Another great Corona song!

People are so inventive. You’ve got to love ’em!!

Isolation – John Lennon

It thought this was highly appropriate!

I’m with my little girl trying to change the whole world!

“Isolation”

People say we got it made.
Don’t they know we’re so afraid?
Isolation.We’re afraid to be alone,
everybody got to have a home.
Isolation.

Just a boy and a little girl,
trying to change the whole wide world.
Isolation.

The world is just a little town,
everybody trying to put us down.
Isolation.

I don’t expect you to understand,
after you’ve caused so much pain.
But then again, you’re not to blame.
You’re just a human, a victim of the insane.

We’re afraid of everyone,
Afraid of the sun.
Isolation

The sun will never disappear,
but the world may not have many years.
Isolation.

Stay isolated – Stay safe. One day we can come out and build a better world!

Ye Vagabonds – Supporting Roy Harper in Edinburgh at the Usher Hall

Ye Vagabonds – Supporting Roy Harper in Edinburgh at the Usher Hall

The Mac Gloinn brothers again performed their superb support in Edinburgh. They brought old Celtic songs to life with their great harmonies, interweaving their voices in a delicate beauty, while their own compositions fitted in seamlessly. The tones of their voices complemented each other so well. A joy to hear and a fitting start to the concert. At times they reminded me of the Incredible String Band – at other times they were quite unique. This blend of harmonies has a long tradition that goes way back into Celtic history and was resurrected in the early country and western of the 1930s-1960s in the USA. Brothers have that genetic link and upbringing that enable the nuances to develop so well. There are a host of them (Louvin, Delmore and Maddox to name a few). This was the area that the Everly Brothers tapped into on their album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us and I was interested to see that the Mc Gloinns had a cover of Barbara Allen (Barbara Ellen on their album). The stand out track for me was their own composition – Pomegranate. I look forward to seeing them again for a longer set in more intimate surrounds.

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Following their set I nipped along to purchase a CD and have a brief chat. Brian and Diarmuid were doing good business. I obviously wasn’t alone in liking their sound. They were proving popular.

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I asked if they were touring and they told me that they were bringing out another CD soon and would likely be touring the UK in December or January. I told them to be sure to play York and Hull (musical heart of Britain).

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At the end of the concert, which was the end of the tour,  Roy brought them on stage. They had just been part of something momentous – the return of Britain’s greatest singer-songwriter!

Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore – Great anti-war song lyrics.

Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore – Great anti-war song lyrics.

Phil Ochs was one of the great ‘Protest’ singers from the sixties. His music was topical with a social and political message.

I’m reclaiming the word ‘Protest’ because it was used pejoratively as a put down by the establishment. There is nothing wrong with protest and dissidence. We need our voices speaking out about madness. They make you stop and think and maybe re-evaluate. Is there a better way? Is this a knee-jerk reaction? Is war the best option?

War – what does it solve? There’s no money to solve poverty or rebuild our slums. Yet miraculously there’s always money for stealth bombers. We built our cities up. We knock ’em down.

We elect psychopaths because they are strong, black and white and clear. We love strong leadership. We react emotionally and hit out instead of rationally and thoughtfully with diplomacy and communication. We like to be strong. We will not be pushed around!

We build them up. We knock ’em down.

Lives are destroyed.

Phil was a voice who spoke out against the madness of war. He thought there was a better way.

I Ain’t Marching Anymore

Oh, I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain’t marching anymore

For I’ve killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying, I saw many more dying
But I ain’t marching anymore

It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes, I even killed my brothers
And so many others
But I ain’t marching anymore

For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh, I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain’t marching anymore

It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning I knew that I was learning
That I ain’t marching anymore

Now the labor leader’s screamin’
When they close the missile plants
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore
Call it, Peace, or call it, Treason
Call it, Love, or call it, Reason
But I ain’t marching anymore
No, I ain’t marching anymore

Roy Harper – Edinburgh Usher Hall Review – A Man for all Seasons!

Roy Harper – Edinburgh Usher Hall Review – A Man for all Seasons!

Roy Harperp1140197-2 A Man for all Seasons!

I’d go to the ends of the Earth to catch a Harper concert – well at least the ends of the country! That’s pretty much what I’ve just done – from the Royal Festival Hall in the deep south of the Thames Delta in London to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh – the northern granite fortress of Scotland. (OK – not quite Land’s End to John O’Groats). And what a stunning adventure – out of this world!

I’ve seen Roy perform for nigh on fifty years and I can affirm that at the age of seventy five none of his musical skills or voice has diminished an iota. He is as good as ever. Like a good wine he leaves the brain intoxicated with a fine zest tingling the senses.

In the Spring of his career he was forceful, capricious and furiously blowing this way and that with hurricane fury and torrents of words lashing the brains of all who ventured near. Like a tempest – unyielding, creative and wild.

In his Summer years he burned, scorched ears and laid waste to all he despised with vitriol and skill. His epics had scope, genius and barbed insight unparalleled in the world of music.

But, as we all know, it is in the Autumn that the vine bears fruit and the harvest is brought in. Roy is busy gathering in the fruits of the decades and creating a sumptuous smorgasbord to lay before us.

Over the years Harper concerts have been gatherings of the faithful where we were treated to a sharing of the feast in what had become his front room. But this mature Harper has honed each and every song into a gem of a performance. It’s the same feast but the presentation skills are manifest.

