(9 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

My songs tend to be serious. They also tend to come lyric first. The ones with a little lift seem to come chords first with the emphasis on an interesting rythm.

I find that the way the ideas come is so unpredictable that sitting down to write in a particular way does produce interesting songs, but rarely in the direction I intended. The one time it did work was trying to write a lullaby!

I tend to start with a single line, or an idea with a twist. I have loads of pieces of paper torn off  envelopes or magazines with lines scrawled across them. Still, everyone's different.


(2 replies, posted in Recording)

Cheers Ark, must've been looking too hard !


(14 replies, posted in Songwriting)

"Stransongs this is a wiki replication of lycanthropy are you saying were lyrical werewolves "

If the hairshirt fits . . . !!!


(2 replies, posted in Recording)

How do I get a click track on Audacity ?


(4 replies, posted in Poems)

"Rose Coloured Glasses"

Round Lennon-like ones !

I was shocked that they were estimating 23,000 additional deaths from swine flu in the UK. Then some doctor said that the last time we had a flu epidemic (1998 ?!!!!) there were some 21,00 additional deaths.


(14 replies, posted in Poems)

Thanks everyone.

I suppose I was raised with two generations we had to look up to with a terrible veneration.

Firstly there were the men who had fought in the first war. They were tough, sullen. Their conversation was more like a string of confidences. All of them seemed to feel they had been let down and had had to depend on their mates to get through. They had a pretty jaundiced view of kings and princes.

Second were the guys from the second war, not much older than my parents. They were more ready to talk. They felt they had fought for something pure, something that would unite people.
The exception was one relative who had been a japanese POW. He had had his fingernails pulled out for stealing rice. Some doctor cut his fingertips off when they went gangrenous. Understandably, he kept a flame of bitterness burning. He only talked about it at the end - talked about how the POWs grew rice and other vegetables.


(14 replies, posted in Songwriting)

"I've noticed Ark you and myself seem to compose songs around the same time must be a lunar cycle"

Some kind of lyrical lycanthropy ?


(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Lot of energy in the writing - love the chorus, particularly "Echoes of another town callin' out my name."

Interestingly, or otherwise, I just started a new one this morning called "I Stopped Runnin' "

One verse goes

Used to dodge and weave
Left it all behind
Never took a second look
Never let it cross my mind.
Spent more time shoring up
Boundaries in my brain
Than smelling the coffee
And rememberin' names


(4 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Check this out with your audiologist. Don't leave it to chance. Tinnitis in younger people is most often caused by noise - and a lot of it. To be honest, walking through a city centre or even being in a lively restaurant can produce a lot more noise than your guitar. But everyone is different - check it out.

You can also play in front of a curtain that will soak up a lot of the ambient sound. My hearing difficulty is the other way around - I have to have things turned up.


(22 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

The longest I've gone without a guitar lately is a week - I was shakin'.


(15 replies, posted in Poems)

You shoot your audience ?!



(46 replies, posted in Bands and artists)

From just around the corner - Stiff Little Fingers, the Undertones,  and no-one seems to have mentioned "Therapy?"

If you are googling Therapy? keep the "?" in place - it's part of the name.


(14 replies, posted in Poems)

Harry Patch, the last soldier in the UK to serve in the trenches in WW1 died yesterday. He's no relation, but his passing made me think.

I remember get-togethers with the family back in the sixties when men who had fought in the war used to break out the tobacco and puff their way through tears for fallen friends. I was the oldest male child - all of 4 or 5, and I got plonked on a chair in the middle of them.

Officers and Men.

You were hittin' sixty
I was hittin' four
When you told me the stories
of the mates who went before.

Five thousand four hundred,
Yes, and eighty two
Friends fell in Picardy
Who'd marched there beside you.
They call them "Officers and Men."
but you just called them friends.

Now kids don't understand,
Even then I think you knew,
That I'd forget the names,
Forget the places too.

It's only now that you are gone
I piece it all together
From other peoples words,
Though it's you I remember.

At the battle on the Ancre
When you crossed as best you could
The stumps and blasted shell holes
That made up Thiepval Wood.

You made it through the chaos,
The screaming and the pain.
The Germans turned you back,
And you got sent right in again.

In the end they say your memory
Was as faded as fatigues
But you knew the names and places
Till the hour you were relieved.


(15 replies, posted in Poems)

"Fictitious means it was made up from imagination, not from an actual experience."

I have just reported this to the Oxford English Dictionary. It has been accepted as the first proof of irony in the USA !

As finders fee I get a free ticket to Disneyland.


(8 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Hey Phil - thanks for the return of the Pale Horseman.

"Leaving" is damn complex - don't know how you can remember it. Have you been playing it since 1975 ?


(14 replies, posted in Songwriting)

That's a kickin', funky little song there, Russell.


(6 replies, posted in Poems)

And the next version is . . .

There's a Long, Black Cloud on the Horizon.

There's a long black cloud
On the horizon
And it's a long black car
That we're drivin'
And it's a  long, love story
I'm rememberin'
Of you and me
In the summer rain

The weather seems to mock me
As we drive along the road.
Not sure I can face
This first night alone.
Waitin' for the storm to break
Rememberin' the love we made.

'Cos I held you while you trembled
And the hard rain soaked us through
Two hearts shivered in the cold.
It's then I knew I could love you.
And years fell like sand in a glass,
Till finally this had to come to pass.

Now the thunder has returned
Rain's cascadin' like the sea
But even the jagged lightning
Won't bring you back to me.
Can't go back to the start,
Love's broken, like my heart.

The last weeks have been a trial
There was nothing we could do
Just talk and remember
The living, loving you.
Girl, I wish I was bringin' you home,
But I'll be goin' home alone.


(22 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

imagine the conversation;
" who did he say was playing?"
"i dunno, elvers priestly or something"

Yep, my father was in the ABC Cinema (I think it was) when the Beatles played Belfast in the early 60's. He was a policeman. He said you couldn't hear anything above the screaming. He also claimed not to have known who they were, ( which I always found difficult to believe). He was more a Jim Reeves guy.


(10 replies, posted in Acoustic)


Lucky you my 40th is much further away - and in the wrong direction !!


(15 replies, posted in Acoustic)

You can also start with a 4 string version of F ( XX3211), before you graduate to the full barre. It means you can play tunes with an f and still practice the full barre.


(27 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Well Cameronl7,

Did ya sort it ?

Bob Dylan, "Blowin; in the Wind" - The Co-operative society. This is a cracker.


"When the benefits are passed around, it's good for everyone'"


(7 replies, posted in Acoustic)

If the guitar is already "tinny", you may regret replacing with bone as this in itself tends to "brighten" the sound. I would have suggested changing the pins - going wood, rather than plastic or tusq. Still, you've made your decision.

Have you given the guitar time to settle in  ?


(12 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Yes, one complaint. I regularly return to Pale Rider {?} - and it's gone. When's the CD coming out ?


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Just another love song.

I play the following diferently from the chords shown. They're much simpler.
C6    002010
E7     020100
Fmaj7 003210

I love taking chord shapes and moving them across the fret  board, rather than just up and down - something I learnt from playing the mandolin. Think Am - E.

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