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 (which opens to an index of the 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More recent recordings (not commercial quality): as of 12th May 2014, the listings for this are somewhat out of date.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 4, 2019

Epitaph for an Army of Mercenaries (rough mix)

Posted by: David Harley | November 3, 2019

The Pilgrim reconsidered [demo x2]

Trying out two slightly different arrangements for The Pilgrim (setting of a Yeats poem)

Different mix:

3rd mix:

And another pass at ‘The Wild Swans At Coole’:

Revisiting ‘When I was’ (part 1) – a cappella harmonies


Posted by: David Harley | October 30, 2019

Anywhere [demo]

Another from my recent flurry of lyric writing and editing.

Anywhere (words and music copyright David Harley, 2019)

I could catch a bus to anywhere
And never think of missing this old town
Instead I’m sitting in a bar right here
Scared to play my last go-round
Last dream smashed and short of cash
Nursing one last beer
Hoping for a bus to anywhere
Anywhere at all but here

I could take a train to anywhere
Shake this country dirt from off my shoes
Turn my face away from nowhere
Trading up to city views
Had enough of you and all you put me through
Pretty sure you’ve had enough of me
Time to take a train to anywhere
Anywhere I know that you won’t be

I could hitch a ride to anywhere
And surely I won’t miss this empty town
Right now I’m sitting in this tired old bar
All set to play my last go-round
Last dream smashed and short of cash
Nursing one last warm beer
Maybe I can catch a ride to anywhere
Anywhere at all that isn’t here

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | October 29, 2019

Chickens they are crowing (Roud 3650) [demo]

Something a little off-piste for me: a song collected by Cecil Sharp in the Appalachians. Sarah McQuaid does a version of this, I think from Peggy Seeger. This version comes from Guy Carawan – oddly enough, from an LP he recorded with Peggy Seeger. However, he sang it unaccompanied (though he did interpose some passages on recorder).


Posted by: David Harley | October 29, 2019

We never will have Paris [demo]

In making-the-tune-up-as-I-go-along mode. The lyric isn’t quite finished either. But going in the right direction.


We never will have Paris (Harley: ©2019)

 I know that this is going nowhere
But a honeymoon in Heartbreak Hotel
Yet it seems that all I’ve done is think about you
For longer years than I have words to tell

Sometimes I catch myself hoping
Just once more to see you smile
In spite of all the harsh words passed between us
And all these long and weary miles

Perhaps you’re on your own tonight
Somewhere out there in the rain
Caught between the raindrops, still hoping
You’ll never be this sad again

Again and again along the highway
We kissed at the turning of the road
Till somewhere I forgot to say goodbye
Walking down some sleepy highway on my own

I know we never will have Paris
Or even one more foggy day in London Town
I wonder if you ever wonder
If the going up was worth the coming down

David Harley



Posted by: David Harley | October 28, 2019

Weekends new tune

The Weekends [are the worst] (Harley)

The world has changed since I was born in 1902.
Two World Wars have swept away the world that we once knew:
Two brothers and three sisters , long dead and gone to earth
Our lives were often hard, but now the weekends are the worst.

My old man died just 20 years past.
His health was never good since the Kaiser had him gassed,
But in the end it was cancer that carried him off so fast
I miss him all the time, and the weekends are the worst.

You might say I was lucky, though we never had much cash,
But we had 50-odd good years, more than I’d dare to ask.
I brought up three lovely kids, though another died at birth:
I miss them all a lot, and the weekends are the worst.

I’ve a son in Melbourne, he’s been there since ’62:
I’ve never seen his wife or kids, just a snapshot or two.
My eldest died in the last lot, on a convoy to Murmansk:
It still brings tears to my eyes, and the weekends are the worst.

I’ve a daughter in Glasgow: she writes when she has time,
But that’s a long way off, and I’ve not seen her for a while.
She’s got a son in the army, just been posted to Belfast:
We worry all the time, and the weekends are the worst.

My friends are mostly dead, or else they’ve moved like me
When the street I was brought up in was pulled down in ’63.
Sixty years I’d lived there, child, girl and wife:
Sheltered housing’s not so bad but it can be a lonely life.
Especially since Jim died: we weren’t too bad at first
But now I’m on my own the weekends are the worst.

There’s the club once a week, though it’s just from seven till nine,
And since my fall they only fetch me down from time to time.
There’s my knitting and the TV, for what that might be worth,
But I miss the company, and the weekends are the worst.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | September 23, 2019

Heartbreaker (rough demo)

No, nothing to do with Dionne Warwick or the Gibb brothers.

Written back in the 80s, and turned up in my box of half-written songs today. The tune needs work, and the words have already changed a bit since the recording. And yes, it was intended for a female singer, but I don’t have one handy right now.

