All My Own Work
For many years now I have been writing
songs and tunes, sometimes completely my own work,
I don't claim to be the best singer in
the world but I do think they have merit as songs,
I have now collected all my songs and tunes together on one DVD.
The 19 songs are each in 3 different formats - mp3 (for your player); wma for Windows Media Player on your computer;
I'll send you a copy for £15 sterling. You can pay through PayPal (pay to firstname.lastname@example.org ) or contact me for postal address details.
Atlantic Fisherman's Song
Everything I know about fishing as discovered at the local chip shop! I wrote this in the 1970s and I think the rise and fall of the melody mirrors the rise and fall of the sea.
A True Harlequin Tale. Linda Greatorix ran the Harlequin pub on Johnson St, Sheffield for many years and was a true patron of acoustic music in the city. She and Mike Wild were talking about putting together songs and stories about the pub (now long demolished as part of the Ring Road development) and told the tale developed here. Mike gets credit for 'promot-i-on' in the final verse. The song is almost entirely true - except that I don't know that Martin Binney was 'portly'.
One thing I like to do is find a song and develop it. This one had about 2 verses in the original, so verses 3 and 4 are mine, along with the arrangement. If you get bored - count the swear words
When I was lecturing at Sheffield University in the 1970's, Cindy was one of our American exchange students. I believe she went on to set up a commune.
Again I found this with a couple of verses, wrote some more and devised the tune.
Dale Dyke Dam Disaster
Still in the Guiness Book of Records as the worst dam disaster in England, the Dale Dyke Dam burst its banks on the night of March 11th 1864 and produced the first Sheffield Flood. I used to take children on a Flood Walk when I was teaching and used this song as the basis for their school work.
While I was recording this at Yellow Arch Studios, the engineer (Robin) said he remembered recording it before, when he worked at Red Tape Studios! If you are the couple who recorded it then, or you know them, please get in touch.
Dot Com Millionaire
My lad Sam joined a computer software company and was convinced they were going to get bought out and so make his fortune - we are still waiting. This song wrote itself following our conversations.
End of the World
A happy little song of mine - reminds me of the sandwich board purveyors of doom you used to see frequently in town on a Saturday.
I Like Bananas
Think Bonzo Dog Band and go back a bit to Spike Jones' City Slickers, but back even further and you get the Hoosier Hot Shots (try them on You Tube). This song of theirs is another for which I have added extra verses. Credit to Dave Young for the last line of verse two.
In Praise of the Landlord
Written in the early 1970s but this doesn't really excuse the sexism! The name of the pub landlord should be substituted for 'Alphonse' wherever this is sung.
Another happy little song that wrote itself a while ago - the instrument here is a Busson lap-organ built in Paris in about 1870 and which I bought about a century later for £15 from a little junk shop at the end of South Road, Walkley.
Measuring the Baby
The words are from a Victorian poem by Emma Alice Browne - I found them in a book on a guest house book shelf in Cleethorpes in the 1960's and wrote the tune.
Not my song at all - but I cannot find the author. I suspect this started life as a pub joke. I learned it the 'proper' way - by ear - from Dave Young during many sessions at the Red House pub on Solly Street when it was run by Linda Greatorix.
Rawtenstall Annual Fair
This song I knew from Mike Wild's singing and then I found the words in a Mike Harding book - but all the verses were about women. So I added the ones about men.
Rest of the Day
Another song to which I have added some words and the tune.
This one is semi-autobiographical and if you know me well you will be able to work out which bits are true.
A ballad which the tune Jerusalem fits quite well.
I got the idea for this song (1970s again) partly when driving up Totley Road and looking at the spread of semi-detached houses there, and partly from a notice which used to greet passengers at Midland station - for a Universal Grinding machine in some steelworks or other. Some people read extra things into some of the verses! Ed Gabbani gets credit for suggesting the chorus.
We spend quite a few short breaks in the Whitby area and this song wrote itself during one of them - the end of a successful trip.