ed's songs

There's about 60 songs here so far . . . organised by album.
Plus several that are still in progress.



High Girders

Late December, seventy-nine,
Dundee train, northbound line.
River Tay, a mile from land
High girders stand.

Storm is fierce, night is wild,
Front of the carriage: father and child.
Has him close, holds his hand,
High girders stand.

Lead me, be my guide.
Take me o'er to the other side.
When it's dark I cannot see,
Stay here with me.

Since Burntisland all is well.
Pace is steady, none can tell
In the darkness miles away
High girders sway.

Train steams on into the night
Boy holds to his father tight
How much longer none can say:
High girders sway.

Late December, seventy-nine,
Dundee train, northbound line.
Storm bears down upon them all
High girders fall.

Based on the fateful journey of December 1879 . . .

Daisy

The view from here is tremendous
It's amazing what you can see.
People far below us
Have no idea about you and me.

The world is far behind.
Oh, let's just take our time.

Daisy, can I take you out tonight?
Daisy, let's go walking when the moon is big and bright.
Your eyes still sparkle despite the fading light.
Daisy, can I take you out tonight?

The path to here was horrendous
But it's amazing what you can do
With some imagination
You can build your dreams and make them come true.

The world is far behind.
Oh, let's just take our time.

When you're still so high above
The place where you belong
Choose to do something you love
Feed the fire that burns to make you strong.

Written while walking our wee dog Daisy

Day Job

Don't give up the day job,
you've got to pay the bills somehow.
Don't give up the day job,
you need to live your life in the here and now.
Don't give up the day job,
it makes you smile, so why would you quit?
Don't give up the day job,
you're living the dream, so just get on with it.

Early morning, buzz buzz
Push snooze, back to sleep.
Can't stop yawning, get up
Stand up on your feet.

Find your mojo
Work your magic
Get into the groove.
Nowhere to go:
Climbed the ladder
Nothing left to prove.

Did you notice
In the rat race
The winners are still rats?
Did you see a
Smile on their face,
Did you notice that?

You can sing for your supper,
But you better not give up the day job.

Way It goes

You spend so long on wondering why it is you're losing place.
Maybe you put it down to living life at such a pace.
Sometimes late at night you somehow start to feel alone.
That's just the way it goes.
Don't let it get you down when you're so frail.
Don't cry if you try but you fail.
When you hurt and the dirt really shows, they say
That's just the way it goes.

This is not quite how it's meant to be.
You can't see where you're going till
you know just you're coming from.
This is not the way it's meant to be.
Need a fundamental alteration don't you see?

In all the songs you sing you're crying out - you're all alone.
Believing everything till innocence is all but gone.
One by one your dreams are fading then there's nothing left,
but that's just the way it goes.
You hear the echo of a multitude of contemplations.
All the voices only lead to further complications.
All the things you do are reflections of the way you chose
- that's just the way it goes.

Through the smile, beyond these eyes,
Glimpse of truth beneath your disguise.
Through the mask, behind the lies,
Show the face that you'd rather hide.

Off the cliff

Trying to live up to what the people expect
trying to keep in with them or
you'll be going next.
You only worry about being OK,
Always making sure you've got the easy way.

You think you're in charge
but you really don't know
that the crowd you belong to is
deciding where you go.

You say you're living by yourself
but you're going off the cliff with everybody else.
They don't care if you fall,
They only want to get there - that's all.

Stumbling through the pieces of your broken life,
you feel the pain that cut you like a knife.
You were dashed on the rocks
and crushed by the tide,
but someone comes to meet you
and his arms are open wide.

You think you're in charge,
but you really can't see
that there's more to life than this
more than you can ever be.

You said you were living for yourself
but you went off the cliff with everybody else.
Now you've heard the voice
now you've heard the call
Now you've got the choice - that's all.

1993/96 - the first song I wrote at the age of 16...

Well worthwhile

Don't you know you've turned my life around?
Used to be so lost, but now I've found
There's so many different ways to fall in love with you.
Baby if you want to leave, then go.
But if you got to stay, say so,
Though I need you near, I'm not gonna keep you here
You made the waiting well worthwhile.

Everybody's breaking up, making up, making out
they know what it's all about
Truth is that it's happenstance, pure blind chance, pure blind luck
Then you've got to make it work.

Things may not be what they seem:
All your dreams, all your hopes
Look like going up in smoke.
But you've got to reach down deep, take a leap, take a chance,
Take the floor for one more dance.

2001/12 - written about Carol x

Cold stares

You're an arctic escalator, baby,
All you can give me is cold, cold, stares.
And I know you've been feeling low,
Thinking that nobody cares.

Just dropped by to let you know,
I'll be here to help you through.
And I see you've been hating me,
Well I've been loving you.

When I wake in the morning light
All I see is your smiling face.
And I feel like you're almost real
Nothing can take your place.

Dropped verse: As I walk through the city streets
I travel back in time.
And I lie to the passers-by -
My face says I'm doing fine.

I can't forget how we used to be
When we were starting out.
And I should, suppose I could,
If I can shake my doubt.

You give me cold stares, baby,
Chill me to the soles of my feet.
And I try, sometimes I cry
But I know it's you I need.

My soul's so sore
Hurting like I can't explain.
And I'll sing about anything
To try to make it right again.

Winter 1999 - the first true "blues" song I wrote. 12-bar blues in A major - inspired by a woman I worked with in Forfar...

Where is the love?

The poor get poorer the rich get richer;
the powerless are oppressed
and the rest, well they don't care no more.
They see the sadness in the eyes of
the child in the picture
in the news story, yet, they still forget
because they don't really care.
They say it's not really fair.

Tell me, What's going on?
What's gone wrong?
Where is the love now?

The sad get sadder the smiles disappear;
They say God's far away
but nobody's thought to pray
because they don't really know.
Their lives are full of emptiness,
their hearts are full of fear.
"Stick with the crowd
so you don't get left out",
because you don't really know
why you're feeling so low.

