Wednesday 31 December 2014


On receiving the mastered track of FIRST TIME EVER from Cava and before heading out West in August 2014 I decided to send it in to IAIN ANDERSON of RADIO SCOTLAND. The link to his site is

The photograph below is of Iain Anderson at work

In my letter to him, along with the comments from Bandcamp quoted elsewhere, I also said

'To have recorded this beautiful song might be considered by some an audacious act. But it did not happen like that'.

Iain played the track on his program on two occasions and I continue to be delighted that he did.

Apart from the track having been considered good enough to be used this was the first time for a long time that I had played guitar, recorded a song and used Audacity. It was also a simple acoustic recording which encouraged the notion that I might make more of a similar kind.

Iain Anderson has used some of my material on his program over a period of five years and there is no doubt he has had a major and very positive influence on my work.

A list of the songs he has played can be found on a page of my web site at

Tuesday 30 December 2014


The same title (but with more information) is being used on the blog at 
The post here and there was prompted by the news that WOS Radio at will soon be playing the song I LOOKED ALRIGHT THIS MORNING on their station. 

Monday 22 December 2014


A place to put small bits of information was required and I now have it.  
My brain had been reluctant to provide me with a suitable title - until this morning. So I guess it must have been trying hard to find one without letting me know. The title could be better I suppose but, reminding me of a story a friend told me, I am declaring it 'adequate'. 

The link is below. It will take you to some Sap scraps and a repeat of the above comments

Friday 19 December 2014


The song I wanted to have out there this Christmas did not work out as hoped for. Nothing unusual about that. But I do have another that mentions Christmas and it has been on Bandcamp - but along with a different image.

I also have some interesting comments to offer on this track. Well I find them interesting others may not. Nothing unusual about that!

But first the image: it is a drawing of the Lizzie mentioned in the song in the company of the splendid Mr Toast of Glasgow and Tlell 

And before I get to the comments here is the link to the song

Now the comments
There is a site called Reverbnation which offers all sorts of services for song writers and musicians. And although I do not like the fact that they encourage/entice one into making use of their various facilities without putting the costs up front I do use it occasionally. And it has been of benefit to me. 

I have no recollection of having submitted Two Inches Tall to the IAMA awards through their site but the track did exceedingly well. None of my other occasional submissions have been accepted.

The other enjoyable activity on their site is to pay ten bucks for a Crowd Review. And I have tried this with several songs. The only one to do really well i.e. achieve a score which indicates it might be good enough to be played on the radio has been WHERE THE LAST TIDE RUNS. The score was 8.4.

That is the lead in to making it known that the track NO I DON'T SEE LIZZIE ANYMORE scored an unimpressive 5.8. So the score was disappointing but some of the comments from those who reviewed the track were a delight. And if you read them you may doubt the sincerity of that remark. I can't explain exactly why - and my position is not a defensive one - but I found even the most derogatory remarks either amusing or interesting.

They can be read on the next post entitled NO FUTURE POTENTIAL

Thursday 18 December 2014


I am not expecting the following review to be read by many but I do know a few people who will be interested. As said previously I am not sure why but I laughed a lot when reading over the more negative comments. And they are some of the worst I have received.
To provide a balance I will try to locate a more positive Review for use in a future post.

CROWD REVIEW FOR - No􀀂 I Don't See􀀋 Lizzie Anymore

“I do not see any future potential in this song, it sounds underground and it just does not have what it takes the elements are just not there. I think it lacks a lot of complexity and elements to it. So much more can be done I feel like, I think you need to have some kind of build up and drop at some point and that is to just start to fix a song like this.”

“This song introduces itself with a woman half-singing, half-speaking her lovely lyrics. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this song- the tambourine in the background, the escalating piano, the soft guitar strumming- this song has it all. The suspense leading up to the chorus almost killed me- it was done so well, so hauntingly. This is a truly talented artist, who writes truly melodic lyrics, that stay with you even after you've only heard the song once. Instrumentals were backwoods, in a good way, and the singing was raw, with emotion and talent. A”

“The first part is cool. The artist has a voice that is not appealing. The artist vocals are weak and inconsistent. The lyrics are uninspiring and boring. The beat is lacking contrast. The melody is shapeless.”

“This has a subtle sound. It has a sound like the Carpenters. The music is majestic. It is peaceful and calm. This type of music puts me in a trance. It isn't for the club. It doesn't seem to have a presence for the radio either. It is a just a nice song for a CD.”

