Posted by: David Harley | July 21, 2012

Index to Words & Music Pages

[10th April 2013: verse and music on this page are slowly being transferred to different blogs, imaginatively entitled David Harley's Songs and David Harley's Verse, and in fact there's already a whole more information there. After tidying this page and the other pages here, most of these links will be to the new sites rather than to the other pages. If you find those interesting, you might also like the Shropshire Blues site, which is more about Shropshire than blues.]

Here’s a close-to-full list of the other Small Blue-Green blogs:

[23rd February: informational update to the 'floorsinging for beginners' tipsheet.]

[2nd August 2012: updated "Songs without Music"]

[Updated 29th July 2012]

I suppose you could call this my vanity site. It’s maintained as a resource for my music and for writing that isn’t (usually) directly connected to my ‘real’ job  as an IT security author/consultant. (If you’re actually interested in the security stuff, see the links at the end of this post.)

Just to be clear, none of this material is in the public domain, and all rights are reserved. I hope you enjoy listening to/reading it but if you actually want to use it in any commercial context, unlikely as it may sound, you are honour-bound and legally required to ask me first: you can email me at Or via Small Blue-Green World, which is me wearing my business head.   

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World/AVIEN/Mac Virus
ESET Senior Research Fellow

Recording Sessions:

Diverse Brew Sessions:

1.  One Step Away From The Blues
2.  True Confessions
3.  Heatwave

Scriptwrecked Sessions

Sheer Bravado Cassette:

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

Songs Without Music:

Demo Recordings

Quick and dirty recordings of songs I hope to revisit and spend more time on a better version. Home-recorded on BOSS digital gear which I hope to have time to learn to use properly Real Soon Now.

Just one song – Bootup Blues – there at the moment, though two of the recordings added to the Songs Without Music page also qualify and will probably get moved shortly:

Settings of poems (unaccompanied demo versions)

Other Writing

Miscellaneous Prose

Verse or Worse

Folk Resources

At the moment, this page consists of a floor-singer’s tipsheet a number of us compiled in the late 1990s, and a reference to a later version – not sure where that comes from, but it wasn’t me. As I seem to spending a lot of time with old folkies these days, it may be that other things might find their way onto this page in due course.

Parodies Regained

…could have been a separate page here, I suppose, but it isn’t, for historical reasons. Anyway, here’s a list of what’s there at present:

Security-related publications

Security-related publications aren’t kept on this site at present. Most of my recent papers are available or linked from the ESET resources pages including white papers, conference papers, and articles for external publications and sites. Mac and other Apple-related resources are mostly kept at the Mac Virus site. Some other papers and information on some of my security books can be found on the Small Blue-Green World blog page.

Posted by: David Harley | March 22, 2014

Farewell to Severn Shore

Another setting of a poem by A.E. Housman. A Shropshire Lad VIII is untitled, but I call it Farewell to Severn Shore rather than by its first line.

Original poem available from Martin Hardcastle’s site here: VIII. “`Farewell to barn and stack and tree’”

David Harley 
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | March 22, 2014

The Carpenter’s Son

Another version of my setting of Housman’s poem (A Shropshire Lad XLVII). 

This version includes a guitar part. The words are published here, among many other places.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | February 9, 2014

Brothers Under The Bridge

A song by Bruce Springsteen. Sketches for a work in progress. So far I’ve added an extra vocal, bass, and sitar, and then removed them again. They may be back in due course, though. 

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | February 2, 2014

I Come and Stand at Every Door

I haven’t performed this in public for many years (well, up to a couple of days ago when I sang it at the Bucks Head in Shrewsbury), but it might be my favourite Pete Seeger performance of all time. He didn’t, in fact, write the song, but in a very real sense he did create it.

Jeanette Turner sent him a loose English translation of a poem by by the Turkish writer Nazim Hikmet Ran, asking him to put a tune to it. In fact, the tune he finally put to it was originally composed by Jim Waters in 1954 for the Child ballad ‘The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry’ (recorded by Joan Baez, the Byrds et al.)