The world is moving faster, no time for waiting here;
You're caught in a rush,
you're crushed and broken
and forced into a mould.
The deceiver's working overtime,
the end is getting near.
Temptation strikes again, and then you fall
because your heart has grown cold.

1993/95

Two kinds of blue

Got me a feeling, I just don't know what to feel.
My head's so mixed up; I don't know what is real.

Went to the doctor, said, "Doc, what can you do?"
He said, "Son, all you need to know is there is two kinds of blue".

"The first is a teardrop, the second is a scream."
"I know you've been crying, but don't you lose your dreams."

Moving on now, you know I'm feeling better
Then she hit me with her 'Dear John' letter.

She says, "I've been thinking I'm not the one for you".
Leaves me wondering about these two kinds of blue.

"The first is a teardrop, the second is a scream."
As we say goodbye, I lose another dream.

2000 - a blues break-up song.

When you sleep

When you sleep, will you dream?
Will you cry, will you scream?
Will you wake to find you're all alone, again?

Don't hide from the sky,
I know you can fly.
Don't cry, don't cry.

Can you tell me the answers,
can you sense when I say
that I'm searching
I'm moving away?

Will you stop me from drifting,
will you hold me so tight
that I can't run for cover,
that I can't leave the fight?

Oh . . . do something new
you need to change your ways
Time won't wait for you

Today I heard the news
You said you fear the blues
You want to choose
A new way to believe in what you know.

Don't turn from the son
Say you hate everyone
Don't run, don't run.

1997/98

Walking down the road

Walking down the road to loneliness,
Stumbling through the streets of fear.
Trying to find the right way,
just living to get out of here.
This journey goes on and on, day after day.
Can't see where it's going to end,
too busy just losing my way.

Walking on the wide road, going with the flow.
This is the way to a good time, this is the way to go.

All we hear is,
"These avenues lead to the same place".
And the fear is a failure of communication.
Take your chance now,
"It could be you but who's to say.
So live by your feelings,
still looking for the real thing".

It's all coming to an end in the
middle of the crossroads of doubt.
The dream has faded and I still can't get out
of this little cell they call my soul,
and I'm locked inside of me.
Doing wrong, can't do right;
need somebody to set me free.

Standing waiting for a sign I hear a call from behind.
Wake up, turn round this lost soul's just been found.

1994/95

Harder I Work

You say it's a coincidence, you think that it's a fluke:
I'm just sitting pretty, but take a closer look.

People say I'm lucky, I suppose it's true,
But I've got a secret that I'll share with you:

The harder I work, the luckier I get,
The more I remember, the less I forget.
This journey is long but it's not over yet,
The harder I work the luckier I get.

You know you can learn all along the way
It means you can earn much more than you're paid.

Just take it all in, but don't take it to heart,
Take it all in and make a new start . . .

So when you see somebody doing really well
Stop to think before you speak, before you give them hell.

Jumping to conclusions is a dangerous sport
Do it once too often and you're bound to get caught.

2013/2015

World May End

The world may end tomorrow,
And if it really does,
We'll be gone before I've done
The bridge and second verse.

The world may end tomorrow,
If so, I won't be here.
But then again, you too my friends
Will all have disappeared.

Oh, where did our world go?

The world may end tomorrow
Forget all you have planned.
The seas may rise up to the skies
And cover all the land.

The world may end tomorrow
And we'd lose all we know:
Our love and laughter, in the hereafter
Above or down below.

Oh, where did our world go?

So far the world's not ended
But if you knew just when,
The things you'd change or rearrange
Would all be done by then.

So far the world's still turning
Despite the shape it's in,
So grasp the nettle, put on the kettle
And let the fun begin!

Dec 2012 - written for the Mayan calendar's end...

Ballad of Lorraine and Frank

Great-Grandpa Frank came to these plains
to find his fortune, make his name.
And with his lover, sweet Lorraine
they'd live the life they dreamed of.

They sailed upon the great Atlantic,
struck an iceberg, nearly sank.
But young Lorraine held on to Frank,
they'd live the life they dreamed of.

The winters came down harsh and cold
but love was warm and bright and bold.
They thanked their Lord as they grew old.
and lived the life they dreamed of.

-

They lost a child in Nova Scotia,
swapped their faith for raw emotion.
Found faith again, and deep devotion
to live the life they dreamed of.

And when they finally settled down
in this small Alberta town.
Lorraine and Frank did make a vow
to live the life they dreamed of.

-

Way up north the land gets wild,
lonely roads that stretch for miles.
The soul-crossed lovers had a while
to live the life they dreamed of.

They worked the land for thirty years,
gave it all: blood, sweat and tears.
Fair and true through joy and fear,
they lived the life they dreamed of.

-

They say the old man lost his sight,
then his hearing and his mind.
But he still had his true delight
and lived the life they dreamed of.

And when I think about those two
despite the hard times they saw through,
they showed a way for me and you
to live the life we dream of.

This song was sparked by the true story of my great-grandparents who emigrated to Canada, though they didn't settle and came back to Scotland - it's a what-if story of hope and dreams

Do and Don't

Do what you do,
please stay true.
Don't take for granted
love shown to you.

Do what you can,
Take your stand.
Don't be afraid,
Hold my hand.

Even though the days are long,
feeling that you can't go on.
Everything you say turns out wrong.
I'll be here.

Do what you love,
love what you do.
Don't be afraid
love pulls you through.

Jan 2012

On Magdalen Green

On Magdalen Green, I stare at the scene:
The Tay and the bridge before me.
This river is bright, reflecting the light,
A tiny white bird flies over me.

I cross over the track, with just a glance back
The sparkling water is calling me.
This river is bright, reflecting the light,
The wee dove of peace still follows me.

What do you know, where do you go
Up in the clouds, in the sky
What can you see as you look down on me?
How does it feel when you fly?

On Magdalen Green, I stare at the scene,
My wee bird has flown o'er the river now.
She's gone without trace, and leaves only grace.
And peace, oh peace like I've never known.

Inspired by the view of the Tay from Magdalen Green.

