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.
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
Could this be a whole new career in recording radio jingles? Probably not. But having been challenged on air by Ian Semple to write one for his Saturday lunchtime show on Coast FM, this is what I came up with. I think I must have been listening to the Watersons that morning. 🙂
Astonishingly, for someone who is one of the slowest songwriters in the world, I put it together in an hour or so. (Not counting the time spent asking myself why on earth I thought I could do this!)
I wasn’t at home to hear its debut in a show that also included jingles by several other people associated with the open mic scene around St. Ives, unfortunately, but here’s an MP3 version of the original.
Back in January Craig interviewed me for WKS, and included three of my songs (so hopefully it’s not a complete waste of half an hour). This is actually the last WKS podcast for a while, as he’s moving over to Coast FM.
In a post on the WKS Facebook page, he wrote: “Hi I’m compiling a list of local bands and artists that play original songs and would like to get involved in the Coast FM Radio show, 3 or 4 songs and chat about your music. Live on Saturdays 12:00 till 13:00. Please message me on here. Cheers.”
Ian Semple, tireless promoter of local music here in Cornwall, has now started to put up recordings of his past shows featuring interviews and music, mainly from local musicians I think, on Mixcloud. Unfortunately for the discriminating ear, one of the people featured is me, but the others I’ve listened to are well worth your time and attention.
While I’m not about to pursue a career as a DJ, I think I might start putting up the occasional podcast-y thing there myself. We shall see…