“This track has a smooth sound. Something like a lounge song. The slinger's voice isn't great but it works. It has a melancholy undertone but it works with the uptempo of the beat. The steady drum beat gives it a hypnotic/trance sound that have you bopping your head.”

“Sullen and darkened tempo and digital effects surround the music. Haunting and lethargic, with an intense and eerie sound but in a non-frightening way. More cliched then anything. There is no intro as the song quickly begins, with the off-beat and silly vocals from a mature woman vocalist. Deep and dull with little imagination she has a monotone sound to her vocals. The lyrics drag and lack creativity that this type of song needs. With a country western type of musical arrangement. This song becomes repetitive after awhile. The howling of the guitar chords and the wistful drum's. Brings up the tempo slightly, with
sprawling. And airy digital effects, surrounded by moody and tinkles of subtle instruments. This song is outdated, dull and lifeless, the only bright side is the slow and dragging tempo.”

“Great lyrics. I was entertained. The words perfectly paints the image to the story. The instrumental was great. That slow tempo to the beat give the words so much power. This song have great commercial potential.”

“I like this already. tune sounds like a door song. female vocalist is extremely nice with wonderful tone. I love the lyrics. sound is very polished and professional. I can see this artist moving up and becoming popular. nice change I give the song a 10.”

“This sounds almost like someone reading a book more than an actual song. The vocalist is kind of just talking in a sing-songy voice. There's not any vocal range that I can tell. The production is kind of eerie and dramatic and suspenseful, but the lyrics don't really tell us why there's suspense. It sounds like the production was done completely with settings on a keyboard. I can't follow the message that 's being conveyed here. The track ended sort of suddenly, and I wasn't sure whether it was over or not.”

“The vocals are really creepy. I do not see any radio potential for this at all. This is some new wave creepy 80's stuff. This is not in any way a song that would be successful modern radio. The instrumentals are really odd. It all sounds kinda
overproduced. The lyrics are also very confusing. What 's a boogy train? the arrangment is ok. I mean it makes sense. The harmony is as creepy as the rest of the song. I would not recommend the singer of this song to keep pursuing a career in making music for wide-spread consumption. this song is not good in any way. it was a nice try and i'm glad for anyone trying to fulfill their dream at a late point in life but that was hard to listen to.”

“The intro is a bit short. I am not sure if I like the sound of the vocals. This song does not sound modern, it sounds like it 's from the 60's with the way the vocals are and the way the instrumentals are. I just hear the beat and vocals being monotone throughout, not enough variation in beat and tempo or octaves, It does have a groovy feel to it though, Also, the lyrics are kind of confusing, who is lizzy? I just don't see this song being a hit without improvements and I am not sure how many people would be able to relate to it.”

“The vocalist doesn't have a terrible voice, but they dont have the best one either. After listening to it for a while, it kind of starts to sound worse. The music is ok. With a different vocalist I think the song could be a lot better. Not bad though.”

“The sort of rough lyrics and accent of the vocalist reminds me faintly of early beatles and other such bands in the 60's. Thelyrics are sad, but they tell a story in a very easy and matter of fact way. The easy beats have classic retro elements thatwould make this track popular in indie and such circles. This is a track that I like, because it 's just so unique.”

“A very blurry, bland and controlled sounding start with the instruments and the vocals, and there was a sad sound to the singing. I thought the sounds didn't really make enough impression for me personally, and i hoped you would be more expressive with the words you were singing. Make sure there is more texture and tempo which is faster now and again,else itall sounds very dull and depressing.The sounds need to be standing and jumping out to people in the audience, which i didn't think was here at the moment. Thank you for not overprowering the vocals to the audience of listeners, and for being in control, but i think you need to make sure there is more heartfelt and warming ness with the actual words being sung.What was the whole point to the song? The risk is that the sounds are repetitive and didn't really tell me as the listener much in terms of meaning.”

“The beginning of this song was really quite slow and monotone. The vocalist had an unusual tone and style and there was no flow to the performance. The instrumental accompaniments were quiet in comparison and I think there is a lot of improvement needed for this to be commercially popular. There are elements of the song which remind me of a Freddie Mercury ballad. The lyrics are very obscure and difficult to connect to. A strange vibe from the song and it sounded really bizarre."

