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.