Posted by: David Harley | February 4, 2022

Loveliest of Trees

Words by A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad II), tune traditional arranged and adapted by David A. Harley. It’s more or less the A tune from the reel ‘The Rose Tree’. At some point I’ll probably combine it with a version of the reel.

Taster for an album.

Backup:

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | January 18, 2022

Back In Free Fall

A taster of sorts for the forthcoming parallel instrumental and verse project. ‘Back In Free Fall’ was (unusually for me) a quasi-classical improvisation played on my Yamaha electro-classic, just slightly cleaned up.

Backup copy:

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | January 17, 2022

Offers of Articles

I’m not expecting this post to make any difference, but here it is anyway.

I’m not looking for external articles for this blog, though I can’t say for sure that there’s no way I’d ever consider one.

However, it’s very unlikely indeed that I’ll ever consider an external article that has no relevance to this blog. And certainly not if it’s blatant spam.

We now return you to your normal programming.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | October 31, 2021

‘Further Off The Record’ album

You might call this my Greatest Hits album, if I’d ever had any hits. It does include the four tracks released so far as singles, though, and most of the tracks are remixed and/or remastered. In fact, these are all songs that have attracted airplay in the UK and/or US, been requested at live events, or had significant numbers of plays where streamed or available in various video and audio formats. And anyway, I like ’em! Available from Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes etc. 

All lyrics by David A. Harley; all music also by me except for ‘Here Tomorrow’, for which the music was written by Don MacLeod. All tracks recorded at Wheal Alice Music except where otherwise noted. All vocals and instruments (guitars, keyboards, bouzouki, banjo, mountain dulcimer) by David A. Harley unless otherwise noted below.

‘Carpentry’ is essentially the tune I wrote for my setting of ‘The Carpenter’s Son’ by A.E. Housman. The lyric to ‘Thomas Anderson’ was based on a 1970s article by the late Ron Nurse for Shrewsbury Folk Club magazine. ‘Long Stand’ and ‘Hands of the Craftsman’ were written for the 1981 revue ‘Nice…if you can get it’. Tracks 1, 2 and 20 were recorded at Hallmark, W1, 5, 10 and 18 at Centre Sound in Camden Town, all in the early 80s.

  1. Heatwave in the City (London 1983) – Piano by James Bolam. No, not that James Bolam.
  2. One Step Away (From the Blues). 2nd acoustic guitar by Don MacLeod, and acoustic 12-string guitar by Bob Theil.
  3. Let Me Lie Easy
  4. Carpentry II
  5. Ten Percent Blues
  6. How to say Goodbye
  7. Same Old Same Old
  8. Thomas Anderson
  9. Paper City
  10. Long Stand
  11. Diane (Going Out)
  12. Wrekin (The Marches Line)
  13. Song of Chivalry
  14. Cornish Ghosts
  15. Coasting
  16. Two is a Silence
  17. Sea Fret
  18. Hands of the Craftsman
  19. Her Own Way Down
  20. Here Tomorrow – Acoustic guitar and piano by Don MacLeod. Percussion by Richard Davy. Additional vocals by Lyn (Anna) Thompson.
Posted by: David Harley | October 28, 2021

New Single

Actually a different take on ‘Song of Chivalry’: not a major new project, but testing the water with a different distributor before inflicting a ‘Greatest Hits’ (irony intended) album on the world.

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/davidharley/song-of-chivalry

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | September 25, 2021

New album – ‘Upcountry’

The album ‘Upcountry‘ combines songs that lean towards Americana, blues and even country with more ‘traditional’ material including settings of verse by Housman, Kipling and Yeats, plus a couple of songs about Cornwall, where I now live. All songs by me except where noted.

1. A Smuggler’s Song (Kipling-Harley) 03:14
2. Wearing Out My Shoes 02:26
3. This Guitar (Just Plays The Blues) 02:17
4. Cornish Ghosts 03:39
5. Hannah’s Gone Upcountry 03:44
6. The Road To Frenchman’s Creek 03:27
7. Whistle While You Walk 03:53
8. Janey 03:22
9. Gooseberry Blues 01:48
10. Aftermath/Postcards 05:29
11. Anywhere 03:12
12. A Rainy Day Blues 02:24
13. Tears of Morning (Housman-Harley) 02:46
14. The Wild Swans at Coole (Yeats-Harley) 06:33
15. The Pilgrim (Yeats-Harley) 02:24
16. Woods In Moonlight 05:22

 

Posted by: David Harley | September 2, 2021

Blue Remembered Hills – early demo

I wasn’t particularly planning to do any more Housman settings, but this one suddenly demanded my attention. It does require more work – some guitar, at least – but I think the melody is mostly there. And if you’re going to set Housman, I suppose you have to consider the ‘Land of lost content’. And having (half) done this one, there are two or three more I think I’d still like to put music to. We’ll see.

Backup:

‘A Shropshire Lad’ XL

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | August 31, 2021

Woods in Moonlight – demo

You might call this a sketch for the end of summer… Definitely not intended as the final version. By way of an experiment, the guitar here is tuned to ‘B Standard’, like a baritone guitar.

Backup:

Sometimes your words at midnight stream through my memory
But your face is growing dimmer: I don’t know how it can be
That you’re gone from my life, yet you still haunt my dreams
And daybreak finds me wondering just what it all could mean

Walking through the woods in moonlight, there are no words left to say
I stumble blindly through the shadow as the long years slip away
And only now I realize that it’s too late to count the cost
And I can only write those words to make my peace with those I’ve lost

So many nights lost, lamenting all the days
Opportunity knocked, but that same night it ran away
Your voice in my ear, your breath upon my skin
Closer than sweat, warmer than sin

Another morning broken, and reconstruction fails
Once more my train of thought has gone completely off the rails
But soon the world will turn without us, and new days won’t be broken
By the words we should have said or the ones best left unspoken

Posted by: David Harley | August 24, 2021

Crossing the Bar – demo 2

Backup:

I’ve posted a guitar-accompanied version of Tennyson’s poem before, but it suddenly occurred to me in the middle of the night that it might sound nice with a free-reed accompaniment. Since I don’t play concertina etc., I had to fake it with a Yamaha keyboard.

Needs work!

David A. Harley

Posted by: David Harley | August 22, 2021

New album – Kitsch and Canoodle

Available, as ever on Bandcamp.

Kitsch and Canoodle

David A. Harley

Songs of love, lust and obsession. Come to think of it, that probably accounts for my entire output.

All vocals and instruments by David A. Harley. Words and music for all songs by David A. Harley except ‘Quirks and Crotchets’, for which Alan Doyle wrote the tune, and ‘Back in the Day’, for which Alison Pittaway wrote the lyrics. Cover photograph by Jude Harley.

  1. Let Me Lie Easy
  2. A Rainy Day Blues
  3. Please
  4. Quirks and Crotchets (Doyle-Harley)
  5. This Guitar Just Plays The Blues 2021
  6. Her Own Way Down
  7. Back In The Day (Pittaway-Harley)
  8. This End of the 1960s
  9. Can’t Sleep
  10. Never Look Back
  11. New Ends and Sad Beginnings
  12. Two Is A Silence
  13. The Jailer
  14. What Do I Do?
  15. Song Without Warning

Wheal Alice Music WAM21-11

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