Le Pain, Du Vin

The roads all lead to places you don't know.
The people smile but their faces are for show.
How far you've come, but so much is the same.
The past is gone, you can't go back again.

Le pain, du vin, c'est tres bien
Eat it up while you still can
The bread and wine are both divine
Drink up while you have the time.

To love and lose your love is hard,
It shakes your soul and breaks your heart.
To love and choose to turn your back,
Is harder still, your heart's attacked.

And all the games that you played
You never won, never won.
And all the promises you made
They came undone one by one.

The paths we take to places we don't know,
They twist and turn when faith is running low.
How far we've come, but so much still to learn,
The past is gone, you can't go back again.

Written in southern France, summer 2012

Simple Life

Once upon a time I had a simple life
A fishing boat, a dog and a wife
A son and daughter, we lived by the water
We had no worries in our simple life.

When the weather was right I would pack my net
Kiss farewell to my Juliet
Down to the shore, off once more
Out on the waves, see what I get.

O'er the waves
O'er the sea
O'er the waves
Oh, a simple life for me
Oh, a simple life

Then one morning a man came by
Smiled as he passed and caught my eye
We sat together, enjoyed the weather
Talking about work and the simple life.

He said, "Maybe I could share some tricks I know,
Help your fishing business grow:
Buy more boats, hire more men
Catch more fish, make more profit
Be your own boss: kick back and enjoy life more..."

I thanked the man and took his card
Wished him well, said, "Don't work too hard"
Back to my net, and Juliet
My children, dog and simple life.

My son said, "Dad, that man had style
The two of you sure talked for a while.
Did he offer money, or say something funny?"
"You're right both times son", I said and smiled.

"He made me an 'offer I couldn't refuse'
But I did, and told how it was in my shoes.
He had to go, but I'll let him know
If I ever tire of the simple life".

Jan 2012 - I heard the outline of this story on the radio, wrote the song in my notebook, then afterwards looked it up, it's quite an old story, probably from Europe.

Hold on

You hold on to your heart so tight
somehow it doesn't seem so right
when all your friends have left and gone away.
You want to clutch it to yourself
sometimes you wish you'd asked for help, but
now it's all too late is all you say.

You lose the tears you can't hold back
as your heart of stone begins to crack,
and the wounded cries for mercy flood your soul.
Don't wait until these cries are gone,
don't lose the tears you've held so long,
don't let the fear deception take control.

Even if your heart's not there,
You've heard them say that God still cares,
but who would want a heart that breaks like yours?
You close your eyes and give up hope
and soon you know you'll never cope,
but somehow now your empty heart's made pure.

And the mystery of your endless flight
from a darkness filled with candlelight
through memories of the brokenness of dreams.
You still hold on, you won't let go,
now you're living like you'd never known
that the broken life is better than it seems.

Summer 1995

Stolen Moment

A stolen moment is more precious than hours and hours of time that's wasted.
So take those hours and hours and make them count.
Until a stolen moment comes about.

A kiss of passion is more precious than heartless lips and cold embraces.
So take these heartless lips and make them count.
Until a kiss of passion comes about.

A pinch of true love is more precious than buckets full of good intentions.
So take those good intentions and make them count.
Until a pinch of true love comes about.

Apr 2012 - runner-up in Nairn Festival 2013 Songwriting competition

Ode to the Kingsway

Many years ago Great Britain's first ring road
Was built around Dundee.
On the bank of the Tay, the mighty Kingsway,
A super sight to see.

Kingsway, oh Kingsway, you save us lots of time.
Kingsway, oh Kingsway, your circles are so fine.

Now the jewel in the crown some would say
Was the double-circle at the top of the Kingsway.
From north to south, east to west,
The double circle was the best.

You could come in from Arbroath
And use one circle or both,
Turn down to the town, or west to Perth
Or north to Forfar and Aberdeen,
But if you made a figure of eight
You'd be back to where you'd been.

But the double-circle didn't last,
Their concrete curves are a thing of the past.
Now junctions fill that space,
And too many traffic lights take their place.

From the flow of the circle to the stop of the lights
Progress travels on.
And the cars and lorries through the day and night
Keep the Kingsway going strong.

Early 2013: Inspired by the UK's first ring-road, and its legendary double circle, sorely missed :)

Promises are broken

The promises are broken now,
the dreams are all shattered,
and sad hearts are crying like nothing else mattered.
The storm has come again,
the stronger winds are blowing.
Everything else disappears,
but the light is still glowing. Oh...

Cold souls on the edge of bitterness inside.
Some found it long ago, just here for the ride.
Trying but always never quite coming through.
Going round in circles, but that's nothing new. Oh...

Everybody's out there for what they can get,
need to stay ahead of the game.
Caught in the rat race and missing the point,
yet they all end up just the same.

A lot of open minds at the market place tonight,
hoping for a hand or a guiding light.
Now and then the price of love gets lower and lower,
try to satisfy but find you're still wanting more. Oh...

Has nobody told them - there's another way?
Does nobody care now is this bitterness here to stay?
Does nobody know now - there's another way?

1994/95

He says, she says

He'll be there for her he says.
He'll do what she wants him to,
And stay as long as she is his.

He may hold her hand and smile.
Give her comfort for a while,
But he's not walking down no aisle.

Here's a thought, have you ever seen him cry?
Here's a dream, he could fly. . .

She is looking for something.
To hold her up or keep her thin
Or just to make her young again.

She will love him "to the end".
If she can't she'll just pretend
The two of them can still be friends.

Here's a thought, have you ever seen her cry?
Here's a dream, she could fly. . .

You're acting like you don't know
where you are or where you come from.
You seem to think that this new way
is somehow still the same.
Can't you see the one you're with now
is the one you live for?
It's plain to me you still don't know...

After all he's just a man.
Pretty soon she'll understand
If she can't save him no-one can.

Here's a thought, have you ever seen us cry?
Here's a dream, we could fly. . .

1999/2000

Paradise

I want to go where the sun shines,
And the rain clouds fade away.
I want to know that I'll see your face
forever and a day.

