Long Cigarettes, Cheap Red Wine

This is a very old song (early 1970s) I keep revisiting. Old in years, but perhaps not in terms of maturity. This time I went back to it because Ian Semple played a version on his radio show on Coast FM (thanks, Ian!) that I’d not only forgotten I’d cut, but also couldn’t find on my laptop. This version has a slightly trimmed version of the lengthy instrumental (much more recent) with which it starts, and a different take on the actual song. It’s essentially the same track that I used on the Ten Percent Blues album, only I didn’t use the instrumental for that album.

Backup version:

Unusually for me, the guitar is in open G (which I did use a lot more in those days, but mostly for slide). I think I originally wrote it on banjo, which might explain a lot.  The instrumental might reappear on a poetry/music project.

You sing your songs, the stage is bare
There isn’t anyone out there
Sometimes it almost seems that way
And I run out of songs to play

Forget the muzak and the beer
The open mouths, the grudging cheers

There isn’t any better way
To freeload your life away

Back in 1969
I lost someone I thought was mine
That’s the price I had to pay
When I ran out of songs to play

Goodbye, old friend, I have to leave
To prove to myself that I’m still free
I’ll see you in a year or so
And buy the round you say I owe

The long cigarettes, the cheap red wine
The melodies you say are mine
If you find somewhere to be
I hope you’ll save a place for me

David Harley

Author: David Harley

Musician/singer/songwriter; independent author/editor

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