Monday 29 May 2023


Several months ago I wrote that I had been reflecting on the activity of writing songs and had decided I needed to rethink how I was approaching it. That thinking has continued but I have decided to keep most of my main thoughts to myself until I have something worth saying. 

Monday 17 April 2023


The phrase "the good enough mother" was coined by the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott in his famous book Playing and Reality.

On the Road Going Nowhere, my latest attempt at song writing, probably belongs, for me anyway, in the category of a good enough track.

I’m not yet certain that the sentiments expressed will prove to be ‘true’ but at the present time they feel that way. I have recorded several versions but am undecided about making any of them available. 

Being on the road to nowhere is not meant to be a hopeless sort of place to be in. There are millions of us on the road of not going anywhere special or anywhere in particular and who are just glad to have enough money and be well enough to get on with the tasks of ordinary everyday living.

As for all that goes on around me separate from the song writing it’s impossible not to be profoundly saddened - partly because it seems impossible to do anything significant about it- that the unrelenting and overriding drives of greed and grift which have infected so many continue to make such basic aspirations for so many others so incredibly hard to achieve. I should probably have said impossible.

As regards what writing songs can do about it. That’s a question I have repeatedly asked myself without ever getting a satisfactory answer. And yet for a very long time I have kept writing them. On the Road Going Nowhere may be a spur to some fresh thinking.


Tuesday 21 March 2023


It has been my intention for a long time to complete this selection of material and I am hoping that updating this much earlier post will be a useful reminder.

There is a page entitled ON THE CHARLOTTES on my web site at  And the plan is to transfer the information which I first posted here to that page.

It is mostly about the songs which were written during my time of living on Haida Gwaii - referred to then as the Queen Charlotte Islands. I intend to include some comments about their content and the context in which they were written. 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 writing songs 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.

Sunday 22 January 2023

In the Cold Light of Day

The words for this track came from a news item which I just happened to see the day before Amber McLaughlin was executed. The words were a way of dealing with the shock I experienced the following day on reading that it had taken place. Much of my response is in the words but I did honestly think it would not happen. I foolishly felt sure such a barbaric act would be stopped. 

I can't ever recall feeling as shocked as I did on reading the news item about Amber's death and the decisions which were made. There was a vulnerability in her face in the photograph I had seen in the newspaper and her final words have stayed in my head. 

It’s not much good being upset about what happened but I wanted to make others aware of the awful way in which Amber's life ended.  

There is a free download of the words on Bandcamp on the following link