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
Saturday, 30 January 2021
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.
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 www.skcsongs.com and on BANDCAMP at https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/track/and-a-longing-goes-to-rest
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
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
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.
DISC ONE: PART ONE
1. The Inescapable Road
3. On the Road to Sundrie
4. The Bay and Beyond
5. Out There Somewhere
DISC TWO: PART TWO
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 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
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
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
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
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
SHALL WE GO TO MEXICO
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
Friday, 31 August 2018
Much later in the year, sometime in November, they will be playing DEEP and REAL
Monday, 23 July 2018
Monday, 16 July 2018
The link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/natureuk/entries/188f15e1-f71b-431e-8999-43dc578b4cd4
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
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 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 http://www.sheilakcameron.com/
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 http://www.vivianmaier.com/
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
|This bird sings, flies and loves sultanas|
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 https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/track/dont-sigh-even-slightly-6
Tuesday, 10 July 2018
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 https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/track/feet-feet-feet
Saturday, 7 July 2018
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 http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/reviews/SKC/
Thursday, 5 July 2018
The link is https://www.mixcloud.com/tonyhaynes52/midweek-midnight-mayhem-4th-july-2018/
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
|Moxie Search Van - roughly drawn as if by someone who had lost their moxie|
Monday, 25 June 2018
|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
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 www.wosradio.com
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
|On the way to live out life|
The selection is presently available for streaming and download and as a CD on Bandcamp at https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/those-they-chosehttps://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/those-they-chose
It also now features on the new site at https://skcsongs.com/those-they-chose
|Cover of the CD: SKC and the WOS Icon|
With the seven re-issues there was a sense that a major task had been completed These songs most of which can be found on the previous CDs are more of a sample from what's gone before than a continuation
The musicians magicians and technicians who enhanced them as they made their way from basic acoustic tracks to something more include in first name alphabetical order: Brian McNeil (of China Crisis) Brian Young (of Cava Studios Glasgow) Fraser Spiers, Geoff Allan, Jennifer Clark and John Saich - along with Mags Russell (of Wild Biscuit Music)
Saturday, 12 May 2018
This idea was more appealing than trying to change what is already there and I liked the sound of skcsongs.com and at last perhaps I have found a comfortable way to use the short name SKC
Using Bandzoogle was appealing until I tried it and it has taken me hours to get only one page in place Below is the image I have used on the new site
Friday, 6 April 2018
The selection is now complete Entitled THOSE THEY CHOSE it has been professionally prepared and fine tuned for the selection and it can be heard and purchased on Bandcamp at
* Bree Noble is the Founder and CEO of WOS and for a direct link to find out more about WOS go to http://www.wosradio.com/aboutwos/
P.S At the time of revising this post a CD of the selection of tracks is also being produced