I used to play it on electric guitar, but I don’t think I’d do it that way now. I thought put a little Japanese colour to it by adding some suitable keyboard effects and trying to counterfeit a shansin effect with a banjo, but for now I just settled for a very restrained second guitar part.

You can find the words here.

I don’t really have heroes, but if I did have, Seeger would probably be one of them. At any rate, I’m sorry I never had the chance to meet him.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | January 12, 2014

She Moved Through the Souk

This gets its name because it kind of evolved from Davy Graham’s jazz-raga arrangement of ‘She Moved Through the Fair’ (memorably described by Martin Carthy as ‘a mess’). I’ve used the same arrangement (without the jazziness) as a starting point for accompanying singers, but this is a highly personalized, extemporized version that always seems to come out more North African than Indian.  Anyway, I don’t think we’re in Ireland any more with this version, Toto.

I don’t suppose Martin would like this version much, either.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | January 12, 2014

A Smuggler’s Song

A setting of the poem by Rudyard Kipling. I have in mind a guitar accompaniment I’m not quite comfortable with yet, so this MP3 is strictly an unaccompanied demo version. The words and a few notes are available from this page. I believe Peter Bellamy used to sing a version set to ‘The White Cockade’, which I guess would readily lend itself to a more chorus-y version. In the 70s, I remember hearing a version to a different tune sung in Berkshire that used the second verse as a chorus.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | January 12, 2014

Raggle Taggle Man revisited

Lyrics by Alison Pittaway, with a traditional tune drastically arranged by me. And featuring the first recorded appearance of the Pelican Court Light Orchestra. The words have been published here before, but this demo is better recorded than the one with the previous version.

He was a raggle taggle man
In raggle taggle clothes
Reaching, reaching for the stars
As he wandered down the road

Once the world was at his feet
But then it fell apart
His friends becoming strangers
Who left him in the dark

His world was all in pieces
That he couldn’t shape at last
While the wind was blowing
Through the weeds and grass

People tried to reassure him
But still he lost all hope
And looking at his life
He knew he couldn’t cope

So home alone he went alone
And all alone he died
But everyone who knew him
Now remembers him with pride
He was so beautiful inside.

Oh raggle taggle, raggle taggle, raggle taggle man
Oh raggle taggle, raggle taggle, raggle taggle man…

Alison and I (among others) ran a folk club in London (at Jacksons Lane Community Centre, Highgate) for a while, and later on lived in the same part of Tottenham for several years. It’s only recently – when we haven’t met face-to-face decades and now live in different counties – that we’ve started to collaborate on songs, though.

The tune is a variation on a tune that Jean Ritchie used to sing as ‘False Sir John’. I don’t know why, it just seemed to fit the words.

Lyric copyright Alison Pittaway, 2013.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | January 1, 2014


Full lyrics can be found here.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | January 1, 2014

Dead Man’s Alley

A heavily re-arranged version of the ‘Cocaine Blues’/’Honey take a whiff on me’ theme. I put it together in the 1970s, but then wrote a version I liked better. However, this suddenly popped into my head and I decided I like it after all. Not too bad a demo considering I haven’t played it since the 70s, and probably never in public.

The full words are here.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | December 25, 2013

Ballad of the Carpenter

Back in the ’70s I was roped in to perform at a Christmas service in Shrewsbury where I was allowed to play banjo and sing harmonies, but not to sing this one, on the grounds that it’s ‘more of an Easter song’.

I seem to have mislaid the Christmas gene in recent years but I still find myself singing this around this time of year (or perhaps that’s why). Ewan MacColl’s politicized view of the life of Christ doesn’t seem to me to be religious at all, but it seems appropriate to me when celebrating the beginning of the story to bear in mind how it ended. Your mileage may vary.

I never actually heard MacColl sing this: I learned it from the version Phil Ochs recorded on ‘I ain’t marching any more.’ Ochs did it – very well IMHO – on guitar, but I usually sing it unaccompanied, even though I’ve also mislaid the traditionalist gene.

In fact, according to this post, Ochs made some changes which seem to me to have improved the song. However, the post includes what are apparently the original lyric too.

David Harley

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.