When I look into your eyes
It's a view of a paradise,
But I know that there's a trace of doubt
here in my heart.

When it seems I'm going down,
And there's no-one else around,
Will you hold me in your arms
as I am torn apart?

Everything melts into time,
As history repeats the rhyme.
Then we hesitate as days
and nights turn into years.

When I know that you are right,
There is more than just tonight
And the dreams that once seemed real
will surely end in tears.

How long can I wait till I get to see?
How near I can come to where you'll be?
How far can I go before you'll reach out?
How much can I know, how much can I doubt?

When I look into your eyes
It's a view of paradise
And I know that you still
make me feel the way you make me . . .

1998

Cage for the clouds

Last time you called me, I didn't want to know.
All I cried for was freedom,
thought you wouldn't let me go.
Though I failed to make the feelings last,
the mountain-top has all but passed, and
the good time's gone so fast I don't realise it's you.

Can't see the cage for the clouds.
Don't have the privilege of standing out in the crowd.
Won't change as long as I can hold on.
Sometimes wonder who I'm running from.

Reaching for a reason to change my point of view.
Follow the rainbow and smile to see it's true.
Now I've used up my second chance,
flown past the final dance, but
I can't blame circumstance, I've known all along it's you.

They call it freedom
but I would call it loneliness,
a silent cry for mercy in the darkness of the night.
Now the time has come,
shake off this cloak of self-defence;
with eagle's wings the bird will take to flight.

As I come to my senses I begin to see
all I need now is freedom, there's nothing here for me
Only the pain of my selfish lies,
the bitter tears I can't disguise
And the look of love-light in your eyes
is calling me home to you.

Summer 1995

She's gone

The time's not right, you say
You're waiting for the 'magic'.
When things work out okay,
And no-one has to say goodbye.
And no-one has to cry.
Don't tell me now, it's tragic.
You pick three chords and try
To rhyme these words and make a song.
So we can sing along . . . and still she's gone.

This love is broken too,
It seems the fire just doesn't burn
Like how it used to do.
Like something changed for you and me.
But no-one needs to see
The crying heart that doesn't learn.
And these three words are free,
So play the chords and make a song.
And we'll all sing along . . . and still she's gone.

And you watch and you wait
and you hate when it's like this
and no-one ever calls you at all.
And you hope you can cope
and you try not to cry when it's like this,
like no-one wants you, like no-one needs you.

She says she is confused,
And will you give her time to think?
Till she knows what to do,
Till then she'll fight on through the day.
And no-one needs to say
The rats will leave this ship to sink
Forget the words and play
Just pick three chords and make a song
And we'll all hum along . . . and still she's gone.

1999/2000

Can you hear me?

Can you hear me?
Can you feel what I feel
When it's clear this is the rough end of the deal?

Do you know me?
Do you know what I need
Could you give me a chance to get up on my feet?

Can you hear me?
Do you know what it means
To disappear, or be watched yet unseen?

...

Do you know me?
Does your heart break with mine
When the ones that you trust step over the line?

Can you hear me?
Are you listening now?
Do the things you believe in seem clearer somehow?

Do you know me?
Would you stand up and speak
For those who are seen by the rest to be weak?

...

Can you hear me?
Can you pinpoint my voice?
when I call from the crowd don't I drown in the noise?

Do you know me?
Have you not heard my name?
Will you walk on in silence will your life be the same?

Can you hear me?
Do you know what I say?
Will you listen and answer or just walk away?

Spring 1997

Without you

I really don't know what I should do about you.
Don't know if I should laugh or cry.
Can't see how I can live without you.
But you know I'm going to try.

I can see the tears you're crying
And I know they're not for me.
I don't care if you've been lying
But I hope that you can see
That I don't want to leave you hurting,
I don't want to give you pain.
You can go ahead, desert me,
I just want to see you smiling again.

I really don't know what I should do about you.
Don't know if I should sink or swim.
Can't see how I can live without you.
But you know I've fallen in.

You say,
"You're so sad and you're so lonely,
You just feel like you're the only
One for me and I'm the only one for you."

These days it's hard to be free
Of the things that hold on to me
I don't know if you'll ever see what I mean.

I really don't know what I should do about you.
Don't know if I should run or hide.
Can't see how I can live without you.
Cause you know I've gone and died.

Though the waiting lasts forever,
I will watch and I will wait.
When the sometimes fades to never,
And we say goodbye to fate.
I can only wish you well
With a life that's full of love.
As I lay this thing to rest now,
I just hope you find what you're dreaming of.

I really don't know what I should do about you.
Don't know if I should laugh or cry.
Can't see how I can live without you.
But you know I'm going to try.

2000

You see her

You see her, you want her
You know that you really shouldn't be here.
The war's on, they're fighting
But you stayed home, you really shouldn't be here.

But you see her, say you need her,
and you get her, because you get what you want.

And you make love into something cheap
Like you don't care, but you're in too deep.

You try to forget her,
But you hear that the baby's on the way.
And you don't know what to do now,
because you're scared of the things that people say.

You're making love into something cheap
And you can't stop now, because you're in too deep.

And you've fallen from grace
And you lied.
And you hide your face
And you cry.

You're crying, you're sorry
You're ready to take the blame for what you've done.
You know that, though it's over,
the consequences will go on.

When you make love into something cheap,
Before you know you're in too deep.

2000 - based on the story of David and Bathsheba

When angels

He's got a new sister,
he knew he would miss her,
as soon as they said goodbye.
There's nothing between them
so what does it mean then?
She's leaving him asking why.

The thing about being on top of the world
the next step is always down.

All you need is a long term plan
and a cynical view of the common man.
You're going to be up and you're going to be down,
but you've got to get used to this hanging around.

She's got a new hero,
she wants to be near now,
but he only wants a friend.
There's nothing between them
so what does it mean then
and why does it have to end?

All you want is to take a stand
and all the people in the palm of your hand
But you've got to be good and you've got to be kind
and you've got to get used to being left behind.

