Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Ships That Won't Go Down (music)


It's been some time since I posted something to this blog. There has been a distinct lack of poetry - as poetry - from my brain/hand recently. This isn't to say I've been idle. My words have been created with a view to adding music - so they are lyrics, even though they tend to adopt a standard meter.

Being a member of the Lytham St Annes Shanty Crew, I've been writing the occasional song to add to our repertoire. I've been writing words and music, arranging sea shanties, and in January I was particularly active.

Having discovered a website of public domain poems, I've started trawling through the many hundreds of poems looking for nautical ones that have a rhythm that begs for me to write some music.

One of these was a poem of "The Ships That Won't Go Down" by Australian poet Henry Lawson. The free program MuseScore 2 was handy to create the manuscript, and after a little practice I was happy enough to create a multi-track recording that I could present as a demo to the crew.

Today I created a SoundCloud account and uploaded the demo.

So here's a link - just to show I truly am doing some writing!

https://soundcloud.com/user-108871411/the-ships-that-wont-go-down-demo

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Pictorial Puns

Just a heads' up.

I have created a new page on "Some Wry T'ings" that will be the home for "pictorial puns". Alternative spellings will be used to create an exact (or reasonable approximation) phrase for (initially) song titles, and a series of images will reflect those spellings.

Not sure what I mean? Have a look. It will hopefully be a little clearer.

I have tried to select images that Google reports as having suitable usage rights, but I'm only human. Yes, really. If someone should have copyright issues on a particular image and objects to its use here, please comment below with the details. I'll remove/modify the pun-image accordingly.

So, why this new page? Why the lack of new poems on this blog?

a) a bit of fun, and I like playing around with word meanings and humour.

b) my poems at the moment tend to be directed as lyrics to shanties/sea-songs that I'm writing for the Lytham St Anne's Shanty Crew. We have been performing and recording (we've been in a studio and created our first CD - way-hey!) to raise money for our local Lifeboat appeal. It's going well. We've got a website, Facebook and Twitter presence, business cards, and have invested in microphones and such for bigger gigs. So - sorry for the lack of poems here recently. I might put some more lyrics on the blog. Watch this space.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Sloppy Poem

Just a quickie - in response to a request for a sloppy love poem. So what's sloppy?

Sloppy Poem

Your glist'ning eyes are sunlit dew,
Your lips are raspb'rry jam,
Your teeth are white as cottage cheese,
Your tongue - wet pink boiled ham.
Your voice is melted chocolate,
Your hair soft Cornish ice,
And though you dribble in your sleep
I think you're kind of nice.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Leaping Limb Rick

This is another poem written for a Pub Poets' open mic night, this time on the theme "leaping limericks". Clearly, the structure should comprise one or more limericks but what should be the subject? Hmm.. 

Leaping Limb Rick

A man who failed trying a back flip
Accidentally learned an odd gym trick.
By compressing his thighs
Thirty feet he could rise.
He adopted the name Leaping Limb Rick.

The heights he could reach were a thrill
In practising, hours he’d kill,
But Rick had a thought
And decided he ought
Not to waste his incredible skill.

“Be a burglar,” his mate Tommy said,
“and you’ll never be short of some bread.
Ignore the back door
And all the ground floor
You can enter the skylight instead.”

Rick didn’t like Tommy’s idea
as he thought it was too cavalier –
But before he could flout it,
his buddy passed out - it
was likely the excessive beer.

Perhaps he’d stop those on the rob
Like Batman he’d be a heart-throb
But try as he might, a
High jumping crime fighter
Would not be an e-ffective job

When he worked as a courier he found
His leaping increased with each bound
And as he grew stronger
Jumped higher and longer
Leaping Limb-Rick became quite renowned.

He entered the summer Olympics
the high and long jumps, were the basics
But he jumped far too high
To the clouds in the sky.
The plane end became Leaping Limb Rick’s.


Monday, 3 April 2017

To Join The Crew (I Went Away To Fix It)

These are the lyrics to a sea song I wrote mid March 2017 to add to the repertoire of the Lytham St Anne's Shanty Crew. 

Written specifically with one of our singers in mind, the song is a tale of a fellow endeavouring to secure employment on board a sailing ship. 

He is constantly rebuffed by the captain, but our hero is always one to persevere... whatever the cost.

