Posted by: David Harley | July 21, 2012

Index to Words & Music Pages

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. However, it might start to find its way back as I try to rationalize my output. :) If you’re only interested in the security-related stuff, you might want to shoot over to my Small Blue-Green World page.

Contact email: info[at]

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

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 that may sound, you are honour-bound and legally required to ask me first: you can email me at info[at] Or via Small Blue-Green World, which is me wearing my business head.   

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

More recent recordings (not commercial quality): as of 12th May 2014, the listings for this are somewhat out of date.

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 now. 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 | November 8, 2015


A solo guitar piece, originally improvised as an extended intro to Bert Jansch’s Needle of Death, but I kind of liked it as a standalone piece. This version includes some (very) mildly experimental production techniques and an overdubbed slide guitar.

Copyright David Harley 2015

Posted by: David Harley | November 1, 2015

lady luck

I rolled out my paper this morning to see what Lady Luck would say
She said “Sorry boy, no joy: It’s just another rainy day…”

Slow down, Lady Luck: why d’ya turn your back on me?
I never meant you any harm at all, but you really have your knife in me

Rolled out of bed this morning, in hopes to see some sun
But a long cool woman put the freeze on me and the good times are dead and gone

Slow down, Lady Luck: lady, won’t you let me be?
I never meant you any harm at all, but you really have your knife in me

I don’t mean to bring you down, I don’t mean to take you too deep
But I’m bored and bad and on my own and I need me a place to sleep

I think I’ll point my feet at the highway and move a little further down the line
If my shoes get stuck maybe Lady Luck will let me go this time

Words & Music by David Harley, copyright 1975

There once existed a recording of this with some percussion. Long gone. More rock than blues, in a pastiche sort of way.

Posted by: David Harley | October 28, 2015

Teeside Bridges [demo]

I recorded this as a demo for a live project, not a future recording, but it struck me that this is a song whose time has come (again), and not altogether in a good way. It was written by Eric Gooding in the 1960s about a holiday job at the doomed Dorman Long steelworks on Teeside. If I remember rightly it was entered for the BBC’s ‘Songs of Grief and Glory’ competition, but not one of the winners. Well, it was my favourite…

Oddly enough, while I was a student at Bangor a few years later I was supposed to take a summer job at Middlesbrough steel works, but the agency cancelled it at almost the last moment. And now, with the closure of the SSI works at Redcar closing, parts of Caparo going into administration and Tata threatening redundancies, there doesn’t seem to be much left of what was once called British Steel. As Peter Bond said in another great song (Category ‘D’):

‘Its purpose served, the ironworks sleeps, and silence chokes the air…’

Posted by: David Harley | October 24, 2015

ice to the flame

Posted by: David Harley | October 24, 2015

For Phil Ochs

Posted by: David Harley | October 23, 2015

Everyone’s song but mine

Everyone’s song but mine
Copyright David Harley 2015

I don’t own the songs I’m singing
They found me by the road
And let me come along for the ride
Sometimes they’re only wordplay
Sometimes they’re almost true
Telling everybody’s history but mine

There’s a soldier just returned
Forever damaged from the war
There’s a sailor forever lost in time.
Songs to lift your spirits
Songs to break your heart
Telling everybody’s story but mine

Maybe I was killing time
While time was killing me
Ignoring all the people in my head
Peering out of broken mirrors
To tell their broken tales
All the people in my dreams and in my head

A city sleeps in sunlight
A seascape in the storm
A town that I might go back to some time
Words I heard from lovers
For a lifetime or a night
Singing anybody’s melody but mine
Friends and lovers past and gone
Places I should be
Dreams that died and others that came true
Time we spent together
Too much time spent apart
Someone gone forever, much too soon

I was only killing time
While time was killing me
Ignoring all the people in my head
Peering out of broken mirrors
To tell their broken tales
All the people in my dreams and in my bed

I don’t own the song I’m singing
It found me by the road
And let me come along for the ride
Maybe it’s just wordplay
Perhaps it’s almost true
Telling nobody’s story but mine


Posted by: David Harley | October 23, 2015

Make mine a snowball [demo]

Something I occasionally do at Xmas, when I remember and am in a flippant mood. Essentially a parody of Walking On The Air with a spot of embroidery.

Posted by: David Harley | October 11, 2015


Posted by: David Harley | September 13, 2015

Empty Sunday [demo]

Empty Sunday (Words & music copyright David Harley, 1980)

Empty Sunday
Raining down on me
Empty Sunday
Raining down on me
You’re gonna drive me back
To the arms of my used-to-be

Empty Sunday
Sure can’t feel no pain
Empty Sunday
Sure can’t feel no pain
Just those blues pouring down
Like those 99 showers of rain

Empty Sunday
What d’ya come here for?
Empty Sunday
What d’ya come here for?
There’s no-one but the rain
Knocking on my door

Posted by: David Harley | September 8, 2015

What do I do (about you)?

What do I do (about you)? (words and music by David Harley, copyright 1984)

[Apologies to Harburg and Gorney for borrowing the tune for ‘Brother can you spare a dime‘ for one section. I guess if I ever do anything serious with this, I’ll have to rethink that particular leaning towards Lehrerism. But this is actually more a curiosity than a demo.]

Around the start of the 1980s I went through a somewhat theatrical phase: in fact, a couple of the best songs I wrote around then were for a revue called Nice If You Can Get It, directed by Maggie Ford: in particular, Hands of the Craftsman  and Long Stand . This one is a little more flippant: I don’t think this was intended for any project in particular, and I can’t actually remember playing it in public anywhere, but I found this version on a cassette recently and quite liked it. Just vocal and electric guitar.

While I might harbour a secret desire to be the sort of Renaissance Man presented here, the ‘hero’ definitely isn’t me. I’m a slow writer – slower as I get older, and I’ve never written an opera – though I once started to put together a concept album back in the days when that wasn’t considered absurdly pretentious. I don’t play the Minute Waltz – least of all on the piano – though these days the wonders of the internet will probably turn up a version on YouTube of someone who does play it in 35 seconds flat, probably on ukulele. So you can spend 35 seconds listening to it and 5 minutes wondering why anyone would do that. I don’t fly gliders or water-ski – these days I do my best to avoid flying even as a passenger – I usually leave cooking to my wife, who is an excellent cook and also very adept with the cocktail shaker. And I don’t drive. I was once a wood-machinist – which is why my right thumb is much shorter than the left and I almost invariably play with a thumb pick – but certainly not a cabinet-maker, and am certainly a mediocre artist at best. I just write and play a few things. And take the occasional photo. I can’t imagine why you’d bother to have read this far.

Here’s the lyric:

I can start a song at 2.45
And finish it by 5 to…
I can write an opera in an hour and a half
But what do I do about you?

I can play the Minute Waltz
In 35 seconds flat
But I can’t seem to get you out of my head
So what do I do about that?

Sometimes I fly gliders or water-ski
Before making breakfast for two
From my own recipes (of course you’ve read my books?)
But what do I do about you?

I can make cocktails like you’ve never seen
Ask anyone – I can do
Things with an olive you’d never believe
– But what do I do about you?

I can build a cocktail with a sting like an asp
Pernod, tequila and lime
Crushed ice and soda – now it’s almost done
Buddy where’s the grenadine

I can build furniture, drive racing cars
I’ve painted a mural or two
But I can’t seem to get you to remember my name
So what do I do about you?
What do I do about you?

David Harley

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