Leave him to his pride
he thinks he's so right
he won't wish for the beautiful things.
Leave her to her dreams
she'll see what it means
when angels lose their wings.

There's nothing between them
so what does it mean then
and why does it have to end?

Summer 2000

Alibi (Show you care)

Show you care and help me see
That every prayer is going to reach you.
You'll be there and you will make sure
I don't cry alone.

Take my heart and please watch over me
I'll start to turn around.
If this part of me is heavenbound
You can take me home.

I'm calling out, I want to shout.
Sanity says I'm not allowed.
Don't be shy (you say), let me cry.
Vanity says you're my alibi.

The tears may dry and as you find yourself
You wonder why you still feel the pain.
Time goes by but the sadness remains
Will we ever learn?

If you lost it all tonight, would you care?
If you had the chance right now, would you dare?
Would you leave it all behind, would you fly blind? Would you?

You're calling out, you want to shout.
Sanity says you're not allowed.
Don't be shy (you say), let me cry.
Vanity says I'm your alibi.

1999

Like Like Unlike

It used to be that friends were people that you really knew
Maybe there were many, maybe just a few
Now by clicking buttons you can build a list of friends
Keep your broadband busy, while your boredom knows no end

Like like unlike, tweet tweet share
Like like unlike, show them that you care
You don't have to leave your couch, electronic word of mouth.
Like like unlike, tweet tweet share

When you were younger you'd be playing in the park or street
Going adventures, having picnics, playing hide and seek
The days were long, the times were good, you had the greatest fun
In winter snow was deep, in summer there was endless sun

Written after leaving facebook and re-joining . . .

Midnight Clear

Christmas Carol - words by EH Sears 1849, tune 'Noel', traditional English melody.

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men from heaven's all- gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come, with peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats o'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long,
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled two thousand years of wrong;
And man at war with man hears not the love-song which they bring:
Oh hush the noise ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on by prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendours fling,
And the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

Sing them anyway

You're walking down a street
It's a strange town.
You hear a man, it seems he's talking to himself
He looks up, stares you down.

I don't know the words to this song
But I'll sing them anyway.
I don't know just where to belong
But I'll say what I say.

You walk on by, you cry
These are strange tears.
You hear the words, it seems you're talking to yourself
Listen up, believe your ears.

I don't know the words to this song
But I'll sing them anyway.
I don't know just where I've gone wrong
But I'm sure I'll find the way.

Don't give up
Don't look down
Turn around.

You count the stars at night
It's a strange dream.
You wake up crying, find you're singing to yourself
It's not the way it seems.

I don't know the words to this song
But I'll sing them anyway.
I don't know how I've been here so long
But I'll get there someday.

You're walking down a street
It's a strange town.

Summer 1997

Orion's Belt

Looking at Orion's Belt
Makes me feel how I felt
Way back when I first stared at the sky.

In the dark, three points of light
Orion's belt shines so bright
Way up there, so far from here, so high.

Stars shine down upon us all.
No matter where you are, or how small,
Stars shine down upon us all.

Flying saucers, passing planes
Coming back to earth again,
Who knows where those shooting stars are bound?

In the darkness, travelling light
Planes and saucers, shining bright
Way up there, so far above the ground.

Wherever you go, see the stars above you
Wherever you are, know that I love you.
Wherever you find yourself,
Look up and remind yourself
That each of us has a place
Our own time and space.

2015. From walks in the park in the dark...

Where the heart is

My name is Charles, I live alone,
This broken Mercedes is my home.
I'm on the verge of calling time,
Here on the verge of the A9.

And they say that we shall have no martyrs,
And they say that home is where the heart is.

Her name's Marie, she's fair and kind,
Some say she lost her mind.
But I don't care, since she's got heart,
And soul and love and joy and art.

His name is Jack, he'll make you freeze,
He'll have you down upon your knees.
He counts the days, you count the cost,
He comes with winter, snow and frost.

Count the blessing, not the curse,
Live for better, not for worse.
Share and care, near and far,
Love and be loved as you are.

Here's to you Charles, to you,
Stay strong, stay true.
Here's to you, my sweet Marie,
Stay true, stay free.

Oct 2013

Sometimes

Sometimes we lose it: we lose our love.
Sometimes it's us who's lost.
Sometimes we pull so hard it breaks.
We're left to count the cost.

Sometimes we choose it: we choose our path.
Sometimes it's not our choice.
Sometimes we walk a different way.
We heed a different voice.

Sometimes we use it: we use our chance.
Sometimes it's all but blown.
Sometimes we can't remember why
We have the things we own.

Sometimes there are no words to say
Sometimes there's nothing quite enough
To let you know, to make your day
To share in this thing we call love.

Sometimes the piece is missing
And the hardest thing to do
Is to find out where it's gone
Before it gets too far from you.

And when you cry or turn away
I'll wish I was made of sterner stuff
When neither knows quite what to say
To share in this thing we call love.

Jan 2014

Starlit Sky

The moon shines bright in a starlit sky.
It's dark tonight and I wonder why
I still see your face in the darkest places,
Will I see your face again?

I heard today you're gone for good
It got too much for you.
I can't believe you're gone for good,
I thought you'd make it through.

The moonlight fades and the stars go dull.
The price I paid doesn't hurt until
I can see your face in the darkest places,
Will I see your face again?

I guess the shock was too much dear,
You lost the one you loved.
We used to be such good friends dear,
My angel from above.

The moon has gone and I cannot see,
This night is done and I can't believe
I still see your face in the darkest places
Will I see your face again?

Falling stars in our dark sky
Are but tears from the eyes
Of one who's gone before.

Feb 2013, Jan 2014

Sidecar

Will you be my sidecar, maybe, will you come along with me?
We'll ride the roads together, and see what we shall see.
If the road is hard, or if the road is clear,
Will you be my sidecar maybe, will you go with me from here?

Will you be my umbrella, will you shield from the storm?
We'll walk the roads together, we'll keep each other warm.
If the days are short, and the nights go on too long,
Will you be my umbrella, give me shelter from the storm?

