Archive for the 'About the Songs' Category

Wings For You – about the song

WINGS FOR YOU

A few years ago a close friend of mine took his life and as much as I think it a waste I understood why he did it. Unlike most of us he started life the hard way thanks to his dad who was a sadistic, wasteful bastard. He blew the family fortune, lost priceless heirlooms and tried to justify his failures by looking for salvation in the bottom of a bottle.
When that didn’t work he started to take the anger he truly felt at himself, out on his wife and children. They all suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse from this person who had they had given their love to.
I could only imagine what it would be like as a youngster to have your father come into your bedroom at night with a shotgun that he laid against your head as you pretended to sleep, blaming you for his failures in life.

On top of having a father like that, my friend and his brother who was also a good friend, suffered from a rare genetic anomaly that caused horrible, terribly painful ulcers to develop around their ankles, because of certain valves that were missing it meant the blood was not able to be pumped back up the leg. I can remember seeing these terrible sores on my friend’s ankles and watching the agony it caused. One of the brothers had both his legs amputated in his adult years as a solution to the terrible constant pain, while the other tried to live with it as best he could.

When they were both old enough and big enough, they put their father in his place and the family escaped his terrifying prison of a world. With his mum, two sisters and brother, they lived as poor as church mice struggling over the years doing shitty jobs to make ends meet and trying to make their lives better, bit by bit.

One of the brothers spent some time in institutions for the insane, trying to cope with the physical, sexual and mental abuse he suffered as a child. Eventually when in his forties, he took his own life rather than suffer any more, two months later the other brother died of a heart attack and this song is for both of them.

Both brothers weren’t perfect but they were more courageous than most people I have met.
Despite all that had happened to them, they were people of genuine goodness who tried as best they knew how to be decent and loving, sometimes they succeeded and sometimes they didn’t.

They “travelled with madness and its bundle of sin down strange twisted roads where some of us have been but they travelled further past the last wooden gate into the deep where the tides will not wait”.

I think of them every so often, the seasons pass and the light of memories grow dim and I sometimes wonder what life would have been like for them had they been born into a loving, nurturing family.
I know some of the wonderous things they would have achieved.

One brother was a very intelligent scholar and the other had a true gift for painting and drawing.It was he that is my inspiration every time I pick up a pencil or a brush but I will never come close to his ability to make a painting or a drawing come to life.

The day of my friends funeral, it rained as I read out the lyrics to this song, it was the only thing I could say that meant anything as I looked at the hole in the ground in which my friends body had been laid.
The old line of “Why do the good die young” comes to mind and I wish I knew the answer. It seems unfair that evil bastards seem to get to prosper and live to an old age while those who die young have only a short time in which to do so much good.

How unfair and it seems, a waste but they had both touched my life and taught me things that have helped to make me the person I am today and for that I am very grateful.
Even though time passes and memories that once seemed so painful no longer shine as they once did, I will never forget them and so their lives have had meaning if only for me.

When I wrote this song it came together very quickly and very easily.
Even though the cause to write the song was a sad one, I found playing it a beautiful delight and never tired of playing or singing it.
When I was recording it I met someone who had spent a lot of time in India learning to sing in Indian scales. She had never sung in a western way before using the limited range that western music has nor had she sung a song like this before.
I asked if she would like to sing backing vocals on the song and I’m so glad she gave it a try, her voice is perfect for the song giving it a haunting, melancholy other world feel.
I hope the song touches you as it has some people and when your time comes, I wish there be Wings For You.

More famous than Jesus – about the song

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When I wrote More Famous Than Jesus I was thinking about John Lennon and the hoo ha that happened when he stated the obvious fact that the Beatles meant more to the people of his generation at the time than Jesus did.
Man what an example of shallow people feeling threatened by the truth as they try to hold on to the illusion of a lie.

From there I thought about how the personalities of the great masters have become more famous than that which they were trying to teach us.
So I tried to write a song about how it made me feel, the lies and twisted half-truths handed down through the centuries and how easy it can be to be seduced by the great lie. I don’t know whether other people have experienced the spin it can create in a person who is walking the path but I know that as long as I breathe I will never follow the lie.

Hitler is a perfect example of a follower and messenger of the great lie and Martin Luther King was an example to me of someone who followed the truth as best he was able to, showing great courage and conviction against seemingly impossible odds.
Although the traffickers of the great lie had him assassinated his example still lives on and inspires many who struggle daily with their path through life.

