Recently rediscovered version with some slide overdubbed.



Acoustic version recorded for Ian Semple’s show on Coast FM, but not actually used on that occasion.



And an old electric version.



Words & Music by David Harley, copyright 1987

I’ve got a woman on the Southside
Two more above the timberline
But it’s you, you, you
In my heart and on my mind

I followed you across the city
Anywhere your footprints led
But I just can’t stand to think of you
In that other man’s bed

I’m going across the river
To some bar where the lights don’t burn too bright
I might need you so bad right now
But I won’t even know your name by midnight

I’m leaving soon one morning
For any place my footsteps fall
If I can’t pay the fare
I’ll walk till I have to crawl

Carpenter Street [demo]

Words & music (c) David Harley

Sometime in 2014 I suddenly remembered this song from the early 70s and put down a basic track, then got excited and put in some sketchy harmonies and a bit of lead. So it has some decent ideas but very hasty execution. Obviously I intended to come back to it but forgot all about it until I took advantage of temporary (I hope) joint issues to do some housekeeping on my music blogs. I hope to get back to this one Real Soon Now and clean up the harmonies, but in the meantime here’s a version lightly remastered to bring up the volume. Which you may think is a mistake. 😉


It’s my beat
if I care to shuffle my feet
I don’t need saving
from Carpenter Street

I think I’ll throw a party
Asking all my friends
Turn on the lights and music
I’ll be leaving then

It’s my beat
if I care to shuffle my feet
I don’t need saving
from Carpenter Street

Damn you girl
You did your worst for me
Then swept away
On a wave of ESP

Sometimes I tell myself
You didn’t hurt so much
But still that irony
Is such a slender crutch

Paper constellations
Still have words to say
But really nothing changes
Since you went away

I have wings of silver
I have eyes of glass
You could have flown with me
All you had to do was a

Hands of the Craftsman

Words & music (c) David Harley


Minutes ago as God measures time
Something manlike emerged from the primeval slime:
Ever since, Mother Nature has been on the run
From a hand with four fingers and opposable thumb.
That hand learned to grip, then it learned to shape
Flint into a weapon, then a tool to shape,
To build and to kill, and around then it learned
To strike sparks to bring fire and lighten man’s world.

Continue reading “Hands of the Craftsman”

Adventures in Video – On Bredon

I haven’t been doing live videos lately, for a couple of reasons, but there seems to be a backlog of things I’ve put on YouTube, but haven’t told anyone about…

This is Bredon Hill (Housman-Harley) – one of my settings from A Shropshire Lad.

Audio capture mastered to raise the volume:


In summertime on Bredon
The bells they sound so clear;
Round both the shires they ring them
In steeples far and near,
A happy noise to hear.

Here of a Sunday morning
My love and I would lie,
And see the coloured counties,
And hear the larks so high
About us in the sky.

The bells would ring to call her
In valleys miles away:
“Come all to church, good people;
Good people, come and pray.”
But here my love would stay.

And I would turn and answer
Among the springing thyme,
“Oh, peal upon our wedding,
And we will hear the chime,
And come to church in time.”

But when the snows at Christmas
On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early
And stole out unbeknown
And went to church alone.

They tolled the one bell only,
Groom there was none to see,
The mourners followed after,
And so to church went she,
And would not wait for me.

The bells they sound on Bredon
And still the steeples hum.
“Come all to church, good people,”–
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb;
I hear you, I will come.

David Harley

For Sarah (The Wheel) – demo

Words & music (c) David Harley

This has been a set of words with a somewhat nebulous tune for quite a few years, but today it insisted on getting some attention. I think this is essentially the finished shape, though I’m certainly going to have to practise it before I sing it in public. Anyway…



And a slightly different take (still rough…)



For Sarah (Harley)

Sleep on
Sleep sound
The world will turn without you

Sleep on
Sleep sound
Peaceful dreams will find you

Some distant morning
Your innocence
Will brighten

Better days
For someone stronger

The wheel will turn again
And you’ll come home

David Harley

Changes [demo]

Backup copy:


Words & Music © David Harley 1974

Something’s changed
Could be me, could be you
You used to say you loved me
Now I wonder was that true?
That moving out and moving on look
Hangs heavy in your eyes…

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
Wonder what became of me and you?
Changes in the wind

There was a time
When nothing kept us apart
But something’s going down
In both our hearts
I lie awake half the night when you’re not there
Wondering who you’re with and where

One more Scotch
One more cigarette
Drinking alone
Remembering too much to forget
Missing you even when you’re in the room
Knowing you won’t be, soon

David Harley

Cornish Ghosts revisited

Now with added video:

Words & music (c) David Harley.

A song which has been nagging at me for several years, since we first knew that we were moving to the area (though it actually took a year for everything to go through). But then, it took even longer to finish the song.

And yes, I’ve just noticed that I sing ‘Trecobben’, not ‘Trecrobben’ in the song/video: both spellings seem to have been used.

Close to where I stand on Trecrobben
Pilgrims walk St. Michael’s Way
Few today reach Santiago
Most will cease their journey at the Bay
The Mount is rising from the distant water
Yet barely seems an arm’s length away

Causley on the road to Marazion
Dreamed of one last summer in the Med
Sheets are dancing Morris in the wind
A buzzard slowly circles overhead
Engine houses march along the skyline
A sea fret daubs the coast in brown and red

Beyond the darkening horizons
Beyond the hills to the West
Beyond Pendeen and Cape Cornwall
The Longships founder off Lands End
Sea nymphs and mermaids pluck the heartstrings
But the bells no longer ring in Lyonesse

Around me march the ghosts of long-dead armies
Recalled among these ancient stones
The engine house beyond the farm
Still offers shelter to the crows
I watch the sun sink slowly to the West
Back into the sea from whence it rose


Trecrobben is an alternative name for Trencrom Hill and the giant who is supposed to have lived there and passed the time by throwing stones at his counterpart Cormoran on St. Michael’s Mount, which can clearly be seen from the top of the hill (weather permitting).

The St. Michael’s Way is part of the network of pilgrim’s paths that converge on the pilgrim route that leads to St. James Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. It’s believed that pilgrims and missionaries from Wales and Ireland would land at Lelant and walk overland to Marazion rather than risk sailing/rowing around Lands End.

The second verse refers to Charles Causley’s ‘The Seasons In North Cornwall’ where he talks of meeting ‘Old Summer’ on the road to Marazion.

Living around Trencrom, we’ve had lots of time to observe that the horizon is often obscured by low-lying red-brown cloud, especially when pollution levels are high.

The Longships are a series of islets a mile or so off Lands End, known for the lighthouse on Carn Bras. In Arthurian legend, the kingdom of Lyonesse was said to have bordered Cornwall but to have sunk beneath the waves between Lands End and the Scillies. Walter de la Mere’s ‘Sunk Lyonesse’ refers to Nereids playing lyres in “sea-cold Lyonesse”, while the Mermaid of Zennor has her own place in Penwith mythology.

There is a plaque on the Iron Age fort at the top of Trencrom that reads:

“This property was presented to the National Trust by Lt Col C L Tyringham, of Trevethoe in March 1946 & at his wish is to be regarded as a memorial to the men and women of Cornwall, who gave their lives in the service of their country during the two world wars. 1914 – 1918, 1939 – 1945”

There are a good many engine houses in the area, but the one beyond Trencrom Farm is the one variously known as Wheal Alice and Wheal Foxes, part of the former Trencrom Mine.

David Harley