From 2012 to 2019 I had a major songwriting phase penning and recording over 70 songs and instrumentals, most of which you can find on my YouTube channel. This culminated in writing the Extinction Rebellion anthem ‘We’re Standing Here’ which was recorded by a pop-up choir thanks to choirmaster Helen Yeomans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGZzk3yx2gQ
Here’s some of my songs on YouTube:
‘Climate justice now’ derived from chant (aka People gonna rise like the water) I learned on Waterloo Bridge on the first day of the International Rebellion instigated by Extinction Rebellion (XR). I wrote three verses to go with it whilst I was being held in Walworth Police Station. Climate Justice Now – lyrics
‘Lucky like me’ is a gentle ballad that spans three generations of our family in a few minutes:
‘Kiss Goodbye’ is a warning to mankind concerning “The defining issue of our time, climate change” (Sir David Attenborough, 2018):
‘Benny the Fox’ is an unusual anti-hunt protest song: it’s sung in the style of a harmless/naive little tale, yet has extremely hard-hitting lyrics:
‘Causing of pain’ is a protest against the inflicting of avoidable pain:
‘Girl in Umbrete’ recalls a chance encounter with a girl we saw on the other side of the street while we were in Umbrete, a small town near Seville, in April 2017. We have no idea who she is. Jaine and I were just walking to a bar to get lunch with our good friend Inigo Fajardo and the new lady in his life Gemma Adan. I’ll let the song tell the story…
(Many thanks to Paddy Reardon for playing double bass on this recording)
‘Granada overnight’ is based on another little tune I wrote during the same visit to Spain in April 2017. The four of us stayed overnight in Granada and visited the wonderful Alhambra palaces and gardens – hence the song title and source of most of the photos in the YouTube slideshow. Our good and exceedingly tall friend Paddy Reardon added a whistle solo and also a bit of whistle on the intro and ending that he helped arrange (thanks Paddy!).
‘Come on Davy Crockett’ is about being a little kid in the 60’s in a family that didn’t have a car. That’s what my dad used to say to me when he was encouraging me to keep up with him. Why he never wanted to walk at my speed remains a mystery. It’s a situation-song rather than a story-song. The verses could be in any order and it wouldn’t really make any difference.
‘Os Cisnes’ (‘The Swans’ in Portuguese) was inspired by our visit(s) to Portugal to see our friends Inês and Normando who live near Coruche – a town east of Lisbon on the River Sorraia.
There are virtually no Mute Swans in Portugal. I wrote this instrumental and a verse inspired by the area, then just had the idea of a Portuguese Lady who imagines that swans only appear at night when everyone is asleep. Inês and her mum Piedade Roque kindly added some beautiful spoken words and Janna Bulmer (who played cello on ‘Inner peace’) kindly added a wonderful soprano part.
In 2016 our friend Susie Trezise said I she would love to hear the sound of her harp and my Portuguese guitar together, so, I wrote and recorded ‘Susie’s tune’. Susie helped with the final arrangement and writing out a score. Paddy kindly added a little low-D whistle.
‘Taken in your prime’ was inspired by the tragic death of Anne Darby but it’s not about Anne. It’s simply an expression of early-stage bereavement.
‘Peter’s Dream’ is an instrumental containing two little songs, one from the point of view of Peter’s young wife and one about their little boy:
Here’s a song I published on YouTube in November 2015 with harp and vocal harmony by the lovely Susie Trezise (of Harpingmad) and graphics by Frances Jaine:
‘Endangered’ was covered by fab folk duo Baron Brady in 2017:
‘Inner peace’ is about a deep, almost obsessive, love of music:
This one is dedicated to my Flight Instructor Pete Cummings:
If you like Ana’s voice, you will probably love this!
When used to I go out playing, the song I was most often asked to play was this one…
To hear more of my songs please visit my YouTube channel.
With Jaine’s help, we’ve produced three Owly Dave CDs and a Whistling Paddy & Owly Dave CD. To see the Track Lists and order one please click here