Will you be my faithful compass, will you help me find my way?
We'll walk the wilds together, and say what we shall say.
If the skies grow dark, and the clouds are ashen grey,
Will you be my faithful compass, will you help me find my way?

Will you be my baked potato, will you keep me warm and fed?
Will you be the voice of reason to the nonsense in my head?
And when it seems the world has got me on my knees,
Will you be my baked potato, I'll be your grated cheese.

I can be your sidebar, baby, I can go along with you,
We'll ride the roads together, and do what we shall do.
If the road is rough, or if the road is smooth,
I can be your sidecar, baby, I can go along with you.

Acorn

Give me an acorn, I'll grow an oak tree
Though it's going to take a while.
Give me a true word, I'll grow an idea
And I'll sing it to make you smile.

Give me a real chance, some faith and you'll see
We'll do it whatever the weather,
Give me an acorn, then both you and me,
We can grow that oak tree together.

Jan 2014



Grow, Thrive, Bend Break

We grow we thrive we bend we break
We stay alive in all we make.
And in our hours, both light and dark
We have the power to make our mark.

In time we learn to use our mind
Our choice to stay both true and kind.
In time we learn to trust our heart
Our patience earns a deeper art.


Stick Together

Let's stick together through thick and thin
We'll prove the doubters wrong
Let's brave the weather, we'll fight and win
And write our own love song.

You smoothed off all my rough edges
It took some grit to do that
Thanks for all your attention
Here's hoping we don't fall flat.

Green shoots of growth appear
Deep roots below
No fruit will show round here
But beauty glows.


Breathe deep, take it in
Breathe deep, let it out
Don't keep badness in,
Don't keep goodness out.

The world is wide, too many people to count
On every side, so many faces about.
And yet the world is so much smaller today
We're all connected in different ways.

The keys to the lock in the stories you tell
Are lost now despite what you say.
The keys to your heart are hidden so well
They're out on public display.

Go against the grain if you dare
See where it takes you
Try and change it if you care
Don't let it break you

When the weight of the world
Is getting you down

Jan 2014

Pebble

I walked on the beach,
Picked a pebble to remind me of you.
I know you're out of reach,
I'll go on now, it's all I can do.

Time goes by faster than you think
Don't cry, don't blink.

I walked on the track,
Rails have rusted, weeds are growing through.
The train's not coming back,
Factory shifted, people have gone too.

I walked up the Law,
Sun was shining, brightening the view.
I loved what I saw,
I was standing right beside you.

I walked down the street,
Rain is pouring, people are soaking through.
Who should I meet,
Turn a corner, stumble straight into you.

I'm walking back home,
Streets are golden, sky is deepest blue.
It's taken years to roam,
Best of all were those I spent with you.

2000/2012

Bay View Blues

Now Wayne's got the rhythm
And Jim's got the blues,
Mix it all together and you're never going to lose.

Here at the Bay View we got the Bay View Blues. . .

Ally's got this place
In Dundee's wild west,
For whisky, beer and atmosphere and banter it's the best.

The fitba's on the telly,
They've missed a penalty,
And now they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

If you look out the window,
You see Invergowrie Bay,
Maybe the best pub view this side of the Tay?

The Bay View is the place
That gave The View their name,
They used to sing their songs here before they found their fame.

2013

Head Held High

She walks in, head held high
Confidence personified
You think she's doing fine
Living life, enjoying time

But you can't read her mind just yet
There's more beneath you can't detect
And you'll assume that all is well
But watch out boy, she'll give you hell...

I feel your eyes, you see my clothes
Your mind's made up, I'm 'one of those'.

No matter what I say or do,
You know my kind, we're not like you.

2011

Tip of the iceberg

This is the tip of the iceberg
Calm waters run deep.
The signs that surface
Hide the secrets we keep.

It's the show of the actor
On the stage of the soul.
Empty smiles fool no-one,
A vacant heart plays an empty role.

Anyone would think you'd reached your life's ambition,
But no-one needs to know that now.
Anyone can see you're living in a contradiction,
Your sophistications given out.

And I can see you're losing touch,
Ask where you made the mistake.
Complain about how life is bad;
Still you join the line of heartbreak.

A hundred broken hearts in a line holding hands,
Waiting for somebody to show the way.
We don't have what our heartache demands.
Still wonder why the smile never stays.

When the curtains fall,
And the late-show ends,
How do we keep our dignity
When we can't even keep our friends?

1996

Don't give in

Hang on to that little bit about you that says
You won't lay down and die.
Stand up for what you believe in
Don't give in to a lie.

Don't you know you're losing ground?
Only time will tell the tale of being lost or found.
Never nearer now you're facing up to what you've seen.
The clock is ticking ... can you tell me what it means?

Give some thought to what you need.
In the case of captive comfort only lost or freed.
Very clever now you're starting to look like you know.
Even still it seems there's nowhere left to go.

Into the darkness as it covers your face.
Now you know where to find the tears,
tears that time can't replace.

Summer 1997

It shows

I can tell by the way that you look at me
There's a lot more to you than I can see.
There's something about you that makes you free,
And it shows.

It's a while since I've known what a smile can do,
So long since I've seen what I've found in you.
Whatever's inside is just bound to shine through,
Because it shows.

Maybe everything is black or white,
Sometimes I can't see what's wrong or right;
And every day it seems I'm losing sight
Of this road I'm travelling on.

As the time goes by I begin to explain
I recognise your face but I don't know your name.
The currents of change have proved you're not to blame,
and it shows.

As I hear all the words that you have to say,
I see why the fear and doubt have gone away.
I know now the love I've found is here to stay
Because it shows.

Maybe this is no coincidence
Sometimes I can't find my common sense,
And there's never time to sit on the fence -
It's this road I'm travelling on.

Maybe there is no way to hide,
And keep all the secrets locked up inside;
And if you live depending on your pride,
Believe me, it shows.

1996

Some people say

Some people say you should never give your love away,
but I see now that's all wrong.
In these last few days I realise from what you say
I've been lost far too long.