I decided to use as an example the three religions that have had the most affect on the human race throughout history, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.
I don’t know if I really succeeded in getting this message across, some people get it and some don’t but like all who try to find their way through the web of lies and deceit that litter this world I tried and I guess in the attempt I have succeeded in some way.

This song is probably the one that has the most collaboration from the various musicians that played on the album.
It was a song that developed over time as each person added their bit, slowly taking shape into what you now hear.
It is also the only song on which I played mandolin before I was forced to stop playing by the arthritis in my wrist and hand.

I love the dynamics in this song, from Jai’s bass playing to Simone’s soaring vocal to Martin Luther battling it out with Hitler and hopefully amongst it all, the lyrics I sing manage to convey the message I felt needed to be said.

So remember that it is not the messenger but the message that is most important.
It is not the lie but the truth that will set you free.

Kissing me – about the song

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At the time I wrote this song I was married and very much in love with my wife at the time.
I wanted to write a song that reflected how I felt but I didn’t want it to be some ordinary sloppy love song.
I hopped in the van and drove somewhere private with pen, paper and guitar and opened up my heart and mind and let what came out, come.
Once I knew I had something worthwhile, I returned home and played the song to my wife who began crying with tears of love and gratitude.
It is a wonderful thing when you feel the love of another kissing you.

Once more my friend Jai added his touch to the song lifting it up to heights I had not seen and giving it a unique feel I had not imagined.
This also was a song that was recorded in a short session of a few hours, seemingly coming together in a way that felt as right as the smile on my face and the happiness in my heart.
It was a session in which I recorded three songs, this being one of them, overnight so I could give them to my wife in time for her birthday.
I enjoyed the session, the accomplishment, the sunrise and her smile.

Dancing In The Garden – about the song

DANCING IN THE GARDEN

Originally this song was called “Dancing In The Garden With Elizabeth”.                                                                                                              I didn’t know an Elizabeth at the time but for some reason it seemed right to call it by that name.
I wrote the bulk of this song many years ago but never was able to finish it, I had everything else but the beginning to the song.
It wasn’t until a week before I met my ex-wife, whose name just happened to be Elizabeth, that I finally found the beginning to the song somewhere in the recesses of my musical mind.
Strange and wonderful how these things sometimes happen.

It is the only instrumental on the album and was recorded very quickly and very simply with classical guitar and accompanying keyboard/cello track courtesy of a friend called Jai.

Even though I like the simplicity of the song, I would one day like to develop it some more adding strings and things to give it some of the majesty I hear when I listen to the song.

I no longer call it “Dancing In The Garden with Elizabeth” because she is gone and I have moved on but the song keeps on dancing.

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Weaver – about the song

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This song was a strange little ditty that I wrote in one go and recorded in one session with Herrin playing the guitar lead and myself playing the keyboard and rhythm guitar.
Not many people liked it at the time compared to the other songs on the album but it just had to be included.
It is one of my favourite songs from the album simply because it says a lot about the human condition.
I have a view of life as though it was a tapestry and we create that tapestry as we weave our own unique patterns into it throughout the course of our lives.
Sometimes we weave well and other times we loose the thread amongst the confusion we sometimes feel between reality and illusion.
But most of us manage to find the thread again and keep on going until we come to the end.
The design we leave behind is our contribution to the ever unfolding process of life.

Miles From Home – about the song

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Ever felt at times you’re so far away from where you live, from what you know, who you know yourself to be and the love of the people who know you and you don’t know if you want to panic or if you should just go with the flow? You’re miles from home and feel the enveloping cloak of loneliness sitting beside you as you have another drink to distract yourself and fortify some courage to continue on, keep it all together until you get home?
Well maybe that’s what this song is about, the loneliness that sometimes sits beside you for a while as you travel the road.

Selecting three different types of people sitting in a pub along the road, the straight man, the late man and the fate man all drinking their way through their loneliness and the recurring memories of yesterdays sunsets.
Inevitably a fight breaks out between two of them and the third keeps on wondering what the hell it’s all about.