"This is an interesting song with a flair of creativity. The female vocals are very cool and have a mystique about them. She sounds kind of androgenous, if I'm right it 's a female. I like the uniqueness of it and the funky lyrics if I understand right, "Get on that bogie pane (whatever that is), I'm going to push you right out of here. I don't see Lizzie anymore" The
instrumentation makes a great backdrop for her unique style. Big, big points for the unique lyrics!”

“A mellow laid back type of track: I tried to get her on the phone once. I do see the moon in the same old sky. Get on that bogie pain. Im gonna push you on out of here. I don see lizzie anymore. The vocals have a nice tone and are accompanied by a pleasing keyboard score. Altogether an OK track that could benefit from being a little livelier and more engaging perhaps a richer instrumentation and arrangement or production would help.”

“This track sounds a little like a mediocre Annie Lennox track. The tone of the vocal especially. The track lacks any distinctive qualities that would appeal to my 'I want to listen to that again' nature. I'm not fond of the line about taking off with a dummy which she got from her mummy; for me this is not a lyric that would sit all that well with the mass market. The vocal is somewhat monotone; which may be deliberate as the track does use the word 'monotone' at one point. I'm sorry to say that I didn't really enjoy it. If I had to point out a good point it would be the lyrics notwithstanding my previous comment.”

“The tune of the song was very gentle and quiet. The song seemed very weird. The voice of the singer was deep. There was something about her voice that I couldn't quite grasp. The tune of the song stayed gentle all throughout. It faded for a bit but then it went back to the normal rhythm. It sounded like she was saying bowbe pain or something like that. She needed to work on her diction because I just couldn't understand much of what she was saying. Although she was not monotone, I didn't sense any energy in her.”

“Oh, I liked this sound. I instantly thought of Dionne Warwick, once the lyrics came on. The beat and tempo reminded me ofsome 70's music. The singer's voice was smooth and blended well with the background music and the tempo used in this song, had me swaying in my seat. This song is a great candidate for an easy listening station, for sure.”

“This was a very sad sounding song. It sounded negative to me. I couldn't get into it. But as for sound quality, the mix was good. The vocals were clear. The beat was good. Rhythm was simple but memorable. Though the content wasn't something I was into, a music industry fan I can separate my feelings of content and keep it separate in order to give a good review on skill. This has a good quality recording, and some people may connect with the lyrics. Overall this was okay.”

“This instantly reminds of Lou Reed/ Velvet Underground. It 's pretty cool, laid back and relaxing. Catching phrasing in the
lyrics and vocal delivery. It 's too bad you don't see Lizzie anymore. Maybe she will here this song one day!”


Tuesday 16 December 2014


I have been using two titles for this song and in doing so I am becoming seriously confused as to which one it should be. 
So for now I am staying with the title of this post along with an a.k.a I'M FEELING LOST BRING ME HOME

The confusion will be more evident if one should access the post entitled LOST DUCK

Let me explain: an acoustic version of this song was followed by a version with a piano backing. And this was followed by a version with a sort of gospel sounding backing. That latest and probably last version can now be heard on Bandcamp at

The lost duck image from the post of the same name has been used on Bandcamp and here (below) It has been inverted and cropped. 

Friday 12 December 2014


Fraser Spiers is playing blues harp on this version of the song When the Sun Rose this Morning a.k.a. Evil Hearted Me.

It can be heard on Bandcamp using the link below the image - which is of the sun rising along Argyll Street Glasgow, Scotland

The acoustic version of the song which was used for this recording can also be heard on Bandcamp. It is one of the tracks on the CD PAST LOVES

Sun along Argyll Street Glasgow: from a photograph by S Duncan

Wednesday 3 December 2014


Alas, the take I did of this song did not work out in the way I would have liked. 
I was disappointed but then decided to try it as a mainly spoken word track.

And I did that today. After recording a spoken word version I did a repeat with a light scratchy guitar backing. 

It is now on Bandcamp - with mistakes - rough and ready. But I have put it there knowing I can take it back down - and that is what I what I might do - anytime now! The link is below

The image I have put alongside the song on Bandcamp, and repeated below, could be described as cobbled together but I enjoyed finding it and putting
the text along the bottom.

PS. The scratchy version has gone into the studio today December 15th to get tidied up - I think      

Sunday 30 November 2014


I love Neil Young and some of his songs but after reading his biography entitled Shakey what I love most about him is his willingness to follow up on what he feels is the right thing for him to do and then be brave enough (or perhaps he doesn't even care) to take the consequences.

