Thursday, 1 September 2022


The words were written and it was recorded with some of it sung and much of it spoken. It could have stood on its own two feet if I had got it mastered by genius Geoff Allan but I have put it out to be worked on and will know soon what it has become. The pleasurable times are those which come with the completing the words and getting a nearly complete idea of how the song might sound. All the rest is unsettling verging on the excruciating. It will be good to get to the stage where it has been heard with an arrangement- and hopefully liked immediately. 

Friday, 13 May 2022

An Audience of One

 Today May13th 2022 I uploaded a very small selection of spoken words to one of my main sites at Two of the tracks are about sadness and loss and I make no apology for that. It is saddening to wake each day to hear and know more about all the awful things that are happening in the Ukraine. 

The fourth track is more hopeful and I may re-record it sometime soon. It is entitled GOOD REAPS GOOD. The four tracks are free to download. 

Tuesday, 28 December 2021


 It might be time to use this site again. I’m going to think about it after I publish this brief post.

Friday, 21 May 2021


Some comments on what it is meant to be and why. Coming soon

Saturday, 30 January 2021

The Girl in the Red Dress

As I was preparing the ebook companion to the double CD The Unknowable Next I became suddenly engaged with the words which began with the line A child took my hand. Without hesitation I copied them into a separate document, printed it and took it to the room where I have my main recording equipment.

I do occasionally record an idea on my iPhone and have several portable recorders but this is where I go if I am seriously intent on trying to get a ‘good recording’.  Good in that it might be a track I will choose to get mastered or will ask someone to arrange for me. 

On this occasion I became very focused and wanted to both record the words and find a tune. And I stayed with the task until I had a track which came close to what I wanted. The outcome was in no way special but it gave me enough of what I wanted for me to leave it alone – for a while anyway. No changes were made to the words I had printed.

 On moving away from recording the words I opened my iPad and discovered there was an email from the woman who is referred to in the lyric as ‘a mother’. She rarely contacts me and this was a relatively rare communication. More amazing I thought, was the video attached to the email. In one of the features of children dancing was a girl in a red dress. And this was the child, now older, who had taken my hand and ‘walked me through a garden’.

Once the song had been arranged - and I hope I am right about this – I thought it might be worth sharing as it expresses something of that loss we all know when we have to let go of a dream Or when we are having to accept that a dream we had is no longer likely to be realized.

The song can be found on my web site at and on BANDCAMP at





Wednesday, 20 January 2021

We Could Live in a Hut

 And we nearly did.

On arriving in Masset on Haida Gwaii (known at that time as The Queen Charlotte Islands I met with a man who offered his hut as a place to stay until a room at a hotel could be negotiated. With a friend we acccepted and began cleaning the place to make it habitable for the night. The Principal of one of the schools heard we were planning to stay there and came to rescue us. 

Saturday, 19 December 2020

The Unknowable Next: a book of would be lyrics

Presently being worked on as an ebook: it can best be described with the introduction below - which has just been completed


The words in this book were also recorded on a double CD with the same title. The book is meant to be a companion to the CDs.

About the words: they consist mostly of thoughts and ideas which at the time they occurred I had chosen to write down. They were usually written in lines and rhymes because at sometime or other - although I can’t remember exactly when - it had become a habit to do that.

Most of them began as one line with the prospect that they might become a lyric. And some of them are lyrics. Others wandered away in a different direction to become what they now are.

Only a few of the words had previously been worked on and in preparing the book I wanted them to remain that way. I knew from experience that once the process of making changes has begun it can be hard to stop and there is always a risk that what was initially written down can become something unrelated to the originally expressed thoughts or ideas. 

The reluctance to get drawn into making changes to the words has informed the eventual content of the book and two issues in particular.

Several years had gone by since the recordings were made and I was unable to locate an exact copy of the text which was used at the time. As a consequence the recorded words are not an exact match with the printed words. No attempt was made to remedy this,

Also there are several duplicates, mainly as a result of some rushed editing and having used two different kinds of title i.e. first line and made up.

The most obvious remedy was to remove them and this could have been easily achieved with the written words. There was however no easy way of making changes to the already published CDs. I have opted instead to explain the situation and apologize for any confusion this might cause. 

