Category Archives: Sheer Bravado

Sheer Bravado

Sheer Bravado (by David Harley & Don MacLeod)
All Rights Reserved



Look at us now, back to back
And so choked up
That neither dares to say a word.
What is this crazy game
where losing doesn’t count
As long as no-one sees you’re hurt?

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View From The Top

Words by David Harley, tune by Don MacLeod

Recorded at CentreSound in the early 1980s.


View from the Top

You learn to fall, then you learn to fly
I’ve been a lifetime learning, but I always got by
Living in pain isn’t living in vain
I’m used to losing and there’s so much to gain

Your love’s a mountain that I’m learning to climb
And it’s a long way down but somehow I don’t mind
I know the dangers but I don’t want to stop
It’s worth the fear of falling for the view from the top

Dawn rings the changes from a crawl to a run
Out of the shadow and into the sun
It’s not surprising if the light hurts our eyes
But if loving you is crazy it’s too late to be wise

Sometimes a voice inside whispers “Take care of yourself:
What makes you think you’re the one to take care of anyone else?”
All I can say is, “Don’t care if I fall:
She’s got the best part of me – she might as well take it all.”

You’ll say I’m crazy, but lady, no joke
I’m scared of busting but I’m going for broke
And I don’t know if I’ll fly or I’ll fall
But living without you is no life at all.

She’s Gone

She’s Gone (by Don MacLeod and David Harley)
All Rights Reserved



She’s gone: too bad…
And I wanted so much more
But now, too late,
I see what she was looking for
Wasn’t me at all
Just a lay-by
On the road to bigger things

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So Much For Romance

(words and music by Don MacLeod)

[There may be an updated version of this eventually.]


I could spend my time just watching you
Seeing all the things you want to do
What you’re going through
It’s all so new, it’s strange somehow

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Words and music by David Harley: all rights reserved


This is the preface Wilfred Owen drafted for a collection of war poems intended for publication in 1919.

“This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them.

Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War.

Above all I am not concerned with Poetry.

My subject is War, and the pity of War.

The Poetry is in the pity.

Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.

(If I thought the letter of this book would last, I might have used proper names; but if the spirit of it survives – survives Prussia – my ambition and those names will have achieved fresher fields than Flanders…)”

I quote it here because every year it seems to me that we give too much credence to

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

I wrote this song out of disrespect. Not disrespecting those who suffer and die in battle or as a less direct result of warfare, whether or not the world called them heroes; not disrespecting those who lived on, suffering injury or the loss of loved one; but I have no respect at all for those whose ‘respect’ is founded on seeking political and commercial advantage. When I added this note in 2015, that cynical capitalization on tragedy seems, if anything, even more in evidence than it was in the 1980s.

Sleep well old man, and don’t look down from some heavenly aerie
To see the edifice we’ve built on your philosophy
The sacrificial fires below bear the devil’s mark
But it was hands a lot like yours that struck the first spark

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