Some 1980s recordings (mostly) from the CentreSound studio in Camden originally compiled as a cassette LP called ‘Sheer Bravado’. I recently had the CentreSound master tapes baked (don’t ask!) and transferred to digital media, and those better-quality but slower-loading versions have now been added to the versions originally posted here. Track listing as per the original cassette.
Table of Contents
- Long Stand
- Speak My Heart
- The Weekends
- Dives and Lazarus/the Butterfly
- Paper City
- Sheer Bravado
- View From The Top
- She’s Gone
- So Much For Romance
- Blues For Davy
Long Stand From “Sheer Bravado” (Words and Music by David Harley)
All rights reserved
Long Stand (MP3);
long stand 1 (MP3 converted directly from digitized master)
The day I started work, the foreman said to me,
“I’ve another job for you when you’ve finished brewing tea:
Go down to the stores and when you find old Stan,
Tell him Harry sent you for a long stand.”
I got a long stand all right: I stood an hour or more,
Till Stan got tired of the joke and sent me back to the shop floor.
Well I didn’t think it funny, but I laughed and held my peace,
Even when they sent me back for a tin of elbow grease.
Still I did my bit, till I was pensioned off in ’69
From apprentice to foreman, all down the production line.
Many’s the lad I’ve sent myself when things were getting dull
For a can of striped paint or a pound of rubber nails.
But the joke they’re playing now, I just don’t think it’s fair:
Even when you get your ticket, the work just isn’t there.
The safest job in England is handing out the dole:
For every man that gets a job they turn away a hundred more.
For now the work is scarce, again, the queues are building up.
The streets are full of lads and lasses looking out for jobs;
But when you’ve just left school, you hardly stand a chance
They’re sending every lad in England for a long stand.
They say that if you’ve got the gumption you can do just as you please.
They say you’ll do all right with a bit of elbow grease;
But with a hundred out for every job, it’s few that stand a chance
They’re sending every lad in England for a long stand
They’re sending every lass in England for a long, long stand
Back in the days when Britain had industries, it was customary for the older blokes to send apprentices to fetch curious items such as a can of striped paint or some rubber nails. The lucky lad who was sent for a long stand was liable to be left standing at the counter for a half an hour or longer while the storeman went off for a cup of tea and a chuckle. This song was written for a revue called “Nice if you can get it” directed by the actress Margaret Ford in the early 1980s. The guitar was tuned to D-modal, to give it a folksy Martin Carthy/Nic Jones feel. But it still sounds more like David Harley to me…
Speak My Heart
Speak My Heart (Words & Music by Don MacLeod)
speak my heart 2 (directly converted from digitized master)
My love’s so many miles away
Makes it so hard to live through every day
Now I’m a watcher, a looker-on
I see my life as lived by someone I hardly know
Love is so near and yet so far
If what we speak we are
And every day that we’re apart
I realize how little I’ve shown my heart
I sometimes think I’m just a hopeless case
And I’ve always been the same old way
I get in such a hopeless mess
Because I find it so hard
To speak my heart
So the days may turn and the world may roll
We do our very best to keep body and sould
One thing’s for certain right from the start
You can lose your mind if you don’t know your heart
And speak your heart
David Harley: vocal, electric and acoustic lead guitars
Don MacLeod: acoustic guitar
The Weekends (Words by David Harley – Tune Traditional)
All rights reserved
The weekends (are the worst) MP3
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: vocal