The track lists from the recordings are being used for the indices in the book and although the playing times of the recordings may not be of interest to the reader they have been retained for any interested listener. 

The recorded words are on two CDs: DISC ONE and DISC TWO and the printed words are in two parts PART ONE and PART TWO. 

Written or spoken there are seventy seven items in nine sections. The titles for both have been kept the same. 


1. The Inescapable Road

2. Heartbreak Land and Thereabouts

3. On the Road to Sundrie

4. The Bay and Beyond

5. Out There Somewhere


1. If it Had Not Been So Dark

2. So Said the Sap

3. Clown in a Pram

4. The Unknowable Next 

There is a separate concluding track entitled Some Last Days of Fun

A selection of the recorded words can be heard and downloaded from Bandcamp at




Friday, 11 September 2020


 And it could be called a SAP SCAN. 

I have been scanning the documents from an old folder. They began with my first letter to the BBC in which I was requesting an audition. I had been encouraged to do this after meeting with several people who worked at the Glasgow Drama College. But the person who guided me in what to say in the letter was the Secretary. 

It did result in a few radio performances but this post is more about my overall impression of all I had tried to do as a singer, a songwriter and then - as it became apparent in the last few documents - as a writer. 

And the words which have stayed with me are that throughout this endeavour I had been asking the wrong questions of the wrong people. And I’ll leave it there for now.

It’s good to be back on the Sap site. There is a strong feeling of belonging which I am thoroughly enjoying.

Monday, 6 April 2020


The first rhyme is entitled THAT'S IT -  although it does have a longer alternative one called SMOTHER THE OTHER. I have recorded a version with a very basic accompaniment using a cajon. It  may need to be re-recorded so for now it is staying out of view.


The Sap has been neglected and I wonder if there is a reason. I'd like it to be that I no longer feel like a Sap, or that I no longer feel as much of a Sap as I once did. But leaving that aside I inadvertently came across the site today - I was in no way looking for it - and I thought I should post something new.

The newest news is that I am working on a selection of words which were written over (I think it was) about two days and because they all happened during that time frame I am assuming they are associated with each other - although the association, as I work on them, is best described as loose.

The selection is entitled NINE RHYMES: on getting back in line and I hope to have more to say about it soon. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019


I was recently asked how I met Joan Ure and began working on songs with her. I replied: I met Betty at a soiree in the West End of Glasgow. We talked. She said she wrote plays. I said I sang songs. We got together and talked some more. I sang some songs. She liked how I sang and began writing words for songs and I wrote some tunes to go with her words. That's it.


I awoke this morning knowing that I needed to make a page for SO SAID THE SAP on my site at  A page that would include a link to this site where there is so much about what I have said and done over the past few years

Also from now on I think that I will be using that newly made page to post the kind of information which usually appeared here - although I may cross reference it 

A printed sheet of some words entitled THE SAP AND OLD FAITHFUL was lying around on my desk as I decided to do this so this task may have been in the making - with my thoughts only catching up this morning

The plan is to record those words soon and to use them on the new page - and probably on here

Thursday, 16 May 2019


I am still unsure about whether I should have done this but it is now almost complete. The final step is to pay for the production of 300 CDs and have 200 of them sent out to Radio Stations in the UK and in Europe. Or I think that’s where they are going.

The remaining 100 will be mine to distribute most likely to friends and charity shops. A few may be purchased on Bandcamp.

So why the uncertainty.

There were two considerations. Uppermost was the feeling that I had not adequately acknowledged all that Wild Biscuit had brought to my songs and I thought that putting together the first selection of tracks they had worked on with the more recent selection would provide me with the means of doing that.

A small CD of only the more recent selection was a possibility but I thought combining the selections would make it a more representative item - and the cost would be the same. Also when MORE LIKE A RIVER was initially distributed it was to 50 stations only. This time the songs will go to 200.

Perhaps I’ll only know further down the line whether or not it was a good idea. As said, right now, I’m not sure. But what I can definitely say is that one morning I woke up with the words River to Sea in my head and I liked the idea of using that title and that set me off in this direction.

I also enjoyed deciding on the CD cover which will be posted on line in a while.