This was one song I wasn’t so sure about having on the album.
We tried different ideas to make it work including having one of the best harmonica players in Queensland having a go at the song but still it didn’t sound right.
The strange funky sounding guitar at the beginning led us on to the tinkle of the keys and the slow heavy backing voice give the song a sinking feeling that is suddenly lifted as the chorus of realisation sets in about the situation.
The slide guitar gives the song a slight country feel that if I ever heard it on a country radio would make me wonder if the radio station had accidentally changed from country to something else.
I’m still unsure about this song and would be interested in what you think.

Some People – about the song

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Some People is one of those songs that turned into a gargantuan beast filling nearly every track we had on the mixer and then some.
It’s a funky beast that although sweet as sugar in parts, has a message that is quite biting and confronting.

I love the sound Herrin has on his guitar parts and the “Funky Love Horns” do their thing again.

The end of the song has a message that sums it all up rather nicely.

We’re all much the same as the other when it comes to Love and what we do with it.

Some people give up before they start, some people fake it, some people hide it and some people can no longer feel it. Others create it and others deny it, some are frightened by it and a lot can’t seem to find it.
It’s easy to judge people for what they do but we have all experienced and done at least some of these things about Love.
So I guess this is a reflection for understanding and forgiveness, two things that help the world turn around.

Alan’s Song – about the song

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I once stayed with friends who owned a property that was an old commune back in the late sixties and early seventies.
It was a beautiful place up in the mountains and was filled with the work and memories of other people.
There was a big barn, a mud brick sauna, a yurt and the main farmhouse, a nice lush place expressing the talents and tastes of people long past.
Not far from it was a huge waterfall that cascaded down into the tropical valley below.

I was shown an old diary found on the property that had belonged to a lady called Barbara who had once lived on the commune.
In it she talked about her travels though Asia and Arabia.
There were beautiful sketches and drawings woven throughout the book of clothing and jewelery, buildings and people she had seen, there were also thoughts and poems.
One of these poems was for someone called Alan and it fitted perfectly to a bunch of chords I was playing around with at the time.
I found some of the imagery in the poem quite beautiful.

I just knew that Wendy, a friend who played piano would be perfect for this song and some other songs on the album, I’m so glad I was right.

The violin track was actually an earlier piano track Wendy had laid down that I turned into a violin through the wonders of technology. After many hours editing it finally sounded just what I’d imagined it would sound like if a real violin player had played the part.

Even though I didn’t write the lyrics to this song, I’m glad to have recorded it and given it a life it would other wise have never had.

I’d like to thank you Barbara wherever you are and I hope you like what I’ve done with your poem.

Myself To Me – about the song

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It’s a simple, short and to the point song that I felt needed to be on the album because apart from what it had to say, it was also something that was a bit of a counter balance to the songs that have more production on them.                       Apart from my doubled up vocals it’s bare to the bone.

This song is really about telling other people to *@#* off and stop playing head games.
I didn’t want their games or their lies and I didn’t need their Love, I just wanted to, find out who I was amongst it all.
Somewhere along the way I had lost myself and just wanted to thrash away all the bullshit that I had surrounded myself with, I just had to stop lying to myself and show myself to me and somehow find a way to be O.K. with what I saw.
It’s easy to say but not easy to do, to look at all your faults, cracks and broken pieces and still feel O.K. enough about your self to want to put yourself back together again.

If you want to be genuine about who you are then it’s what you’ve got to be with yourself ~ genuine.

Sometimes being a musician can be good therapy to help with the complexities we encounter in life and it’s cheaper than talking to a psychotherapist.

Painted My Lover – about the song

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I wrote the lyrics to Painted My Lover after I saw a crazy painting by some crazy artist whose name I unfortunately can’t remember and it drives me crazy not being able to remember who it is.

This song is about being in perfect Love where nothing else could ever compare to the feeling of everything being so right there in the moment. The gentleness, the grace, the everything.

The place where everything just comes together, as it should, in the right way.
Falling in love changes our reality in such a profound way as our beings mix with the heady scent of romance that lightens our spirits and carries us off.

It’s a Love that if it ended tomorrow or the next minute, it wouldn’t matter.

The fact that it was at all is what’s important.

I love the slow waltz to this song and always feel like getting up and dancing to it.

Painted My Lover was the first time I had ever composed a song with strings in mind, the orchestration is something I’m really proud of and with the help of my good friend Herrin we managed to make something quite beautiful.

Herrin’s soft lead guitar dances beautifully with the strings and his piano playing adds a nice touch to the romantic feeling of the song.