I was reminded of him earlier today when looking for information on the sounds which can be produced by a blues harp. In particular I wanted to know if they could resemble a trombone. And they can.

The link to Neil Young came from an article about a 'master of the blues harp' called Walter Horton. Walter was also known as Big Walter or Shakey Horton. Two Shakeys - how about that! And in the article about his harmonica playing - and I quote - was the following sentence ' His tone was incredible -he could make the harmonica sound like a trombone at times'. 

The link to the full article

But back to NY. Below is a link to his 2001 Live at Farm Aid  performance with Crazy Horse of the song When I Hold You in my Arms. 

I love both the song and the way it is performed

Of less import - I wrote some words a while ago with the title of this post. An unmastered spoken word version is planned.

THE DRINKERS: an SKC painting of two men under it

For good measure for anyone who likes to sing along to a really good song try the link below to another Neil Young performance (with others) of FOUR STRONG WINDS

The words for Four Strong Winds - as sung by NY - can be found on the blog at

Caution for anyone who has not been to Alberta. It might prompt you to travel out there - and perhaps want to stay

Thursday 27 November 2014


With the words of Geoff Allan from Cava still warm in my ears the task of making a sound quality based selection of tracks for a CD has changed.

As many tracks as possible will now be kept. Only those which might be a strain on the listener - well that is how I will describe them - will be removed. And the end result may be more than one CD. 

With this decision some of the better lyrics, which might have got the chop, will now be retained. That some of them were spontaneously liked has also turned this task into a much more interesting and pleasurable experience. Who knows how long that will last.


Sometime soon - and ideally before Christmas- I hope to be able to put another song out there. It is one of the relatively superficial kind and it is entitled I'M SANTA CLAUS I AM YOURS. 

It is another of those which were written a long time ago and each year since then, as Christmas approached, I thought I might do something with it. 

I did a reasonable take of it yesterday and this is also in the studio. If it should get worked on I am hoping for an arrangement in line with the title of this post

More news about it - if there is any - will be posted here

THE 35

Repeating some of the information from a previous post a variation of the following comments accompanied a CD of THE 35 which was delivered to Cava last week. The songs are being worked on as I write this and may already have become the 34. But the original title will remain as it sounds better - to my ears anyway.

During one of many attempts to sort out song related material I discovered that I had filed most of the written words in a large folder.

Recently I selected from it one hundred and fifty lyrics. I chose only those which, at some stage of their making, had been given enough of a tune to be recorded onto cassette, reel to reel or dat tape.

A previously recorded version of each song was then located. The majority were on my main computer.

After a gap of several weeks I listened again to the one hundred and fifty tracks and selected thirty five.

Some of them are songs I like but I have chosen only those recordings that I hoped might be capable of having their sound quality professionally improved.

Several of the recordings are extremely quiet, some have heavy thumps and others will require a bit of de-essing but the temptation for me to increase the volume or mess about with them in any way has been avoided.

The task if you choose to take it on is to listen to the thirty five tracks and identify those which, in relation to their sound quality, you think could be made 'good.'

That would be STAGE ONE. For STAGE TWO a selection of the tracks which survive the first stage would be considered for further work. In STAGE THREE, a final selection might be made and used on an acoustic only CD.  The end.

As for the overall intention in getting this done. Because I spent a lot of time in my grown up life working on Custtad ( I did not give enough time and attention to song writing. Not enough that is to develop as a song writer and performer and produce a coherent catalogue of songs.

If this CD is made it will not make up for that lack but it may allow me to move on from the older material and discover a different way of recording and working with the new material I have.

Saturday 22 November 2014


The title for this blog came from some words I had written and recorded for a spoken word CD. They can be heard on Bandcamp at

The image was made by sticking torn bits of paper on a square of cardboard

Saturday 8 November 2014

4 IN 1

Short songs may not be what most people want to hear but over the years I have come to accept that I like to write them. And the question to myself is 'why not?' 
If all one wishes to say can be said with a few words and a tune arrives which suits them why not leave the song alone and not try to turn it into something else. 
But accepting that these four songs might be more likely to get listened to if they were combined they have been. They are You'll Like it at the Waterworks, Loneliness is Like a Space (also called Tell Me that Now), Sail Me Like a Boat and I Can Taste You in the Wood of my Room.