Maybe turning was leaving the race
now there's an empty place
hidden beneath this so-called success.
Searched in vain for the words to say,
found a lonely child fading away
living through a mask just like the rest.

Try to smile, don't want to see
the vacant stare of reality,
Need to cover up this broken heart.
No use hiding these empty lies,
can't continue the compromise
Make your escape now before the dream falls apart.

Though the bright shining lights have gone
I can still see the new day dawn.
I can feel the fire in my bones.
No more waiting for pots of gold,
no more trying till you're too old.
It's all past now I know I'm not alone.

1994/95

Reasons

Give me two of your reasons to stay,
And I will give you three
Why things just can't go on this way,
Why things can't work out for you and me,
Why things can't be how they used to be.

You say that we used to be so good,
And now we never talk at all.
I know I don't always do what I should
But maybe, baby, it's not all my fault
I know things looked good but if that's all we got,

I'll be the ugly one, having fun,
I don't want no beautiful boredom.
Cause when the prettiness goes,
Everybody knows that all the ugly ones are having fun.

You say I taught you to love again
You say I opened your eyes.
But I'm not sure how to play your game,
And I don't know if you're telling lies,
I'm not surprised that we said goodbye.

You say you want all the pretty things,
They are so cute and they look so nice.
Now I can't argue with the joy they bring:
They may have made my day once or twice,
But in the long run this is my advice.

2000/01/13

Give and take

"What you gonna do with it?"
"Where you gonna go now you know that it's true?"
"Do you really feel you can deal with a bit of give and take?"

When what you make is not so much
and what you take will only hurt you.

You say you need more than your heart can afford, that's all.
When the nearest star is still too far and the tears still fall.

You're searching your mind for memories of love.
And all that you find is the smile you're dreaming of.

Anyone can feel this way.
Anyone can leave and believe they know just what they're doing.
Then you cry at the part where you're in the dark . . .

When all you hold is bought and sold
Can't you see it's going to hurt you?

1999

Let me smile

Let me smile and for a while
Let me feel that this real
Let me hold you and know that you are here.

Be my prayer, let me hope
Be my friend cause I can't cope
In the end I'm just a child
Let me smile.

I've heard you say you'd rather go than stay,
The time is right, you made up your mind.
I've heard you cry, and as you say goodbye,
Don't forget what you leave behind.

When you take the time to think things over,
Remember, please remember what I said.
When you take the time to think things over,
Don't let the memories mess your head.

I've seen your heart, you're tearing it apart
Hold on to what once made you strong.
I've seen you smile, and I know it's not my style.
But I have to say that I was wrong.

1998, 1999

Lifeline

Nobody wants to listen
to what he's trying to say.
He starts talking
and the people are walking away.
They say he's making it up
and they're bringing him down all the time.
Nobody wants to listen,
but they're missing the lifeline.

He is the lifeline, he is the only way.
He is the lifeline,
and his love for us will never fade away . . .

He says he wants to bring justice
and peace to the trouble of the soul.
but they don't believe him,
they're just gonna leave him out in the cold.
And the doors are all locked now,
there's no way of getting inside.
Nobody wants to open the door,
but all they're hoping for's waiting outside.

Why are you standing here all on your own?
Are you afraid because your friends have all gone?
Don't be scared now, there's no need to cry.

1993/96

Time to change

I've taken the hint that it's time to change,
Mistaken your smile and I'm feeling strange.
It's breaking my heart and I know now I've been wrong.
We're playing the games that we knew we'd play,
Chasing the fear and the guilt away.
I'm laying the blame and I see where I've been wrong.

Time to change, time to change...

I'm listening to seashells and hearing the sea,
Talking with good friends who care about me,
Building up bridges to cross self-made divides.
Knocking on doors without any sound,
I wake from the dream and just coming round
I see that there's one bridge from here to the other side.

Time to change, time to change...

You're holding my hand, I can see from your face,
It's time for a change, it's the right time and place.
I'm losing my pride now I see that you've been true.
You're smiling again, and your honesty shines,
It shows in your eyes that this love isn't blind.
The answer to all I ask is you.

1995/96

Time to listen

Do you have time to listen before talking?
Do you need help to hear the words I say?
Please receive my heart now before walking away.

Do you need time for freedom now you're thinking?
Won't you just follow all the other sheep?
Please believe I'll reach you before sinking too deep.

When I write these songs, I'm dealing with my feelings:
Patience takes too long and praying seems like stealing.

Do you know if you'll take it any more?
Do you care if you'll make it all the way?
Will you feel like this tomorrow?
Will you struggle through the day?

Let me build my walls of self-exclusion,
Let me hide my crimes, my vanity.
Give me time to wash myself clean,
Give me love, but spare me charity.

Do you need time to make up happy endings?
Do you need help to start a brand new page?
Can't you see it's no use pretending we can change?

1999-2001

Understanding eyes

She looked through her old photographs
with pride, with tears, with pain
She sought a revelation
to help her smile again.

As she looked she noticed memories
woven through the web of time.
They were golden, grey and silver,
They were glimpses of her life.

Smiles . . . and honest answers
Tears . . . and angry words
Faces . . . and understanding eyes
Lies . . . and dreams . . .

----

From trying too hard she let go
to rest, to laugh, to care
She lay back in the arms of comfort
& found her comfort there

Smiles . . . and honest answers
Tears . . . and angry words
Faces . . . and understanding eyes
Real life and extra-mile love

1999

Sorry you spoke

She looks at you like you're the best thing ever
Then she laughs in your face.
Turns around and walks away, says she never
Never meant it that way.

And the only reason she stayed
Was to help you through.
And the only time she prayed
Was when she wanted something new.

Don't you love it?
Can't you see the joke?
Don't you get it?
Are you sorry you spoke?

When it seems like the world is falling down around your ears
I will tell you what to do.
I will be here just to patronise you baby,
Cause no-one loves you like I do.

A friend said to me, "You're bound to be upset".
"That's OK - as long as you're not hurt."
I just smile cause I'm not quite over her yet
I know I've had enough.

