Category Archives: Songs without Music

Same Old Same Old

Originally called ‘Same Old Blues’ but as there are several songs with a similar title, ‘Same Old Same Old’ seemed more appropriate.

David Harley: vocal, guitars, keyboards (no, that’s not a real sax…)

Copyright David Harley, 1987

(Remastered version)


The burglar bells chimed midnight
The sky was pouring down
My feet froze to the catwalk
But my head was homeward-bound

Same old blues
Same old back-street blues

My head is stuffed with nicotine
My throat is full of sand
My bloodstream is pure gin
I can’t remember how to stand

Same old blues
Same old inner-city blues

The all-night bus is AWOL
I can’t get to my bed
There’s a tangle in my fingers
And a jangle in my head

Same old blues
Same old long-gone midnight blues

How can I keep from singing?

Ironically enough, given its title, an instrumental version of a 19th century hymn. I’ve been playing it a lot since I started playing serious slide guitar again.


The hymn has its own Wikipedia page, including the first published lyrics and the verse added by Doris Plenn and sung by Pete Seeger. In fact, I first heard it on Seeger’s I Can See a New Day album, a compilation of live recordings released in 1964. The music is credited to Robert Lowrey, as published in his ‘Bright Jewels for the Sunday School’, published in 1869, but the source of the original lyrics is uncertain. The lyrics (apart from Plenn’s) included in the Wikipedia page are apparently as published in the New York Observer in 1868 under the title Always Rejoicing and attributed to ‘Pauline T.’

When I do it live, I sometimes go straight into Twelve Gates to the City, which I first learned from the same source. However, I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone else do either song as a slide guitar piece.

The guitar I used was a Gretsch Bobtail roundneck resonator guitar using an open E tuning.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World
ESET Senior Research Fellow

This End of the 1960s [demo]

This End of the 1960s: Words and Music copyright 1975 David Harley


Shine like a sun on this cloudy day
Reached out my arms but you’re far away
Dawn took the sunshine away

Strange how familiar a new song can be
At the trigger end of a memory
Dawn took the sunshine away

I can remember a sunny day
Could be just yesterday
Dawn took the sunshine away

Time on my Hands

Time on my Hands: Words and Music copyright David Harley, 1974
G+4sus            Em7b5
Time on my hands
A            Dm7+4      G
Time to think of a friend
C                               Am
Who changed one weekend
Bm(B+2)          Bm       Cmaj7
Changed to a part of me

Time to look back
Cosily stoned by the fire
Getting much higher
Watching you watching me

Time and again
To think of caring for you
Knowing I do
And hoping you might for me

Time on my hands
No hangups and nothing to say
But “we had our day”
And the music goes on and on

Words and music copyright David Harley, 1971



David Harley

Who Are We? [Demo]

Words and Music by David Kenyon and David Harley


Sad victim of the overground
Talisman I wear against my heart
She knows she’s not the first to shed some light on me
She knows she may well be the last

I’ve heard some rumours of a world outside
Beyond the circle of her arms
Strange legend of a race for time
Make-believe world of false alarms

Who are we?
Who are you to tell us?
Who are we?
Who are you to tell us
Take a look at yourselves

I met Dave Kenyon at South Hill Park, Bracknell in the early 70s. We kicked some stuff around in the studio there – I don’t have any tapes at this point – and he had a fragment of a song (basically the last part of this lyric and a tune IIRC). I worked on it later in the form that eventually got recorded here, roughly, but I lost touch with him before that. If you’re out there, Dave, get in touch!

David Harley