Posted by: David Harley | July 21, 2012

Index to Words & Music Pages

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More recent recordings (not commercial quality): as of 12th May 2014, the listings for this are somewhat out of date.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

Posted by: David Harley | September 3, 2015

Bluebert [demo]

A guitar solo I used to play a lot when I was living in London, though I think I was living in Bracknell when I wrote it. Actually, this version has some sections that suggest I was intending to come back to it and add a second guitar, which explains why it’s so much longer (too long!) than when I played it out in the wild. But clearly I haven’t. Yet.

The title has nothing to do with Bert Jansch, by the way. I’m flattered when people tell me what I do reminds them of him, but I don’t really see a resemblance, though I did listen a lot to his first album when I first started to learn the guitar. But if anything, I was more influenced by John Renbourn. And there are bits here that sound as if I was trying to be both of them at once. But to get back to the point, the title refers to the fact that for much of my life I was known as Bert rather than as Dave or David.

Played on a cheap and cheerful Kimbara acoustic – actually, it was a very decent little guitar – and recorded on domestic equipment.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | September 2, 2015

Convoy II

Posted by: David Harley | September 2, 2015


Tell me something that troubles me:
When you look at me, what do you see
To take a chance on a three-time loser like me?

You talk of trusting and sometimes I do
But what makes an angel like you
Waste time on a broken-down hero like me?

I can’t believe you’d want to keep going bail
For a shop-soiled knight errant with trouble on his trail


 It makes no sense that you’d want to keep going bail
For an ex-crusader with a hell-hound on this tail

 Anyway when I see you again
I’ll be praying just the same
That you still have time for a three-time loser like me

 Words & Music by David Harley, copyright 1975

Posted by: David Harley | August 20, 2015

Wearing out my shoes

Words and music by David Harley, copyright 1975

There’s no future
In singing the blues
I guess I’ll leave
I’ve got nothing to lose

Wearing out my shoes
Walking away from you
And if I can’t walk
I guess I’ll fly

I’m going down to the crossroads
My cap in my hand
Looking for a woman
Looking for a man

I went down to the depot
Looked up on the Board
Said good times here
Better down the road

Posted by: David Harley | August 20, 2015


Soleares: copyright David Harley 1988

There’s a note she keeps re-reading from a graveyard far away
The writer begs to offer sympathy
The man she once married and left so long ago
is gone beyond remorse and anything that might have been

Automatically she washes up, tidies and dusts
Starts to drink her coffee and leaves it to congeal
She tries to write an answer but somehow it falls apart
The words are vague and stilted – how can she tell how she feels

A threat of soleares spins softly from stereo
Ghostly in the sunlight, reflecting ancient pain
Sombre rescuerdos, a hint of distant thunder
Like the muted threat of Spanish rain

The phone rings: she shares the news but nothing of her feelings
Someone says “So sorry – I’ll ring back if you like”
Ringing off as if in dread of inapt and nervous laughter
Hanging brittle in the silence though it never left her throat

Shadows lengthen into evening: she has a drink or two
As if to fill the emptiness she feels
She can’t trace her emotions but her thoughts are wheeling
Around a situation scarcely real

Somehow all our failures rise to haunt us from the graveyard
At times like this it seems that guilt and death
Potentiate each other like phenobarb and whisky
It passes with time but she can’t believe it yet

Her nights won’t all be sleepless like the one that lies ahead
In a world of other people with their own claims on her time
Other joys and sorrows: other games to win and lose
But a whisper from the grave still tells her “Tonight is mine”

Posted by: David Harley | August 9, 2015

Thanks for nothing Ephraim Clutterbox

Words and Music by David Harley, copyright 1970

This may be the most positive song I’ve ever written. Which isn’t saying much, but at least it’s in a major key. Dedicated to David ‘Mex’ Higgen, who believed it to be written about him (which wasn’t altogether the case…) Mex was actually an excellent electric guitarist with whom I played from time to time when I was at university at the end of the 1960s. The ‘beautiful Ephraim’ line is a sideswipe at Jim Morrison, who is certainly past caring.

I used to think that life was for living
I was grateful for each and every day
I thought if we all tried a little harder
The world might be improved in some small way
But then you deflated my illusions
And made me see the error of my ways
You made me realize there is no black or white
Just a mediocre shade of grey

So thanks for nothing, Ephraim Clutterbox
You made me see the writing on the wall
You’ve rid me of so much of my foolish make-believe
That now I don’t believe in you at all

I used to be a gullible romantic
With a vague belief in beauty, truth and right
And a taste for lullabies and good intentions
With a sporadic urge to fight the good fight
But you told me it was all a social fiction
And I was too naive to disagree
When you exposed my neurotic motivation
And unhealthy craving for security

I’ve had enough of you, Ephraim Clutterbox
Your belief that it’s all lies and you can’t win
Your rational, so logical indifference
To anything that’s worth believing in
So this is the end, beautiful Ephraim
But I want you to know before you leave
I can kid myself your kind can be safely ignored
If enough people start to believe

Posted by: David Harley | August 5, 2015

Angie Come Alone [demo]

I’ve had this song by Tony Maude running through my head for nearly two days, so I had to put something down while I was thinking about a guitar part.

Tony is still around, and has a web site here.

Posted by: David Harley | August 4, 2015

Blues for Davy

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