The 4 in 1 track can be heard at

The image being used with this track is taken from a photograph of the Waterworks. Glasgow. Scotland

Friday 7 November 2014


The acoustic version of the song I'm Feeling Lost Bring Me Home has been replaced on Bandcamp with a new mix with a piano backing.

It can be heard using the following link

The image above has also been used on Bandcamp 

Thursday 6 November 2014


What follows has been said many times before and by people who know a lot more than I do.

Based on my experience, children who are unable to let their concerns be known, through words alone, are inclined to act them out in ways which only increase their woes and those of the people who care for them.

But as children have repeatedly demonstrated they are both attracted to and capable of making use of an effective alternative i.e. through materials which support the combined use of symbolic and verbal expression.

The CUSTTAD approach is one of many such alternatives.

And my position on the subject is this. Whilst it may not work for all children it works for many of them. And having witnessed the benefits, the least that can be done is to make those alternative ways and means available to all those who would like to give them a try.

It is a position which I think is supported by the two books I have written about my work with children. The first, Balancing the Request to be Good, is an account of the earliest phases of the work. The second entitled Making Custtad is a sort of alphabetical handbook of practice. Both books are now available in print form and as ebooks and can be located through the various links below the cover images.

Other sites with information about the approach are and The latter, which was originally used for The Walkaway Club, is now providing a piggy back for additional information about CUSTTAD.

Wednesday 5 November 2014


This post is a follow up to the previous one entitled The FLUKE and OLD GOES at writing songs. The words Making Mud are from one of the songs referred to below.

After a gap of several weeks I decided to listen again to the one hundred and fifty tracks and from these I selected thirty seven. Some of them were songs
I like but I chose them only if I thought the recordings might be capable of having their sound quality professionally improved.  Also, as I made the selection, I decided I would probably make a CD of those which survived the process. If that had been part of my original thinking I had not been aware of it. 

Several of the recordings are extremely quiet and others will require some de-essing but the temptation for me to increase the volume or mess about with them in anyway has been avoided.

One track, which had previously been mastered and which I hope to get worked on as single - one of these days - has been sidelined. The remaining thirty six are now in a computer folder - as yet with no overall title - awaiting my decision to submit them to a studio. There are probably a few others that could be worked on as singles but, for now, they are being left where they are.

The final selection for the CD and the order of the songs will be decided on after the mastering has been completed.  It will also be very much influenced by the engineer's opinion on which tracks, in relation to their sound quality, are the best ones.

Tuesday 4 November 2014



Four songs (one of which is a four in one song) have been mastered.

It is hoped that they will be considered suitable for further work but in the meantime they will be either put aside for future use or offered as simple acoustic versions.

The four in one song is of old recordings. The other three are old songs which were re-recorded in August this year.

The Four in One Song
There will be more to say about small songs and the influence of Peggy Lee's Album Sea Shells but for now here are the titles

You'll Like it at the Water Works
Sail Me Like a Boat
I Can Taste You 

The Other Three
The Mountain
I Walked Out One Morning
Don't Sigh Even Slightly


These are from early days when I had obvious pretentions (long ago discarded) to play the guitar well. 

The photographs were another inadvertent find.

Friday 31 October 2014


Harping back several years now, when deciding to get some of my songs out there,  I thought how good it would be if someone who knew absolutely nothing about me came upon one of them and really - genuinely - liked it.

So, in this instance, along has come a stranger to provide just what I had hoped for. 

The CD PAST LOVES had been discovered on Bandcamp. And not only has its content been responded to positively, the means to listen to all the tracks has been made available on their web site at 

Sunday 26 October 2014


From October 13th to the 26th The First time Ever was being played on WOS Radio in their  1970's Cover Series.  And now two songs, Drink to Me Only and Black is the Colour from the CD PAST LOVES are being featured in 

"We've Got It Covered" (Standards of the Great American Songbook) Airs Daily at 8 PM ET (5 PM PT) from November 10-23, 2014. 

The list of songs can be accessed on the WOS RADIO site at

All the tracks from PAST LOVES can be heard using the link This can also be found in the post on this site entitled THE INADVERTENT DELIGHT 

The photograph above is of Bree Noble the founder and CEO of Women of Substance Radio. More about Bree and the station can be accessed at

Of the broadcasters who have helped me along the road of getting heard Bree Noble is up there along with Iain Anderson and Tony Currie of Radio Six International. Tony's Station is at

Friday 24 October 2014


This is a song which makes some very obvious observations - but I like the tune - and it may as well be out there as it is: i.e. as a rather spare acoustic version. It was recorded on Dat tape copied to CD and computer and mastered at Cava. It will be uploaded to Bandcamp as a single track but may become one of several on a CD of acoustic only recordings which is being considered.


