Posted by: David Harley | August 2, 2020

Butterfly (Over the Hill)

My good friend Vic Cracknell, who among other musical activities runs open mike nights around Surrey, where I lived for several years, often used to introduce me as someone who plays authentic blues. As a result of which, I got used to introducing this along the lines of: “This is a traditional blues. However, it differs from most traditional blues in that it was written on the platform at Chalk Farm Tube station after an evening at the Enterprise folk club in 1983.” Essentially a 12- bar but with more minor chording than you might expect.

I rarely get the opportunity to play this with a band, so this is how I generally do it, with just my trusty Les Paul for support.

Backup version:

And a slide version. Too slow for my taste now, but some nice slide-y moments.

Backup version:


And this is an acoustic version. Better vocal, but a lot of ambient noise. Never mind, I’ll get back to it at some point. Plugged or unplugged? Not sure yet. 

Here’s a much older, slower acoustic version. I’m thinking I might revert to this arrangement, or something close to it, as per the video linked below.

Recorded as a live video some time ago:

Here’s an audio version captured from the video and mastered to raise the levels slightly:

Backup copy:

You can’t cage a butterfly, not unless you break its wings (x2)
You can cage a songbird, but you can’t make him sing

I went over the hill and I heard some flyer blow (x2)
I’ve been too long in the city: time to pack my grip and go

You think I’m fooling, but honey, it’s a fact
You had a good old mule, but you just broke his back

Words and Music by David Harley (all rights reserved) Not to be confused with The Butterfly, a slip jig of which there’s also a recording sitting on this site somewhere.

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