As I've said on my homepage, I've long been a low-key singer-songwriter-acoustic-guitar-player. "Low-key" in part because my music has always played "second fiddle" (not the most appropriate metaphor given that I play guitar, but you know what I mean!) to my writing and academic work. Even so, listening to and creating music has been and continues to be a vital part of my life and has sustained me in more ways than I can say. In particular, I have long admired the compression of thought and feeling that can be squeezed into the few minutes it takes to sing or listen to a song.
Here, then, are home demos of a few songs I've written over the years. Below these you'll find my demos of a few songs by others.
- The Glory Train -- There's a whole genre of songs about a train, whether real or metaphorical, coming to take us to a better place; but this song, written more in sorrow than anger, runs with the idea that, if there is a Glory Train, then it sure ain't running on time!
- How Simple the Changes -- "How simple the changes, the way life rearranges; you and I were lovers once, now we're just like strangers..."
- All the Fishes in the Sea -- Fishes and birds can ask the strangest questions.
- The Things to be Done -- A song of solace for the lonesome cowboy or cowgal inside us all.
- The Traveller's Wells -- God help you if you're out there on the parched plains and don't stumble upon the Traveller's Wells.
- Old, Old Story -- "It's an old, old story about love and its glory, but it's always a good one to tell."
- Dilapidated Soul -- About being worn down by the workaday world. You've never felt that way yourself, right?
- Saviour -- About what really saves us.
- The Taste in my Heart -- Which way will it go?
- Seize the Day -- Remember the Captain and his mandolin.
- Everything but the Girl -- "You know what 'the thing is'? The heart just yearns and yearns."
- These Days -- About breaking free from one's ghosts.
- Heaven's Call -- On hearing a woman with the sweetest voice singing in the London Underground.Songs written by others:
- Helplessly Hoping -- Stephen Stills's alluringly alliterative early song from the first CS&N album (1969), probably written in the context of his doomed love affair with the crystal voiced folk-singer Judy Collins.
- Propinquinty -- Forget his stint with The Monkees, Michael Newsmith wrote some great songs as an independent singer-songwriter - this is one of them. Propinquity, an unusual word, is a fancy term for "nearness" or "closeness".
- Baker Street -- My version of Gerry Rafferty's great song about alienation in the city, dreaming of the future, and going home.