The image is also rather spare. It was cropped from a photograph of the North Shore in Vancouver taken from English Bay. 

P.S The song was on Bandcamp but it has been temporarily retired until it acquires a few companions.

Tuesday 21 October 2014


To hear this song click on the link below

This is probably the street referred to in this very new version of a song written in Glasgow a long time ago  


First off I find a very old newspaper cutting. I try unsuccessfully to straighten it and am perplexed why it is wonky.

Then I look for the songs I performed at the THIRD EYE on the occasion mentioned and chose to listen to the track WHEN I SAY YOU OWE ME NOTHING. I like it enough to request the opinion of 'others' and depending on what they say the song will either get cleaned up as an acoustic only track or get dressed up a bit for getting out and about.
The lyrics are by JOAN URE. I wrote the tune. The song was used in a radio play The Vital Witness: a radio tribute to the author and playwright Joan Ure written by Alasdair Gray and produced by BBC Radio Scotland in 1979
Below is the newspaper cutting.

And here is a photograph of JOAN URE. It is taken from the cover of her book FIVE SHORT PLAYS

The song has been much improved by the guys at with the assistance of Fraser Spiers on harmonica. It is a rather rushed through live performance which can be heard on Bandcamp at

Sunday 19 October 2014

CATCHING UP with the relatively recent

In no particular order are some of the projects (also mentioned elsewhere on this site) which have been completed over the past few months.
Included are links to other sites on which further information can be accessed.

IT IT HAD NOT BEEN SO DARK - a selection of words available in a small book and on a CD

THE INESCAPABLE ROAD - four selections of words available as a printed book and now on a DVD as recorded spoken word tracks

PEA SOUP - a short and rather silly play using the pseudonym S Dumpie, an anagram of Mud Pies

ONE FOOT ON ONE OFF: rhymes and dialogues in the treatment of a carthorse - this has undergone further edits and has now been printed. But so far it has been kept as a private document.  It may be made available soon but before that happens the cover will be revised, probably using the intentionally soft focused image below

MAKING CUSTTAD - the final edit for the print version and its conversion into an ebook

BALANCING THE REQUEST - reformatted for conversion as an ebook

MORE CUSTTAD - the sorting and repackaging of all files folders photographs and miscellaneous document associated with the development of Custtad

SO SAID THE SAP - with a small paper collage. Now in a small book and on a CD

THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE CAR -which, after the final edit had its title changed from NATHAN'S STORY

THE BAD GIRL PUPPET - roughly made from bits of paper and glued onto a wooden rod stick, it is waiting to be used in an equally rough video of the song BAD GIRL BLUES.

BIG BLACK EVERYTHING - this was an old black folder which contained most of the words and lyrics I have written. It was from the material which was found in this folder that the selection of 150 items, now referred to as OLD GOES at writing songs, were taken .

NEW RECORDINGS - some old and some new tracks are being worked on. The cover version of THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE is now complete and the license for this has now been obtained. The song can be heard at From now on information about any new songs will be posted on a separate page


I don't use social media sites but on hearing of the death of Acker Bilk I wondered if I had remembered correctly, and if I would be able to find on-line, that the folk group I was in then had opened the show on the night of May 20th 1962 when Acker Bilk and his band appeared at the St Andrew's Halls Glasgow.


I did not find the answer but the person who might have it is  Mary McGonigal of Particks People  She had written 'I went to see him and his band yonks ago in the St Andrew's Halls in Glasgow, before the fire of course!

Tuesday 7 October 2014


A version of the following comments were used on Bandcamp at where this song can be heard.

This is a song I sang often before I began trying to write my own. I recorded it in August 2014.

I had rediscovered the words written on an old piece of paper when sorting out some equally old notebooks (see below)

On a day with nothing much else to do  I saw it lying beside my recording equipment and decided to try it out. It must have been there because I thought, if the right moment arrived, this might happen. And without any practising or planning I recorded four takes.

This version is the fourth. The following day I decided to try to add some further background sounds using the overdub facility on Audacity.

And I was pleased enough to send the track in to Geoff Allan of Cava Studios at who magically improved it whilst leaving it - he suggested - with a sort of 'campfire sound'.

