Category Archives: Songs without Music

A Songbird of Evening

A songbird of evening: words and music copyright David Harley, 1974
No MP3 yet

It’s hard to ask your forgiveness
When you’ve said “Only death is free”
So I lay by you in the darkness
And cried, hoping you wouldn’t see

So hush, it’s a songbird of evening
And we are in some senses blind
And hush, it’s a songbird of evening
And we are in some sins blind

To love you
I must learn to
Learn to loose you
Learn to lose you

End Game [demo]

End Game: Words & Music copyright David Harley, 1974
All rights reserved

Written at a time when I was starting to realize that love doesn’t get any easier as you get older. In fact, it tends to get more complicated. Sketch for an arrangement.

Backup:

I’ve been looking out for zero
Since I don’t remember when
Praying not to draw
That same old blank again

But it seems at last time passing
Tears your paper shield apart
And love the silver bullet
Leaves its shrapnel in the heart

Madame
M’sieur
Les jeux sont faits

Rainy Day Blues [demo]

Rainy Day Blues: Words and Music copyright David Harley, 1973

Not really a blues, as you might gather from the fact that one version adds some bouzouki, not commonly used in that particular genre. (Hm. I think I may have set myself a challenge.)¬†I actually changed the last verse quite recently as when I finally came back to the song (this afternoon, after about 30 years…), the original words struck me as slightly misogynistic. Well, I was young…

For Lillian, 30 years too late. ūüė¶

Words and Music (c) David Harley

A cleaner recording than the previous audio version.

Backup:

And here’s a video, this time played on electric guitar.

 

Earlier versions:

This is a version with just basic guitar:

This is the same version with some overdubbed bouzouki: an instrument I’ve only recently added to my arsenal, so not very well¬†executed, but I think it might go quite well with a bit of work. Maybe different lead instruments for each break…

Backup:

And here’s a more recent version, slightly rearranged.

And here’s a more recent version, slightly rearranged.

David Harley

This is a version with just basic guitar:

This is the same version with some overdubbed bouzouki: an instrument I’ve only recently added to my arsenal, so not very well¬†executed, but I think it might go quite well with a bit of work. Maybe different lead instruments for each break…

And here’s a more recent version, slightly rearranged.

And some even more recent versions, even a video: A Rainy-Day Blues revisited

Some days are like a melody
But I can’t seem to hold the key
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

So I spend my day trying to keep  myself amused
Sitting here picking at a rainy day blues
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

It seems the road to fortune never ends
You play God all week and golf at weekends
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

And if we quit the rat-race we could have a ball
But you know those big wheels grind so small
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

You say you love me but it seems sometimes
You stuff my mouth with kisses and my ears with lies
I don’t mind losing
I just wish I had a little more to lose

Talking True Blues

Words copyright David Harley 1981 (I think). As it’s a Talking Blues, there ain’t no tune. Duh. Published in the early 1980s in Folk London, and included a hat tip to Steve Bell’s cartoon series Maggie’s Farm.¬†Included here for historical interest: I’m not likely to perform it again in this form.

If you’ve got those Monday morning blues
Lend me an ear and you can’t lose
Don’t run the rat-race till you drop down dead
Take a working vacation in the country instead
Down on Maggie’s Farm
Cleaning out the cowsheds
Up to your neck in BS

Lads if you’ve the urge to roam
Why stay on the dole at home?
Prove your manhood, score with girls
Join the army and see the world
Like Caterham, Aldershot
Downtown Belfast, Greenham Common

If you’re sixteen with nothing to do
We’ve got Youth Training Schemes for you
(not to be confused with Opportunities)
Starting out on a great career
Sticking labels on bottles of beer
And when your six months are up
You can tell ’em all about it
Down at the labour…

But if you’re getting past your prime
You’ve earned yourself some undertime
Step aside for a younger man
Enjoy retirement while you can
After all, life begins at … 35
And remember
3 1/2 million (it says here)
Can’t be wrong

Dying of Communication

Dying of communication: Copyright David Harley 1976

Remastered:

Backup copy

Sitting it out at the full moon
Reading my mail from the next room
Can’t you see we’re dying
Dying of communication?

Checking it out with the radio
Late late news is ‘no place to go’
Can’t you see we’re dying
Dying of communication?

Sitting it out in the bathroom
Freaked out on ego juice
Fighting it out in the bedroom
Wondering what’s the use
Everyone knows we’re dying
Dying of communication