Dig Beneath the Dust

Dig Beneath the Dust    5.45

Climbing on a train for a trip to the seaside

New trunks, no bucket and spade

Promised myself to learn to swim this summer

Confidence starting to fade

It’s hard to learn to swim, a mouthful of sea, making me choke

But when you throw away the armbands you feel stronger

Growing up with every stroke

Dig beneath the dust, beneath the dust, beneath the dust

The past is never dead. It’s only sleeping

Dig beneath the dust, then tuck it into bed

 

Walking up to Sunninghill on Saturday morning

For library books and lardy cake

Mother traded green shield stamps for roller skates

I learned the hard way how to brake

You learn to ride a bike by falling off so many times

But it’s worth it in the end when you can do it

Without a friend holding on

Dig beneath the dust, beneath the dust, beneath the dust

The past is never dead. It’s only sleeping

Dig beneath the dust, then tuck it into bed

 

Every time you wake a memory, it changes

Picking over the details rearranges everything

 

Walking up to school each day, a different adventure

Scuffing my new shoes on the way

Creeping past the wolf hound snarling at the gate

They said he only, wants to play

A rocket to the moon, on the TV, in black and while

I thought they must be cold up there

I watched the moon, every night.

Dig beneath the dust, beneath the dust, beneath the dust

The past is never dead It’s only sleeping

Dig beneath the dust, then tuck it into bed

 

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Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill    5.45

Couple eating cupcakes in the morning light

They only met last night but still he knows

This man is different

It’s springtime, on Primrose Hill

 

Looking over London you can see the BT tower

Looking over London the misty sky climbs away,

Climbs away, climbs away

 

Couple lying on the grass in the afternoon sun

Watching the city having fun, sharing wine

Sharing time

It’s Summer time, on Primrose Hill

 

Couple watching fireworks on a cold dark night

He says Guy Fawkes was right, the city glows

Sulphur in the air

It’s autumn, on Primrose Hill

 

Couple walks a dog in the morning snow

London sparkles below, it’s almost a year

Since they first met here

It’s winter, on Primrose Hill

 

 

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Orange

I’m making a set of mini CDs with my songs on them and giving them out when I play live. Each CD contains at least two songs and there will be six of them. Red,Orange,Yellow,Green,Blue and Purple. The CDs are called the Rainbow sessions (Indigo and Violet are combined to make the purple CD).

I chose this format as it is easy to stick in the pocket and it’s more fun for me putting out a couple of songs at a time rather than waiting until I have recorded a dozen or so. It’s also a bit of a treasure hunt to see if you can get a set. You should only play it in a drawer loading CD player. If you don’t have one then you can listen to the tracks on You Tube below.

The Orange CD contains 1. Jetpacks, Monorails and Rayguns and 2. Space Dogs . Yellow will be out soon.

If you want to find out what I am up to then follow me on Twitter @nickHaynesmusic or Facebook NickHaynesMusic. See you soon.

 

 

1. Jetpacks, Monorails and Rayguns

2. Space Dogs

Red

I’m making a set of mini CDs with my songs on them and giving them out when I play live. Each CD contains at least two songs and there will be six of them. Red,Orange,Yellow,Green,Blue and Purple. The CDs are called the Rainbow sessions  (Indigo and Violet are combined to make the purple CD).

I chose this format as it is easy to stick in the pocket and it’s more fun for me putting out a couple of songs at a time rather than waiting until I have recorded a dozen or so. It’s also a bit of a treasure hunt to see if you can get a set. You should only play it in a drawer loading CD player. If you don’t have one then you can listen to the tracks on You Tube below.

The Red CD contains 1. Club59 and 2. Coffee Monster.  Orange will be out soon.

If you want to find out what I am up to then follow me on Twitter @nickHaynesmusic or  Facebook  NickHaynesMusic. See you soon.

 

 

1. Club59

2. Coffee Monster

“Best Year Yet.” How the song came together.

I started writing this blog because I want to get good at song writing. Part of that process is understanding how other people go about writing songs. The problem is that most people who have got good at writing songs, particularly those who make a living doing so, don’t talk about it. I also suspect that those who do, don’t want to give all the dark details about how the song evolved, just a glossy version.

I decided I would write a “warts and all” description of how I write songs in the hope that it will help others who, like me, are still learning. Here is a description of how I wrote “Best Year yet”.