Sunday, 14 October 2018


There is a reference to this post on where the selection ON THE CHARLOTTES presently resides  

The old tracks in this selection were written during my time of living on Haida Gwaii - referred to then as the Queen Charlotte Islands. In bringing them together some comments about their content and the context in which they were written have been prepared for an introduction and a brief conclusion They all belong to a particular place and time but they are also representative of one of the earlier phases of my interest in writing songs.

Then as now the writing happened only occasionally and in no set or determined way but perhaps it did become more of a habit when I was on the islands. And my way of working may well have been heading in that direction from its beginnings in Glasgow through a relatively brief stay in Alberta.

The tracks are taken from the original cassette and reel to reel recordings which were made a very long time ago. They have been worked on and mastered to make them more presentable but they will have inevitably retained much of the quality they acquired when they were recorded using very basic machines in ordinary conditions.

There are fifteen songs and one lyric which will be inserted alongside the concluding comments. Entitled WELL HERE I AM AGAIN I was unable to locate a recording of it but as part two of the opening song I SURE WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU AGAIN it is included for that reason

The loneliness of the 'long lonely time' referred to in the first track was all mine and did not belong exclusively to the islands. I probably took it there and lived with it in much the same way as I would live with it wherever I am
It was rare for anyone to arrive at your door without a bottle in their hand and the words for HUMPTY DUMPTY MENDED loosely relate to an incredibly generous and welcoming woman who, unlike many other workers and visitors to the islands, was well embedded in the community

If the song writing began to acquire an earnestness in Glasgow then the drinking followed a similar progression although the last glass of wine referred to in I'M GIVING MY HEAD A REST happened elsewhere and several years later

There were occasions when those of us who came to the islands to work for a relatively short period of time behaved, directly or inadvertently, in ways which lacked the generosity of the community into which we were warmly received. There were also incidents in which the behaviour of some was blatantly disrespectful. These words for THE PLAY IS BY A PAUPER were written on hearing that a colleague had been trampling around the village burial ground to take 'rubbings' of the grave stones.

I associate THE LADY IS PREGNANT with a school in which I worked where the values of some of the staff were decidedly at odds with the needs of the children. There's nothing new there of course but the concerns which had become the main of focus of attention, like the coffee in the jar being too full, were a distraction and a means to avoid dealing with what was important and in need of change.

There was enough to be anxious about on a personal level without contemplating the prospect that a ‘three times as big as the last tidal wave’ might engulf the islands. It was only years later when I knew about Tsunamis that I understood that the fear was very real and was based on the geology of the region and past events

None of the words I wrote at the time dealt directly with the profound inequity and unfairness in how the different communities were able to thrive. And there were incidents and events some of a tragic nature and involving children which were deeply upsetting. But some of the awfulness did find its way into several lyrics in a more oblique way and there were several mostly unsuccessful attempts to turn them into songs. The following PULL THE SHADES DOWN is an example. It is incomplete with the words of the title missing from the track but it feels right to include it

A further discernible influence on PULL THE SHADES DOWN and HOOCHY POOCHY was the Vietnam War which we were made very aware of with the arrival of several young Americans who had escaped to Canada to avoid being enlisted They were living in the small cabins they had constructed in the forest just North of the town.

The pleasures of having a dog were ongoing although as the words describe in DID YOU SLEEP IN THE SNOW MR TOAST his disappearance one evening during an unusually heavy snowfall brought with it a particular kind of misery. The town was small and as we wandered the streets looking for him the fear was he had got hurt rather than got lost otherwise he would surely have found his way home. The search had to be called off in the dark of a very cold night

In the early morning with the snow still thick on the ground I crossed a bridge that now no longer exists and saw him in the distance coming towards me, As I called his name He came running towards me. The only bearable sense to be made of his adventure was that he had been taken in for the night

I can recall only one occasion when I was in the sea as NAKED AS THE DAY I WAS BORN and one when I was half  way there.  They happened on two different beaches and in two completely different temperatures and states of mind. One was on a dark cold evening on North Beach after probably having had too much to drink:  the other was on an unusually warm summer's day and more of the kind described in this lyric

THE MOUNTAIN CAN BE VERY HIGH is the second of the loneliness songs But as with the loneliness spoken of in relation to the first track I was probably dealing with experiences which I had been trying to leave behind when I chose to travel as far west in Canada as it was possible to go.

