Category Archives: Sheer Bravado

Don MacLeod

Songs written by* or co-written** by Don MacLeod. He played guitar and/or piano on all these tracks except Sheer Bravado and View From The Top.

Other songs on which Don played guitar or :

Other vocals and instruments on all songs listed here were by me. I was always a control freak.

Pete Wilkes and Gail Williams played fiddle and boddhran respectively on ‘The Butterfly’.

Sheer Bravado Sessions

Some 1980s recordings (mostly) from the CentreSound studio in Camden originally compiled as a cassette LP called ‘Sheer Bravado’. I recently had the CentreSound master tapes baked (don’t ask!) and transferred to digital media, and those better-quality but slower-loading versions have now been added to the versions originally posted here. Track listing as per the original cassette.

Table of Contents

  1. Long Stand
  2. Speak My Heart
  3. Paper City
  4. The Weekends (are the Worst)/Dives & Lazarus/The Butterfly
  5. Sheer Bravado
  6. View From The Top
  7. She’s Gone
  8. So Much For Romance
  9. Circle
  10. Blues For Davy

Long Stand

This was written for a review directed by Margaret Ford in the early 1980s, and subsequently recorded for a cassette album ‘Sheer Bravado’. I mention the date because I recently found out that Sting’s ‘Last Ship’ album includes a song ‘Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint’ on a somewhat related topic – in fact, the first verses of the two songs are surprisingly similar. But I got there first, folks, in fact about 30 years earlier. :)

Long Stand From “Sheer Bravado” (Words and Music by David Harley)
All rights reserved
Long Stand (MP3);

long stand 1 (MP3 converted directly from digitized master)

The day I started work, the foreman said to me,
“I’ve another job for you when you’ve finished brewing tea:
Go down to the stores and when you find old Stan,
Tell him Harry sent you for a long stand.”

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Paper City

Paper City (Words and music by David Harley copyright 1982)

paper city 2 (directly converted from digitized master: slower load, better quality)

I woke up with my mind’s eye facing your direction:
I looked hard and I saw you needed help.
You’re choking on paper and tape and legislation,
But you can’t produce one thing to help yourself.

Paper city at the heart of a paper empire:
You’ve got strings to pull, you’ve got wires all over the earth.
Sky-climbing parasite, concrete and paper jungle,
You’ve got money to burn, but I know you’d rather freeze to death.

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The Weekends (are the Worst)/Dives & Lazarus/The Butterfly

The Weekends (Words by David Harley – Tune Traditional) All rights reserved The weekends (are the worst) MP3 (David Harley: vocal) Air (Dives and Lazarus)/Slip Jig (The Butterfly) Dives and Lazarus/The Butterfly MP3 (Traditional) Pete Wilkes, fiddle; David Harley, guitars; Gail Williams, boddhran

The world has changed since I was born in 1902.
Two World Wars have swept away the world that we once knew:
Two brothers and three sisters , long dead and gone to earth
Our lives were often hard, but now the weekends are the worst.

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Sheer Bravado

Sheer Bravado (by David Harley & Don MacLeod)
All Rights Reserved
Sheer Bravado MP3
sheer bravado 2 (directly converted from digital master)

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

View From The Top (Words and Music by Don MacLeod and David Harley)
view from the top 2 (directly converted from digital master)

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

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Blues for Davy

(music by David Harley: copyright 1980, all rights reserved)

A short, vaguely jazzy solo guitar piece. Neither version here is actually a studio recording, but (under-)recorded on fairly expensive domestic equipment. As the title might suggest, I was trying for something vaguely Davy Graham-ish: so successfully, that people used to come up to me after gigs and say “What was that John Renbourn piece you did?” I’m going to need to practice a while before I do this one in public again, anyway….

(1) Acoustic version: Blues for Davy (the version that was released on cassette)

(2) I just (August 2015) dug this electric version up on a cassette (just a cassette: not one of the commercial cassettes, if you can use the term for something that made hardly any money) from the late 80s. Recorded on domestic equipment, probably using my Ovation Viper played through a Peavey Backstage amp.