Posted by: David Harley | November 21, 2017

Tears of Morning

Version recorded for CoastFM

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Posted by: David Harley | November 5, 2017

Please (2)

Probably the final version for now.

Posted by: David Harley | November 5, 2017

Tears of morning/Mercenaries (unaccompanied demos)

I’ve posted versions of these settings of verses from Housman’s Last Poems before, but thought it would be interesting to see how well the melodies stand up to being unaccompanied.

Posted by: David Harley | October 22, 2017

The train/the jailer (demo)

The Jailer (Harley) 

The train will soon be leaving
And the man says ‘all aboard’
But you never leave the platform
And you never cut the cord

Most days you think of leaving
But he’ll always talk you round
His words will talk you into silence
And his arms will hold you down

You need so much to leave him
But there’s no one you can phone
There’s no ticket in your pocket
And you’ve no money of your own

Sometimes he tells you that you’re stupid
Sometimes he tells you that you’re ill
You dream of breaking free
And yet you don’t believe you will

He knows just where you are
Every moment of the day
He hears the thoughts inside your head
He owns the very words you say

He says that you’re his lover
And that’s all you’ll ever be
But you know he’s your jailer
And he’ll never set you free

Sometimes he’ll loosen your shackles
But you’re locked inside his head
And you’ve never found the way
To leave his arms or leave his bed

There’s nowhere you can go
And there’s nothing you can say
Because he knows you’ll never leave him
And that’s exactly why you stay

[break]

The train will soon be leaving
And the man says ‘all aboard’
But you never leave the platform
And you never cut the cord

Most days you think of leaving
But he’ll always talk you round
His words will talk you into silence
And his arms will hold you down

You need so much to leave him
But there’s no one you can phone
There’s no ticket in your pocket
And you’ve no money of your own

(All rights reserved)

Posted by: David Harley | September 11, 2017

Singing in the Street [demo]

I have a large basket full of forgotten or half-written songs, or even orphaned lines and verses. Every so often I take a look through it, and a few days ago, I found this, from the early 70s. Clearly not the happiest time of my life, but I think the song may creep back into my repertoire anyway:

I thought I heard you singing in the street
You couldn’t hold the tune, but the words were sweet
I don’t know who you were singing for
I don’t even wish it was me

And I remember once I caught you crying
I was half-asleep, your body next to mine
You wouldn’t say what you were crying for
I suppose it might have been me

And once I heard you singing in the street
You couldn’t hold the tune, but the words were sweet
I heard that song too long ago
There’s nothing more to say

“Of course I love you
I told you so”
“Yes, I remember
But it seems so long ago”

And a version with a second guitar, just as a tryout. I think the final version will be quite different (and will need some work on the vocals: I wasn’t getting those low notes very well today). Still, nice to have a version actually down.

David Harley

Words & music (c) David Harley 1973

Posted by: David Harley | August 13, 2017

Tears of Morning (suite) [demo]

A suite rather than an individual song. At the moment it combines a version of Tears of Morning (a setting of two lyrics from Housman’s Last Poems); the air-like guitar piece that would be the basis of a guitar arrangement for that setting and a bridge to the next section; this next section would be my song Sea Fret (here represented by just two verses using a different guitar arrangement to fit in with the first sections, and incorporating some bits from an old guitar piece of mine called Bluebert); and finally, an instrumental interpretation of She Moved Through The Fair based on Davy Graham’s arrangement from the 1960s.

There’s a lot of work to do on this (and the vocals illustrate clearly why you shouldn’t sing just after eating pizza): here, I’m just working out some ideas for an overall structure.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | August 13, 2017

Tears of Morning [demo]

Another Housman setting: words from Last Poems. I’ve followed the example of Michael Raven in using two separate verses that are clearly connected thematically and in form, at least as far as this stand-alone song is concerned. However, in the suite of songs/pieces that this might eventually be used for, XXVI will probably be enough. The suite is going to be gloomy enough as it is…

Mike Raven used a traditional tune for his setting that sounds familiar, but I’m not sure from where. I think I may have heard it attached to The Holy Well but wouldn’t swear to it. That setting is beautifully sung unaccompanied by Joan Mills on the CD ‘A Shropshire Lad’ (with Mike Raven) reviewed here. However, I’ve put a new tune to it. This is one of my ‘get-the-tune-recorded-and-worry-about-the-setting-later’ pieces, strictly a demo.

XXVI

The half-moon westers low, my love,
And the wind brings up the rain;
And wide apart lie we, my love,
And seas between the twain.

I know not if it rains, my love,
In the land where you do lie;
And oh, so sound you sleep, my love,
You know no more than I.

XXVII

The sigh that heaves the grasses
Whence thou wilt never rise
Is of the air that passes
And knows not if it sighs.

The diamond tears adorning
Thy low mound on the lea,
Those are the tears of morning,
That weeps, but not for thee.

David Harley

Posted by: David Harley | July 28, 2017

Long cigarettes, cheap red wine

Posted by: David Harley | July 28, 2017

moonstruck [demo]

Words and Music by David Harley: all rights reserved

 

Posted by: David Harley | July 24, 2017

seesaw [very rough demo]

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