Category Archives: Love songs and out-of-love songs

Blues I Blew [demo]

Actually a very rough demo, but there you go. Now I’ve remembered it exists, I’ll do some work on it.

Backstory: drinking with a friend in Manchester in the early 70s while both our girlfriends were out of town, making some musical plans. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but shortly after he and his girlfriend got married and moved (to Wales, I think): I moved somewhere else and married someone else entirely.

Why that story got into a song when so little of my back-catalogue is strictly autobiographical, I can’t say. It seems long ago and far away. Oh. Actually, it was long ago and far away (from Cornwall, at any rate).

Blues I blew: Words and Music copyright 1975 David Harley

There we were, my buddy and me
Two grass widowers out on a spree
Between the bar and the BBC
And nowhere much to go

Plans to make a wave or two
Adding up to two plus two
No complaints of nothing to do
With another 12-bar to blow

Another place, another day
Nothing very much to say
Another song I threw away
Another blues I blew

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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

Please

Please
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
Please
Let me go on dreaming

Please
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

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

Words & Music by David Harley
© 1977

Birdlime [demo]

Words and music by David Harley, copyright 1973

This is a very young, very bitter song. I was actually playing with it in Garageband recently as a guitar piece, but the words came back to haunt me. I think I may change them, but  the arrangement has promise.

(Vocal is a bit ropey: heavy cold…)

Miles of air is all I need
Jab on the starter and pick up speed
Stand back lady and watch me feed my heels

Got to get you out of my head
There’s new juice keeping my motor fed
From today I’m the fastest thing on wheels

You’re birdlime baby
And you should know
You’re bad news baby
Everywhere you go

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

When I was one and twenty [demo]

Actually a setting of two verses from ‘A Shropshire Lad’:  XVIII (Oh, When I Was In Love With You) and XIII (When I Was One and Twenty). There are already demo recordings on this site of the two individual settings, which use the same tune, but this is a sketch for a more ambitious orchestral arrangement that combines the two. Sadly, I didn’t have an orchestra handy, so the strings here come courtesy of a Yamaha keyboard. The guitar part is actually a guitar, though. 🙂

[Cleaned up the vocal a bit on the first section.]

  XVIII

          Oh, when I was in love with you,
           Then I was clean and brave,
          And miles around the wonder grew
           How well did I behave.

          And now the fancy passes by,
           And nothing will remain,
          And miles around they'll say that I
           Am quite myself again.
 XIII

          When I was one-and-twenty
           I heard a wise man say,
          "Give crowns and pounds and guineas
           But not your heart away;
          Give pearls away and rubies
           But keep your fancy free."
          But I was one-and-twenty,
           No use to talk to me.

          When I was one-and-twenty
           I heard him say again,
          "The heart out of the bosom
           Was never given in vain;
          'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
           And sold for endless rue."
          And I am two-and-twenty,
           And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.