rather live somewhere with reasonable access to a wine merchant.) There’s probably enough mileage in this for a whole (rather sour) opera, but life’s too short for that. I suspect I’ll probably record this version sooner rather than later, however.

I suspect that this rant may offend some prophets of doom, security marketroids, politically active acquaintances, other acquaintances about whom I May Not Speak, The Register, Mark Zuckerberg, and my pro-meme and pro-gun friends on Facebook. If so, I’ll try to live with it.

I won’t go to Heathrow, I ain’t insane
Blackhat hackers might hack my plane
Whoa-oa, Stuxnet all over again

I won’t fly or go by sea
Seaport hackers aiming gas at me
Whoa-oa, Sarin all over the world

Hey doc won’t you please come quick
Hacker in my pacemaker making me sick
Trojans all round my brain

Looked in my mailbox, it’s all the same
Politician wants to hack my brain
Whoa-oa, moneygrubbers in my brain

Went down to Washington and what do I see
CIA has tabs on me
GCHQ all round my brain

Headed for my keyboard on the lope
The man from the Register said ‘no more hope’
Whoa-oa, hackers all round my brain

Hey nurse won’t you please come quick
EEG says I’m really sick
Paranoia all round my brain

Some say the Facebook habit ain’t bad
It’s the leakiest backdoor I’ve ever had
Whoa-oa, Zuckerberg’s in my brain

Hey baby won’t you bring some beer
2nd amendment up to my ears
Cat memes overloading my brain

Ain’t going shopping, that ain’t my speed
Amazon will tell me just what I need
Whoa-oa, ads all around my brain

David Harley

Please [demo]

A song I wrote in the 70s but of which I finally recorded a demo today.

Words and music by David Harley: all rights reserved


Let me go on dreaming
Don’t make me wake
To find her gone
But it’s all right
Waking in the darkness
To find her still
Here in my arms

And the nightmares come and go
But in the afterglow
The pain spills out across the sheets
If this is all a dream
Let me go on dreaming

Let us go on dreaming
Sleep away the bitterness
That poisoned our lives
Help us
Go on believing
Tuning out the threats
And the lies

Hold back the daybreak
Let there be no more
Lonely dawns
Or else
Let tomorrow last for ever
Of the night before

Words & Music by David Harley
© 1977