I was listening to a news program and the politicians were talking about the “Great Austerity” in the UK. The phrase had echoes of “The Great Depression” in the 1920s and I wanted to write a song about it. I collected together Ideas and wrote a song focused on how bad things are at the moment. It had the following chorus and was generally rather downbeat.

G
It’s called austerity
A
the great austerity
D
put your life on hold
C
The future was sold
Am               D
The bright tomorrow’s been delayed.

I liked parts of the song but the whole thing was just all doom and gloom so I filed it away.

Sometime later I read Carole King’s Autobiography and one of the reasons she wrote so much is that she was always trying to write a follow up hit when she was working in the Brill building. It was a good way to get very focused.

It gave me an idea for an exercise. I have no idea what has been a hit over the past year as I generally take little interest in the charts but I thought it would be interesting to choose a number one single from the last year and try to write a follow up hit. I listened to a few and in the process I realised that a lot of the choruses used a lot of repetition and a single memorable phrase. There is a good book called “Best Year Yet” around the idea of New Years Resolutions so I chose that and wrote the following chorus.

A                     D
Gona be the best year yet
E
best year yet
D
best year
A                     D
Gona be the best year yet
E
best year yet
A
Gona be the best

I then added it to the verses of “Great Austerity” and thought it balanced the downbeat words with a more positive feel. This is a live demo that I did of it.

I tried it out a few times and thought the song worked well but I had some feedback on the recording from a guy that I respect a lot. He was a little harsh but I think he was right. He said that the recording needed a lot of work and that the chorus repeated a bit too much. So I simplified the chorus and rerecorded with a bass part and two guitars.

G                     C
Gona be the best year yet
D
best year yet
G
Gona be the best

This is the final version.

I’ll be interested in any feedback and would love to hear how your songs developed. That is one of the main reasons I am writing this.

It starts at 3.45 in the video.

If I Didn’t Love You So Much

I wrote this with the feeling of a 1930s smoky club, possibly with a jazz band. I heard the sound of the song in my head before the song came together. I then worked on building the chords to give it a bit more punch. Someone commented “Yves Montand is alive and well and living in Southampton!” after hearing it, so I think the feel of the song worked out.

I’ve performed this with James from “Notice To The Builder” playing some excellent piano. I’ll be recoding a piano version with James early next year as he does a great job on it.

UPDATE: At last I have a recording with James on the Piano.

Bricks Venues closing down.

“Every good venue that closes down rips another piece from the heart of the town. A city is more than fancy flats, generic stores and chains of coffee shops.”

Most of my favorite music started in small venues run by passionate people. Many of those are now begin closed to make way for other things. This is a song about how sad it makes me feel that these great places are closing.

I’m planning to put together a You Tube video with some names of places that have closed and others that are under threat.

Some of the places where I had a great time and have now been “redeveloped” include “The Nags Head, High Wycombe” and “The Marquee club, Wardour Street, London”

There are other great places that are still going but have had a few wobbles over the years like “the Joiners, Southampton”, “Talkign Heads, Southampton” and “the Adelphi Club, Hull”

Any suggestions for great venues that have closed and others you will miss if they do.

I know you get asked to sign a lot of petitions but sometimes it helps to get things moving.
Under the Agent of Change principle, an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue would have to pay for soundproofing, while a live music venue opening in a residential area would be responsible for the costs.
Sounds fair to me.
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Bed and Breakfast

The song began with the title. I thought that bed and breakfast could refer to many things. Initially I was thinking of one night stands. It changed when I was watching a couple in Paris. It was clear that they were together, but to seemed to be invisible to each other. So used to each other that they no longer noticed one another. The phone held his attention in a way that she couldn’t.
The lyrics came together when I remembered the film Shirley Valentine and how she left him to go on holiday.

I wrote the tune at a piano. I liked it but as it changed key a few times in the verse it was difficult to sing with conviction.  Dm Am , Gm Eb, Bb, F Ab Eb F

I tried it at an open mic but I didn’t think the verse was right. The Chorus and the bridge had a nice open feel the I wanted to keep in the verse. I rewrote it to stay in the same key.
Dm Am ,C G, Dm Am , F E  on the second verse it ends on F G A6 to lead to the D in the Chorus.

It’s strange that the first time I rewrite a verse it seems very strange but after playing it a few times it seems it was always that way.