In LOVE GONE DIED a tendency to turn words into a comment about love and the loss of it is evident. This inclination has been consolidated over time. To what extent it existed back then is more obvious in some of the material which has not been included in this selection. I can't recall any love that died out there but I do vividly recall the wind.

I WALKED OUT ONE MORNING is an almost true story and TAKING IT DOWN covers some of those often recurring thoughts about who you are and what brought you to a particular place. I like the idea of to trying to get down to where I don't count. And its usually not particularly hard to get there.

WHEN I GET UP TOMORROW is less about reality and more about wishful thinking. the concept and appeal of moving on is also never far away

About THE TREE IS ALMOST BARE NOW The bare tree belonged in the garden of a house I lived in on a street called on Harrison What the words lack - and they do lack a lot - is made up for (for me anyway) by the wee tune. The tree is also a feature in a self portrait and as it evokes so many fond memories after some hesitation I thought it should be included


Well here I am again
Writing to you in the rain
The sun has not shone now
For three straight days

I continue to keep fit
I drink a little bit
And I still haven't caught
A single fish

Well really that's a lie
I caught one one inch wide
Then put it back again
I saw it smile

It swam into the tide
Then turned back for a while
I bet you didn't know
That fish can smile

I haven't read this over
To check for mistakes
But I hope the message
Will get through

All I really want to say
Is I'm living day to day
And I'm thinking
Almost constantly of you


This last track brings me back to Glasgow and reminds me of a long ago memory of walking down Huntly Garden with an old friend talking about how good it would be, at some time in our lives, to take a trip out to Mexico.  It took a long time to get there and when it did happen many years on from that conversation it involved a journey south from the islands rather than one out West I have also chosen it because however breathless and rushed it may sound it end with the sound of the found Mr Toast

These words belong to a special time in my life They are a few only of those which were never used in later selections. But they are for me no less evocative of a place that was probably the most impacting and influential in my life. I was enriched in so many ways and not least by the children I met there who inspired the work which has since taken up an immense part of my life.

My own several attempts to also belong on the islands were thwarted by either fate or by me. I can’t be sure which did most of the thwarting but I can say without hesitation that I feel part of me is still there.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


The occasional forays into promoting a song on REVERBNATION have been remarkably unsuccessful
This time the song DEEP and REAL is doing quite well and even as I post this the count is increasing!

Now at 854 on October 8th

Friday, 31 August 2018


WOS has recently used two more songs for their Podcasts: these were MOXIE BLUES and DON'T SIGH EVEN SLIGHTLY 
Much later in the year, sometime in November, they will be playing DEEP and REAL
Their podcasts and more about WOS can be found using the links below

Twitter: @WOSRadio Facebook: wosradio
Instagram @bree.noble Pinterest breernoble

Monday, 23 July 2018


The very small spoken word track entitled THE BIG HAVE NOT can be heard on and on Bandcamp at 

Also on Bandcamp:I had a struggle with the image which was initially contrived from a real orange and the real mouth and the eyes of a mean man but eventually I decided to loose the orange and stay with the mouth - hence the title of this post 

Below is the black and white image I intend to use wherever an accompanying image is required 

Some of my words were confirmed by comments from the man who contributed to the following article 

Monday, 16 July 2018


This morning I discovered there are many reasons why my blackbird is no longer waiting for me on my window sill or in the nearby tree and most of them can be found in a 2013 BBC article Where Have All My Garden Birds Gone 
The link is

And of those reasons I am choosing to post the following one This is partly because I have a spoken word track which includes a few words about growing feathers 

'As we get into the end of the breeding season, a lot of your garden regulars will enter the moult. This is the time of year when many birds lose their feathers, and replace them with fresh new ones ahead of the winter. Many juvenile birds will lose their young plumage, ready to emerge as adults. Whilst necessary, this process puts a lot of pressure on a little bird. The energy cost to grow a new set of feathers is high, and losing a primary wing feather or two can really make a difference when trying to evade a predator. For this reason, a lot of the birds in your garden will lay low, skulking in bushes and hiding in hedges.'

