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More recent recordings (not commercial quality): as of 12th May 2014, the listings for this are somewhat out of date.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 | August 25, 2014

40-70 [demo]

Underneath this somewhere there’s a 12-bar with some extraordinarily pretentious synth-ing. Just having fun, but I think there’s something here to build on.

Posted by: David Harley | August 25, 2014

Baby what a groove

I went to university a very indifferent guitarist and came back able to play Anji (more or less) and Light My Fire a la Feliciano, and with one or two fairly average songs, so I guess my time there wasn’t entirely wasted.

Once upon a time back in the very early 70s I and a friend scored a lift back to Bangor with a lorry driver who clearly believed that student life was all “boozing and [something that rhymes with nagging]“, to which our first reaction was “so who’s getting my share?”.

But I was a late developer… Just as well, I guess. If my life had really been like this, I probably wouldn’t have made it to my present ripe old age.

Anyway, this was, I guess, one of the first of my own songs to make its way into my repertoire, even if it was a bad case of wishful thinking.

Baby what a groove: Words and Music copyright David Harley, 1970

The landlady called today
and asked me what I had to say
she said “All these parties night and day
and where’s the rent you’re due to pay?”
I said “I’m sorry I can’t talk now
I’ve got to get some gin
But don’t you worry about me
‘Cause baby what a groove I’m in”

My banker wrote me just to say
I’m way out in the red
But since they stopped my council grant [Remember those? -DH]
There’s nothing to be said
I hope Dad lays a little bread on me
To keep my funds in equity
Now I’ve got 25 hippies living off me
But baby what a groove we’re in

My tutor told me only yesterday
“Your work’s not up to scratch:
We don’t expect you to work all the time
But you’ve not done a patch
It’s all these parties I can see
No wonder you’ve no study time free
And I’ll have you kicked out if you don’t invite me
‘Cause baby what a groove you’re in”

The doctor told me just the other day
“Son, you’re getting in much too deep
You see your trouble is, basically,
Too much bed and too little sleep
Too many fags and too much booze”
I said “I know it’s not the life you’d choose
But I’d rather be dead than have the 9-to-5 blues
‘Cause baby what a groove I’m in


Posted by: David Harley | August 25, 2014

bootup blues

Words (and music, such as it is) by David Harley. Copyright 1986.

When I woke up this morning
My laptop wouldn’t boot at all
I said I woke up this morning
And tossed my Tosh against the wall
My baby took the mains adapter and the battery’s screwed beyond recall

Well she left me for some guy
With a 99GHz overclocked PC
And now she’s interfacing
With his RS232C
(he’s a serial womanizer)
She said my hard disk was too small
To satisfy
Her new spreadsheet

I wouldn’t treat an iPad
The way that woman treated me
She fragmented my hard disk
And ran off with my Angry Birds DVD
Left me nothing but this boot sector virus
And a copy of Wordstar version 3.3


You can get some idea of how old this thing is from the fact that the iPad was originally an Amstrad, and the Angry Birds DVD was originally a 7th Guest Cd. It’s hard keeping up with technology. Hopefully, I’m still ahead of the curve on PC CPU specs, Moore’s Law (or House’s variant) and overclocking notwithstanding. The reference to RS232C is slightly disingenuous: RS-232-C is the 1969 version of the standard, not hardware. I wouldn’t have mentioned any of this if it weren’t for a ludicrous conversation in a pub with someone who apparently thought I was setting PC for Dummies to music rather than writing a mildly amusing blues parody. And to the guy who recommended that I use Sophos to deal with my boot sector virus, thanks for the suggestion, but I do actually work – or, strictly speaking, consult – for a(nother) anti-virus company, and I think I’ve got it covered.

David Harley 
Small Blue-Green World
ESET Senior Research Fellow

Posted by: David Harley | August 24, 2014

Close the door lightly when you go [Demo]

A song by Eric Anderson. I originally learned it from a version by Ian Matthews, back in the 70s, so I don’t always do it like this. And I have yet to double track my vocals live. :)

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Posted by: David Harley | August 24, 2014

New Ends and Sad Beginnings

Words and Music by David Harley, copyright 1969:

Demo MP3:  with some lead guitar added.

Earlier MP3 

There’ll never be a better time for starting something new
I’m spending too much time alone, brooding over you
But nothing comes that easy, and I’ve got so insecure
Since the angel I was slowly learning how to trust is surely finding
Strange ways of turning long-time dreams into nightmares after all

The sun will rise and fall and the night will win again
So I’m promised with no guarantee of stars
And in my street-lit room I will sing some different tune
To the futile rusting chords of my guitar

The beggar-clown will weep as he tiptoes through my sleep
If he knows, he will not tell me where you are
In his hand he holds a candle I reach out to pluck its blossom
And it lies between the strings of my guitar

This may well be the first song I ever wrote that I can still remember all through, though it’s changed a lot since 1969, when it had some of the same lines but a completely different tune.

Posted by: David Harley | July 17, 2014

Weeping Willow/Corrina

This demo is an interpretation of a song I learned many years ago from Michael Cooney by way of banjo player Merrion Wood. Oddly enough, Bert Jansch also recorded a slightly similar ‘Weeping Willow Blues’, and both used 12-string for their recordings. Just to be awkward, I play it slide. :)

The ‘Sometimes I think you’re too sweet to die…’ verse is also associated with Rabbit Brown’s ‘James Alley Blues’, widely known through Judy Roderick’s rewrite ‘Born in the Country’.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

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

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