It has arrived and I am checking it through, it sounds good but scary- I have not recorded songs so simply ever before. There's lots of fret buzz, a few duff notes, an occasional gasped lyric, but the idea was to record simply and spontaneously. Sean at the The Cluny Studios in Byker (Newcastle upon Tyne) was the engineer, Martin was the producer and I was the singer/songwriter. Genre? Pop baroque? Who knows!
1. Three Maple Men: written for the Ramble My Rose Song Circle, as a response to the word 'memento'.
My three maple sugar men are white with age; I've had them since I was 14 when I went to New England with my American grandmother and saw the state of Vermont through her kindly and rose-tinted spectacles.
2. The Song of the Unsung Heroine: another song circle song. We were supposed to be writing about a heroine. I think unfamous people are the real heroes, especially the artistic ones, so I wrote this. It is dedicated to everyone who makes art, music, poetry, crafts, whatever, for the love of it. There's a live video made by Gina Birch on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xus1v27VZL0
3. Two Little Girls and Me: another song circle song. All four of us have odd relationships with our mums, and this was written to describe the moment of birth and the feeling I had of bring part of a chain of life, all the way back to... where?
4. Gotta Have a Heart: inspired by working by someone who pulled out of doing something kind on point of principle. Kindness has to come from the heart as much as from duty.
5. She Will Fly: I am going to make an animated film for this track. There was an aeroplane made of Nottingham lace in the 1940s. So many artists and musicians seem to have been mocked by their school contemporaries who disliked anyone 'different', and this is a celebration of 'different' people, whether their differences are physical, mental, spiritual, or whatever.
6. The Song of the Landsman's Soul: dedicated to my late father, McDad a.k.a. Robert Ian McCallum, the planter and gardener, and Doctor of Industrial Medicine. At work he cared for sick people, at home he cared for his family and in the garden, he cared for the plants.
7. Daisies: the song circle word was 'summer'. I thought about the terrorism of weeds and decided to write a song to cheer myself up. It worked.
8. The House on the Hill: lots to show, but nothing inside. Another song circle song, this time inspired by the word 'buildings'.
9. On New Year's Eve: I got the tube to a gig on New Year's Eve. Everyone was wildly excited, but not very happy, I thought.
10. Little England: this is a true story for lots of people, I have found.
Anyway if you fancy a copy, look to your right and you will find a Paypal button! For anyone without Paypal, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you how to get hold of a copy.