The article may also help to explain more about my perceived close affinity with blackbirds- athough in my case a tendency to lay low and skulk is not restricted to any particular season 

As for the 'growing of feathers': they belong in a selection of words entitled ON THE WAY TO SONG which I compiled months ago The words are 

And where are the birds 

In all this rain
They've disappeared completely
From the park and down the lane

Surely having feathers
Makes them immune
Perhaps if I could grow some
I could be immune to you 

The recordings were mastered and then foolishly uploaded onto Bandcamp Foolishly because as the title suggests they were on the way to becoming something - and were not yet there And this reflects another questionable tendency i.e an impatience to move too quickly on from an old task to a new one 

However I am also not against going backwards and/or regressing (a bit) and I may reapproach On the Way to Song and decide what if anything I should do with it now

Friday, 13 July 2018


It was a very special moment when I learned about Vivian Maier 
It was particularly special because it happened around the time I had written some words about being a ‘shadow of myself’ There are a few related comments and images on my old web site at and it was there I relocated the article about her 

But today, in a conversation about a different shadow - the one of the blackbird with the sultana - I was reminded again of this incredible photographer And having found her again I knew the best thing I could do with my time today was to share the video with anyone who might visit this site
The link is

There are hundreds of other links about her and about her work but I think this is a good place to start

Thursday, 12 July 2018


- and the slates on the roof of an outhouse, the blackbird's shadow, the sultana in the blackbird's mouth, the shadow of the sultana in the blackbird's mouth, two sultanas on the slates, the shadow of a few leaves from tree in the neighbours garden and (unable to be neatly cropped off without losing what I wanted to keep - and anyway a genuine feature of the image) an unwanted extra from a pigeon

This bird sings, flies and loves sultanas 
This photograph is/was on the web site at The same caption was used and it is/was there alongside the song DON'T SIGHT EVEN SLIGHTLY which had been very recently rearranged by Wild Biscuit at 

The image will probably be reluctantly moved from there when the next song entitled DO YOU WANT TO TELL ME AGAIN is ready

Meanwhile DON'T SIGH can be heard on the SKC site and on Bandcamp at

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


Quoting from somewhere or other there has been an increase in falls 'from falling out of bed to taking a tumble out of a tree' So I guess the falls must apply to more than the elderly as I personally have not seen many elderly persons up trees

However, there have been times when I (personally again) did not take sufficient care to stay on my feet  Now admittedly streets covered with snow and ice was a factor but whatever the weather the advice in this song still applies 

I had thought when writing it it might prove to be a useful reminded to others and have continued to think so - so here it is again - in a shortened and remixed version The lyrics matching those on the track are being made available but the image will remain the same as before

It was on Bandcamp and the new version has now replaced the old one and can be found at

Saturday, 7 July 2018


There was Laura the movie which I loved and Laura the song which I liked very much and now there is the Laura who has written a review of Those They Chose And apart from making some very
 encouraging comments which I am appreciating very much she recognizes the frailties of my work and mentions them in a way I experience as very real and thoughtful

I particularly liked the following ‘Brilliantly simple in its sophistication; this is not a technically perfect album. The singers voice is limited in range, the musicianship often apparently pedestrian. The power is in the integrity of the artist, and the belief of the listener’. 

In a while - when I have taken on what she says - and enjoyed it some more - I will probably provide a link to the whole review on here and perhaps elsewhere

PS! The desire to keep it to myself while I continue to take on what she says - and enjoy it some more - has been overcome by the desire to show off a bit!

