Category Archives: Alison Pittaway

Nowhere to Nowhere [Demo]

Words by Alison Pittaway, tune by David Harley

When I came to work on the tune for this, I found it reminded me a little of this bizarre story from 2014. I pretty much wrote the tune sitting in front of the computer, so it’s still a bit tentative, but I’ll come back to it.

Birds made homeless today
The tree fellers came to take their prey
Diggers ripping up the earth
Concrete laid down for what it’s worth
From nowhere to nowhere

Green belt turned grey – why should they care?
Tainted money buys land laid bare
Shifting soil, uprooting pines
Laying down more railway lines
From nowhere to nowhere

Villages and fields torn in two
Holes in the hearts of me and you
Earth and rubble shifted load by load
Traffic chaos on the roads
From nowhere to nowhere

Meadows buried under bricks and dust
Lost to the profiteers and money lust
No more time to have our say
No time to see what went astray
From somewhere to nowhere

Nowhere to nowhere
Nowhere to nowhere

Back in the Day [demo]

Back in the Day
(Words by Alison Pittaway – Music by David Harley)

I said hello
and you cracked a smile,
I felt warm inside
just for a while.

Just two friends
back in the day,
No need for words then
[or at least it seemed that way]

We played and we laughed
as the world went spinning by
And time went faster then,
faster than we realized

There was no need for words
And no thoughts misunderstood.
You didn’t wait for an answer
And how I’d wished you would.

You’ve gone from me now,
Gone so far away.
But we were just two friends then,
Back in the day.

Oh, just two friends,
back in the day.

Raggle Taggle Man[demo]

Raggle-Taggle Man

Words by Alison Pittaway: tune traditional, adapted and arranged by David Harley

He was a raggle taggle man
In raggle taggle clothes
Reaching, reaching for the stars
As he wandered down the road

Once the world was at his feet
But then it fell apart
His friends becoming strangers
Who left him in the dark

His world was all in pieces
That he couldn’t shape at last
While the wind was blowing
Through the weeds and grass

People tried to reassure him
But still he lost all hope
And looking at his life
He knew he couldn’t cope

So home alone he went alone
And all alone he died
But everyone who knew him
Now remembers him with pride
He was so beautiful inside.

Oh raggle taggle, raggle taggle, raggle taggle man
Oh raggle taggle, raggle taggle, raggle taggle man…

Alison and I (among others) ran a folk club in London (at Jacksons Lane Community Centre, Highgate) for a while, and later on lived in the same part of Tottenham for several years. It’s only recently – when we haven’t met face-to-face decades and now live in different counties – that we’ve started to collaborate on songs, though.

The tune is a variation on a tune that Jean Ritchie used to sing as ‘False Sir John’. I don’t know why, it just seemed to fit the words.

Lyric copyright Alison Pittaway, 2013.