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More recent recordings (not commercial quality): as of 12th May 2014, the listings for this are somewhat out of date.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 | July 17, 2014

Born in the Country

This demo track is to all intents and purposes a reinterpretation of a rewrite by Judy Roderick of James Alley Blues, by Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown. She recorded it on her 2nd album, the rather wonderful ‘Woman Blue‘, in 1965. The version here is mostly the same lyrically but adjusted slightly for a male singer. In addition, rather than repeat her first verse at the end as Judy did, I’ve used a similar but not identical verse from James Alley Blues as my last verse.

The lyrics of a version by Robin Greenstein are very similar to Judy Roderick’s, but include another verse from James Alley Blues. Oddly enough, I have a version of  ‘Corinna’ that includes (more or less) the same verse.

I may well add some instruments to this version at some point. I’m also thinking about recording something closer to Rabbit Brown’s version, with a significantly different arrangement. The original has appeared on many anthologies and I also found it on YouTube here.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | May 18, 2014

The Doomsday Gig

“…you sell a lot more records
when you’re permanently depressed…”
(Peter Buckley-Hill – apologies if I’ve misquoted. I can’t remember the name of the song, either.)

Recently I was thrown into a state somewhere between rage and gloom when one of my songs – admittedly not a particularly cheerful example of my oeuvre – was roundly and publicly condemned by two people for being depressing. (Well, we can go into debates another time about session etiquette, whether social comment is folk, and whether no-one should ever write anything that isn’t upbeat.)

After the gloom wore off, I started contemplating going back to that session with a handful of the gloomiest songs I know (of) and realized that without even looking at my own songs, I could easily find enough material to empty the Albert Hall several times over.

  • David Ackles: His Name is Andrew
  • Bob Dylan: It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
  • Phil Ochs: Crucifixion
  • Lord Gregory. The Recruited Collier.  And about a third of all the Scots ballads I’ve ever been tempted to fake an accent to sing.
  • Richard Thompson: The End of the Rainbow (or possibly Never Again, or Poor Ditching Boy, or Stuck on the Treadmill, or even Pavanne)
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson: See That My Grave is Kept Clean
  • One of several songs called Oh Death
  • Lay this body down
  • Hank Williams: I’m so Lonesome I could Cry, or Wedding Bells, or Lonesome Whistle
  • The Everlys (don’t know offhand who wrote these): Ebony Eyes, or Take a Message to Mary, or Crying in the Rain, or Rocking Alone in an Old Rocking Chair, or I’m Just Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail
  • Leonard Cohen: Avalanche, or Dress Rehearsal Rag, or One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong – I’m sure I could think of one or two more…
  • Brother Can You Spare a Dime?
  • Nic Jones: Ruins by the Shore
  • Bruce Springsteen: Brothers Under the Bridge
  • The Lyke Wake Dirge (probably the tune Britten used rather than the one YT et al recorded: any French horn players around Ludlow?)
  • Don’t they know it’s the end of the world? (Kent-Dee)
  • Texas Girl at the Funeral of her Father (Randy Newman)
  • Jackson C. Frank: Here Come the Blues (Blues Run the Game would be a contender, too)
  • Fred Neil: Blues on the Ceiling
  • Neil Young: A Man Needs a Maid or After the Goldrush.
  • Bill Caddick: Oller Boller (am I the only person in the world who loves this song?)
  • Steve Goodman: Penny Evans (I don’t have a problem switching gender for a good song: see Recruited Collier).
  • Ann Briggs: Go Your Way, My Love
  • Weary Blues
  • Eric Bogle: No Man’s Land or The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

You know, I really want to hear that set. And I was starting to think about a running order, but I kept bursting into tears.

David Harley

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

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