The parts sung by all the crew are in italics. 


To Join the Crew (I Went Away To Fix It)

I asked to join a clipper / I was told I lacked the skill
So I went away to fix it   
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / As I never can stand still.
Stand still! Stand still! He never can stand still
So I went away to fix it / As I never can stand still.

    CHORUS 
    Each time we were in dock he'd come / and ask to join the crew
    The captain gave him some excuse: / A task he had to do.
    But his yearning for the ocean / was as strong as strong can be
    and nothing would deter his wish / To sail upon the sea.


He said I would need training / As the weather can be grim
So I went away to fix it
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / And I taught myself to swim.
To swim? To swim! He taught himself to swim.
So I went away to fix it / And  I taught myself to swim.

He said I needed clothing / That would not absorb the dirt
So I went away to fix it   
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / And I bought a chequered shirt.
A shirt! A shirt! He bought a chequered shirt.
So I went away to fix it / And I bought a chequered shirt.

    CHORUS

He said to haul together / Crewmen need to get along
So I went away to fix it
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / And I learned a shanty song
A song! A song! He learned a shanty song
So I went away to fix it / And I learned a shanty song.

He said I was too fresh faced; / Crewmen needed to be feared
So I went away to fix it
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / And I came back with beard
A beard! A beard! He came back with a beard
So I went away to fix it / And I came back with beard.

    CHORUS

He said the crew was full / There were no places left to take
So I went away to fix it
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / And I had a lucky break.
A break! A break He had a lucky break
So I went away to fix it /And I had a lucky break

A member of the crew was lost / They thought he may be drowned
So I went away to fix it
Yes he went away to fix it
So I went away to fix it / Now he never will be found.
Not found! Not found! He never will be found.
So I went away to fix it / Now he never willbe found.

    CHORUS, then repeat last two lines (four phrases) of CHORUS, slower.

Chocolate and Viagra

An unusual Pub Poets' theme this month - Chocolate and Viagra. Only a short poem, though, and it took a while to come up with that (arf arf).

Chocolate and Viagra 

Abdul's box was left holding soft centres;
nothing too hard in there without doubt.
His nuts had gone AWOL, he needed a Boost,
but somehow he'd simply Flaked out.


Could Break-up Blocks be a good reason?
His Daim's Snickers did not help one jot,
and no Twirls amongst Curly Wurlies
would pick up his Penguin a lot.

Now he thought milky bars were no Picnic
but an idea Twix midday and one
brought Abdul at long last some Turkish Delight.
He'd get some blue Smarties! Job done.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

I Wandered, Lonely, as a Clown

The theme for the March Pub Poets' open mic event was "Dandy Daffodils".

Thoughts of spring, rebirth, growth come to mind. Nope. Didn't fancy that for my poem.

When William Wordsworth's daffodil poem came to mind, that was a partial inspiration. But it had to be different. If I modify the first line slightly? Now how can I bring "Dandy" into it? I know...

I Wandered, Lonely, as a Clown

I wandered, lonely, as a clown
through darkened streets in Cardiff town,
where spears of rain came hurling down,
their icy points assailed my crown.
And as I shuffled, mind elsewhere
upon the brink of dark despair,
the rivulets flowed from my hair,
unchecked by greasepaint under there.

How long I walked I do not know,
nor When the weather turned to snow,
nor When my pace began to slow,
nor When my ankle laid me low.
I’d no desire - myself to lift
while cushioned in a winter drift
and wondered, “would the end be swift?”
reflecting how perceptions shift.

How did events lead me to here?
So diff'rent to this time last year,
when such a cheery atmosphere
made life ahead so bright and clear,
when fair Joanne and I were wed
two clowns sharing a life ahead,
vows Dandy and his Beano read,
words David and his Joanne said.

We met within the circus ring
We wanted to share ev’rything
deciding that a child would bring
completeness, that we’d leave next spring.
A Swansea swansong was our plan...
...But what could be more shocking than
the violent death of my Joanne -
run over by a white van man.

Now that I’d lost my love, my light,
I walked away into the night,
not caring if the Weather's Might
would lay me low; I would not fight.
My Beano would be with me still
had fate not had some time to kill;
some quota that it had to fill -
for wishing Dandy Dafyd ill.