And the only reason you stayed
Was to help her through.
And the only time you prayed
Was when you wanted something new.

Don't you love it?
Can't you see the joke?
Don't you get it?
Are you sorry you spoke?

2000

Ballad of the Riots

They say a man was shot by police,
A hundred gathered in the street.
They wanted truth, they came in peace,
But nothing hard comes easy.

The word got out, "There's trouble brewing,
Tottenham High Road's getting mad..."
Before I knew what I was doing
I was down there with the lads.

Now's your chance to get your own back,
Throw some stones and give them grief.
Years of 'stop and search' for being black
Chipped away our self-belief.

Who knew things could get so wild?
Kicking off in Brixton too.
Riots, riots city-wide.
Police got nothing they can do.

Cracking windows, smashing doors
Now we're stronger than before.
Stealing stuff, and back for more
But nothing hard comes easy.

Hood up now, I hid my face
Don't want coppers on my case

The looting and the fighting starts
Burning buildings, burning cars.
Didn't think I'd see prison bars,
But nothing hard comes easy.

Who knew things could get so wild?
Kicking off in Salford too
Riots, riots nationwide
Police got nothing they can do.

So they caught me after all
Saw my face on CCTV
Busted down by door this morning,
Nothing hard comes easy.

2012 - after the riots around England.

Make Memories

When I press this button could you all say cheese?
Pose for the pictures and smile too, please.
You want to look right? Just try copying me.
And make your memories here...

The woman with the tickets has fun for sale
The fast pass queue is moving slow as a snail
There's smiles and screams on the rollercoaster rails
So make your memories here.

Your feet complain after all the walking
The food's not great, and the prices are shocking.
But the gates are open, and the crowds are flocking
So make your memories here.





2012 - holiday parks and family photographers

Miscellaneous songs in progress

Cry the tears of a broken heart
Weep for the weight on your soul
The river of compassion starts
And flows to make you whole.

The waters reach the sea of peace
And the guilt is washed away
The worries and the panics cease
As your new life kneels to stay.

You know I miss you, I really care
There's nowhere I can go but to you.
Won't forget you, and if I do,
I'll still remember how your smile made the sun shine on me
And now I see it's your face - your face I can't replace,
And I'll miss you, I'll miss you.

Step outside your stereotypes,
Slip into your dreams.
Who knows what it's like outside?
Who knows what it means?

You say you hear, but do you really understand?
Open your ears, lift up your head, reach out your hands.
Don't let suspicion hold you back, open your mind.
Turn round look forward now and leave the past behind.

You're sure that you're pure, that you can make it through.
Don't know what you're feeling, but you know that it's true.

We're climbing up this hill of rock,
The path is steep, so far to the top.
But when we reach the highest cairn,
the beauty of the glen is there.

Our kisses bring us together,
Caresses join our hearts,
When two lovers live in love
Nothing else can tear us apart.

I had nothing, you had it all
I was desperate, nowhere to fall.

You were smiling, looked in my eyes
You were honest, didn't pass by.

You spoke to me, heard what I said.

It used to be that I knew the truth,
now I'm not so sure.
You could call it foolish youth,
but at least our hearts were pure.

Now I'm older, should be wiser,
there's one thing still worrying me:
Even though I'm not so sure now,
people seem to think I should be.

Grace and Mercy

Grace has gone, she left today
When nobody was looking she just slipped away.

Grace has gone, without a sound,
Nobody was listening, now she's not around.

If you see Grace, tell her from me
That we miss her much more than she would believe.

Grace has gone, so has her sister:
Mercy went too, and nobody missed her.

Mercy has gone, we miss her so,
Still can't believe that she had to go.

Grace has gone, I know that she
will come back here to comfort me.

2015

First World Problems

She tells me that her friends have got "first world problems"
Well, that's the first time I've heard about those.
Seems to me that first world problems
Aren't really problems like the rest of the world knows.

The wi-fi signal is painfully slow,
My phone just died and my "likes" are low.

My hashtag's mis-interpreted,

2015

All O'er the World

I've worn a shirt and tie in Shanghai, in Dubai and in Mumbai.
The southern coast of Norway and several states of the USA.

I've been all o'er the world, but where I love to be
Is here with you, with me.

I've been a hi-tech, low-budget wild rover
Who flies the skies the world over
From the concrete of Houston
To a farmyard in Hannover.

Oh the Indian Ocean is so sweet,
And those small towns in the south of France are hard to beat.
But you're the one who sweeps me off my feet.

I've walked the streets of Norfolk and New Orleans,
Met the greatest people I'd ever seen,
Here and now is the best place that I've been.

Hopped aboard a speedboat on the Dutch coast
Rode the fastest train in China but I can't boast.
Here in your arms is where I love the most.

Nearly melted in the Abu-Dhabi midday sun,
Couldn't believe the Texas foodstore selling guns.
Seen so many but I still know that you're the one.

May 2016

Selfish

I'm selfish, I want you to know that I'm selfish.
I care about my stuff, but no-one else's.
All I can think about is what I am thinking, and it's all about me!

I'm careless, I think you should know that I'm careless.
I don't even care if you could care less.
All that I care about is just what I care about: it's all about me!

You'll hear me complain that things are not fair,
But I won't do a thing cos I just don't care!

I'm selfish, you've probably discovered I'm selfish.
Under the covers I'm useless.
I've fallen to pieces, please can you help me to get back together?

Lately I've tried to swallow my pride,
And it doesn't taste quite as bad as you'd think.
Lately I've tried to change from inside,
It's enough to drive you to drink!

June 2016

Bonnie Dundee

Climb the Law on a sunny day and tell me what can you see?
From Strathmartine to the Tay: Bonnie Dundee.

At the back Cox's stack and Lochee,
To the east, Broughty Castle and the sea.
To the south, is the mouth of the river,
The road bridge and the high girders.

Climb the Law on a sunny day and tell me what can you see?
From Mid Craigie to the Tay: Bonnie Dundee.

2015/2016