The information below is from Wikipedia

"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is a 1957 folk song written by British political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who would later become his wife, to sing. At the time the couple were lovers, although MacColl was married to someone else. Seeger sang the song when the duo performed in folk clubs around Britain.

The FLUKE and OLD GOES at writing songs

During one of many recurring attempts to sort out my song related material I discovered that, on a previous one, I had filed most of the written words in a large black folder.

Recently I returned to the folder and selected from it approximately one hundred and fifty items. I chose only those which, at some stage of their making, had been given sufficient words and enough of a tune to be recorded onto cassette, reel to reel or dat tape.

An old recorded version of each one was then located. The majority were on my main computer having been transferred from the various tapes in the form of wav or mp3 files. Some of them required me to return to the boxes in which the tapes were stored and copy them again. The recordings were very varied. They ranged from a mooching through until a tune arrived to a fully formed song.

Once they had been placed in a folder on my computer I converted all of them to mp3s as a preliminary to bringing the volume of each one to a similar level. I used software to do this to avoid the task of changing each one individually. I then saved them all onto a DVD and gave them the title, as indicated above, OLD GOES at writing songs.

The plan is now to sort them out into three main categories.There may be one or two which are complete enough to be sent into Cava with a request to Geoff Allan to improve the sound and quality. There are a few which I would like to record again and in the third lot there may be material which will prompt further action - but of a kind which has not yet been identified.


To accompany the above text I was looking for a photograph of what I looked like when I first began writing songs and found this one. As it in no way resembles what I look like now (and rather obviously I wish I did) I thought I should give it a suitable title.

A further thought is that the end result may be a selection of songs for a CD with the title THE FLUKE and THE OLD GOES

Monday 6 October 2014


Perhaps at last I will do what I have intended to do for many months. And that is to save a copy of all my completed songs, lyrics and other material onto an external hard drive and have them all available whenever I want to use or refer to them. This will certainly be an improvement on what I usually do i.e. search long and hard through loads of inadequately named folders and documents.  

And as I begin the task of sorting through the documents on my computer - and while waiting to collect a new hard drive I have come across a photograph which for me belongs with my work. And I will give it the title


Apart from playing netball at school, it was as school captain, and behind the main entrance doors at playtime and lunchtime, that I had my earliest experiences in the delights of kissing. Certainly with Brian, the boy on the left and with the one in the centre. I am not sure about the other one.
I think the relevance of the photograph can be found in some of the songs I have written. Below is a link to an example.

Monday 22 September 2014

THE SAP: an explanation

Being a SAP is nothing special. There are a lot of us around.  This is not a status I have cultivated or tried to avoid. It came naturally without much effort on my part. But whatever the causes I still have things I would like to say and some of them will appear here.

Below is one of this sap's self portraits

A small book entitled SO SAID THE SAP has been printed and the words have been recorded as a spoken word CD

The book can be located at

The spoken words can be heard

If anyone does: thank you for listening


A recent song entitled So You Said You Would Build Me a Cabin received a very low rating from the Crowd Review facility which is provided (at a cost) by Reverbnation. This was not surprising although I do like the song and the sentiments expressed
As yet I have not been able to find or afford anyone who would like to provide an alternative backing - i have three so far which don't quite work. 
Of interest to me: i have never used the word 'folk's' in a song before and it is entirely outside my culture. I used it because it felt OK to try it and I also found it amusing
If anyone would like to try it for size it can be found on Bandcamp at

Monday 25 August 2014


The story of The Woman in the White Car was begun inadvertently during a ten day holiday from real work as a sort of film script, changed into a book and was revised, on and off, for the next few years

It is meant to be an undemanding read for a trip on a train or plane

Below is a brief synpopsis

Nathan Brown, a Seattle based scriptwriter with a penchant for casual affairs, is in London attempting to recover from a brief but upsetting relationship

During his stay he gets drawn into a series of events which take him on a journey to find information about a man called Paul Bloch. In the course of his search he travels to Glasgow, Vancouver and back to London discovering on the way as much about himself as he does about Paul Bloch

If it were to become a movie I would like Brad Pitt to play Nathan and Angelina Jolie to be Ros, the woman in the white car. I would not care much what they did with the story line providing they kept the scene where Nathan meets Ros for the first time - and they kiss.

There is a song for the movie. It is entitled As You Wrapped the String Around Me and it can be heard by clicking on the following link