Heartbreaker (Harley)

Look at you – you’re such a heartbreaker

You’ve not yet said a word that anyone has heard
You know that all you have to do is smile
To capture any male – I’ve never seen you fail
To captivate every man in miles

Look at you – you’re such a foxy lady

Your table manners won’t win prizes; it’s really not surprising
That you’ve got broth all down your bib
But all your male relations are stood at battle stations
With the Kleenex to wipe down that greasy chin

Look at you – you’re such a heartbreaker

I can’t turn my back for a minute and a half
Without your creating mess
You’re taking years off my life – your dad says “Leave her, she’s all right”
But if he cleaned up I might be more impressed

Look at you – you’re such a heartbreaker

If I’d as many men as you to give my kisses to
I wouldn’t have much reason to complain
You’re a pain sometimes, it’s true, but I’d be heartbroken too
To be without you now, it’s so plain

PUT THAT DOWN, YOU LITTLE… heartbreaker…

All rights reserved.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | September 22, 2019

Heatwave (rough demo, solo version)

Posted here in a rough 2019 version because I’ve changed the words since the 80s version recorded at Hallmark by amalgamating two verses. There should be a cleaner version soon, since I’ve just started singing this again.

Heatwave (David Harley)

There’s a heatwave in the city and the day drags on forever
The tarmac burns through patent leather
Clear through to the sole
Ice tumbles through glass as the temperature soars
And the dayshift leaves the nightshift to take over for a while

The city sings at midnight to the well-fed and the civilized
While waiters mop their faces in the kitchen, out of sight
Small change pours in torrents over counters in the bistros
And the moon hangs red and sullen in the dustbowl of the sky

The city is on heat, bare-legged girls in summer dresses
Dodge the lechery of workmen laying cable through the day
But the night turns on the body to sweet pornography
Passions feed on darkness and the body mutes the mind

The city squeals at midnight in its pain and ecstasy
The life-force surges through the veins and soaks the sheets
The couples claw and couple and feed upon each other
And still the hunger rages through the streets

I saw a refugee from Galway with a faceful of stubble
Singing sentimental songs in the underground today
He’s going back to Mother Ireland and the Mountains of Mourne
And he only needs a bob or two to help him on his way

The city whimpers at midnight in its apathy and squalor
From a bench on the Embankment, from a derry in Barnes
From a squat in Deptford, from the winos and the junkies
From the homeless and the helpless, the hopeless and the lost

A refugee from Calvary is preaching anarchy and anger
Through his multi-megawatt PA
And when the concert’s over he packs his guitars and prophecies
And goes back to his hotel to drink the night into the day

But out there in the streets the word is out all over
The heat are out for action in New Cross and Ladbroke Grove
The temperature is dropping but the tempers are at flashpoint
And no-one lingers on street corners if they’re walking home alone

The city screams at midnight in the agony of anger
The rocksteady revolution pays its homage to its dead
Where dreadlocks meet deadlock the shock tears up the flagstones
And on their righteous anger the riot squads are fed

The Klan charts fiery crosses cloistered in an upstairs room
The architects of reaction spin their bitter webs
Black and white scrawl their frustrations in blood across the charge sheets
And no-one dares explain the chaos in their heads

The city burns at midnight and the blood runs down the sewers
In the ghettoes and the side-streets where the patriots have been
Squad cars and an ambulance cut through the aftermath
And tomorrow’s front pages unfurl to set the scene

David Harley


Posted by: David Harley | September 22, 2019

The Pilgrim unaccompanied rough mix

Poem by William Butler Yeats, set to music by David Harley. Trying a slightly different approach.

Here’s an earlier version, with guitar.

I fasted for some forty days on bread and buttermilk,
For passing round the bottle with girls in rags or silk,
In country shawl or Paris cloak, had put my wits astray,
And what’s the good of women, for all that they can say
Is fol de rol de rolly O.

Round Lough Derg’s holy island I went upon the stones,
I prayed at all the Stations upon my marrow bones,
And there I found an old man, and though, I prayed all day
And that old man beside me, nothing would he say
But fol de rol de rolly O.

All know that all the dead in the world about that place are stuck,
And that should mother seek her son she’d have but little luck
Because the fires of purgatory have ate their shapes away;
I swear to God I questioned them, and all they had to say
Was fol de rol de rolly O.

A great black ragged bird appeared when I was in the boat;
Some twenty feet from tip to tip had it stretched rightly out,
With flopping and with flapping it made a great display,
But I never stopped to question, what could the boatman say
But fol de rol de rolly O.

Now I am in the public-house and lean upon the wall,
So come in rags or come in silk, in cloak or country shawl,
And come with learned lovers or with what men you may,
For I can put the whole lot down, and all I have to say
Is fol de rol de rolly O.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | September 19, 2019

Unnamed slide instrumental

Having tried heavier bronze strings on my resonator, I found myself trying for something a little different in the way of a slide instrumental. This doesn’t have a title as yet and will change as I get to know it, but I really rather like it as it is.

Just played into a microphone: nothing subtle in the way of manipulation, and I haven’t yet tried connecting it via its pickup. It’s a Gretsch Bobtail, if anyone cares…

David Harley

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