The link to Laura and the review is

Thursday, 5 July 2018


Tony Haynes tells me he played GOODBYE BABY BLUES - Track 13 from THOSE THEY CHOSE - on his mixcloud show FAB Folk and Blues (Wetherby, for the Heart of Yorkshire) 8-10pm Wednesdays.
The link is


Wednesday, 27 June 2018


Album, Single and EP Reviews

  Those They Chose by Sheila K Cameron

Those They Chose cover art

Artist: Sheila K Cameron
Title: Those They Chose
Catalogue Number: Glalell SKC1708CD
Review Format: Compact Disc
Release Year: 2018

What can you say about an enigma like Sheila K Cameron? Quite a lot actually but little of it would make sense of her place in the music scene of today. Her new album “Those They Chose” is a compilation of - if not quite a “best of” – her songs that might nonetheless serve as a suitable introduction to her convoluted ways for those who seek more than the mundane.
In the fifty minutes or so of your life that this album will consume, you won’t hear anything that makes particular sense. Her lyrical style is more akin to oblique poetry than conventional song writing yet the expressed emotions remain as clear as the day. I regard that as the mark of an original and, perhaps as a consequence of so determinedly following her own path, these sixteen songs often seem more spiritual than personal or commercial.
Listening to these songs again reinforces the fact that Sheila K Cameron has, by some magic, given them a life of their own that transcends the boundaries of any medium of recorded sound and, whilst my choices for a compilation would have been different, your heart would indeed have to be refrigerated to avoid the intoxication found in “Drink To Me Only” and “The Water is Deep”. Not many people can haunt you with a song but she can.
An enigma. An original. There is only one Sheila K Cameron.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Originally posted on February 6th 2018 and now moved to the top of the page on  June 24th 2018

MOXIE is BACK and can be found on and on Bandcamp

This post is an updated version of an oldone but the question below remains an important one i.e. have you ever been searching for your spectacles to discover you have them on your head?  

Important because it gave me the idea for the very basic image below Well, first of all I thought Moxie would be a good name for a cat, then I chose for a backdrop a location where long ago I think I still had some moxie and then I produced a badly drawn van and placed an equally badly drawn cat on the roof of the Moxie Search Van 

Moxie Search Van - roughly drawn as if by someone who had lost their moxie

Moxie (n.)
''courage' 1930, from Moxie, brand name of a bitter, non- alcoholic drink, 1885, perhaps as far back as 1876 as the name of a patent medicine advertised to 'build up your nerve':; despite legendary origin stories put out by the company that made it, it is perhaps ultimately from a New England Indian word (it figures in river and lake names in Maine, where it is apparently from Abenaki and means 'dark water')

Monday, 25 June 2018


A relocated image 

Previously used on Bandcamp and being safeguarded on here

And some advice: I have been informed that when feeding birds with raisins there should be a close supply of water nearby It has also been suggested that sultanas are more moist and more suitable 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018


After completing the six re-issues of songs (plus the seventh of spoken words) it was time to concentrate on the other material which had accumulated

And that was the plan until the idea took hold of putting together a selection of the tracks which had been played by Women of Substance Radio and Podcast at 

Most of the songs had been included on previous CDs and the proposed 'new' selection was viewed as a top up, more of a sample of songs than a continuation of the re-issue project 

And so it is:THOSE THEY CHOSE is nothing much more than a SIMPLE SAMPLE OF SONGS It's usefulness may lie in the songs reaching places they have not been before along with the hope that they will enjoy the journey and that a few of them will be well received when they get there

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


The site SO SAID THE SAP was set up as a follow-up to writing words and making a paper collage to go with them Both are below The words have been strung together to limit their use of space The image below is a scan of the original collage

On the way to live out life
These words may not be heard as rap but they were written by a sap who could not see that need and greed can oft times quell true love's appeal who could not see that what they saw was victim of their deepest flaw a tendency to keep repeating what they had when four or more

Around that time the date's not clear but what they got was stark - a fear of losing what they had and whether light or dark the fear was bad or bad enough to find a place in everything they did - a trace of fear ran through their every move and kept them tied to anxious mood To hesitating stepping back scared of falling off the track that others rode with engines stoked with words of love of praise of hope that all would play out good and true that what they had would see them through

But being sap does not require to also breathe a bitter fire upon all those who have it good although a bit more sharing would improve the lot of those who feel they never got their early needs met in ways that set them free of fear - the sort I'm citing here

So said the sap the day they found love does not always leap and bound to fill the heart and head with joy sometimes its crap and but a ploy to satisfy the selfish needs which found a place when grief destroyed those tender moments soft and kind which we all need if we're to find within ourselves a peace of mind

In the above version some of the capital letters used in the original text have been changed

The words are available as a spoken word track on Bandcamp at