Working with a bunch of supremely talented musicians – the strings and brass under the direction of Fiona Brice, Beth Symmons on double bass and Bill Shanley on guitar and banjo – has harnessed Roy to a greater structure and in so doing has enabled his musical genius to shine. In order to synchronise with such accomplished musicians Roy has had to rein in his idiosyncrasies and focus on delivery. But there is no loss of power for all this – the music is all the greater. The backing has superbly augmented Roy’s compositions to unleash their inherent beauty and strengths.

Neither has this detracted from Roy’s rambling intros, beloved by many and a source of immense frustration to others, but usually shedding insight and setting to the compositions.

It was exactly the same set as at the Royal Festival Hall and so I will not dwell too long on the set save to say that Me and My Woman, Hallucinating Light, Don’t You Grieve, Time is Temporary, 12 Hours of Sunset and When An Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease were so well crafted that the quality was up there with a studio produced sound. They were crafted gems.

That is not to detract from the rest of the set either. Hangman and Hors D’ Oeuvres were full of Roy’s anger and passion.

Three years ago we were witnessing a Harper renaissance. He was finally receiving the plaudits that should always have been there, and his live and studio performances were reaching the heights.

I was concerned that a three year lay-off might have brought an end to this late flourish. I am pleased to report that it hasn’t!

Roy is back! This tour was a triumph! This Harper nut has received another fix. Hopefully it will be sufficient to tide him over to the next outing – the withdrawal symptoms are too great to bear.

Make it soon Roy!

Fela Kuti – Zombie – Lyrics to kill for.

Fela Kuti – Zombie – Lyrics to kill for.

Fela was extraordinary. Not just in his music but his life too. He was a black radical. He opposed the regime in Nigeria and was severely tortured and imprisoned for speaking out and opposing them. It didn’t stop him though. He still openly opposed the regime even after they ransacked his studios and killed his mother. He wrote this song for the mindless soldiers who carry out the orders to kill, arrest, torture and destroy.

Zombie – Fela Kuti

Zombie o, zombie (Zombie o, zombie)
Zombie o, zombie (Zombie o, zombie)

Zombie no go go, unless you tell am to go (Zombie)
Zombie no go stop, unless you tell am to stop (Zombie)
Zombie no go turn, unless you tell am to turn (Zombie)
Zombie no go think, unless you tell am to think (Zombie)

Tell am to go straight
A joro, jara, joro
No break, no job, no sense
A joro, jara, joro
Tell am to go kill
A joro, jara, joro
No break, no job, no sense
A joro, jara, joro
Tell am to go quench
A joro, jara, joro
No break, no job, no sense
A joro, jara, joro

Go and kill! (Joro, jaro, joro)
Go and die! (Joro, jaro, joro)
Go and quench! (Joro, jaro, joro)
Put am for reverse! (Joro, jaro, joro)

Joro, jara, joro, zombie wey na one way
Joro, jara, joro, zombie wey na one way
Joro, jara, joro, zombie wey na one way

Joro, jara, joro

Attention! (Zombie)
Quick march!
Slow march! (Zombie)
Left turn!
Right turn! (Zombie)
About turn!
Double up! (Zombie)
Salute!
Open your hat! (Zombie)
Stand at ease!
Fall in! (Zombie)
Fall out!
Fall down! (Zombie)
Get ready!

Halt!

Order!

Dismiss!

Songwriters
KUTI, FELA /

Nick Harper – The Verse Time Forgot – a poignant song

Nick Harper – The Verse Time Forgot – a poignant song

Nick said that he thought this was his best song. I think that is because it is so special to him. He wrote it on the day his mother died. He said that it came into his head in one go as he was driving home.

It is a beautiful song with lilting melody.

I couldn’t find a brilliant version of it but this is OK.

The Verse Time Forgot – Nick Harper

fitting for her so
i’ll visit her here where the bells never toll
in a place that is no place
in an age that has no clock
where the years wont touch her face
my beautiful girl
in the verse time forgot

and my friends are all here laughing
in strangely familiar scenes
they pour onto the page
like happy babbling streams

but there set in the middle
she glitters like gold cannot
my beautiful girl
in the verse time forgot

there’s a circle around her
one family
they trickle round my heart
like happy babbling streams

and at last i meet myself
a boy at play
we pick ourselves out a perfect spot
but i must be going
though I’d love to stay
with the good hearted boy
in the verse time forgot

and he’ll stay here playing in my song
the funny little boy
still in love
loving her
forever

Roy Harper – Today is Yesterday – another of those newly discovered videos.

Roy Harper – Today is Yesterday – another of those newly discovered videos.

It is strange to hear Roy do this one. It was not one of his great songs and not one that he ever played much. It was recorded at Abbey Road but left on the shelf as it was considered to be not too worthy. Roy didn’t rate it.

But in actual fact it has some nice words and some musical moments not dissimilar to some of the other tracks on Flat Baroque and Berserk. I quite liked it.

What do you think?

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1474797981&sr=1-2-ent

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00TQ1E9ZG/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886379&sr=1-4

or

537 Essential Rock Albums Pt. 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/537-Essential-Rock-Albums-first-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7TA/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474902569&sr=1-3

Opher’s tributes to Rock Geniuses

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses-ebook/dp/B00U0NLP4W/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474967124&sr=1-32

If you would like some of my Sci-fi I recommend Ebola in the Garden of Eden or Sorting the Future to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebola-Garden-Eden-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B0116VXVIY/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886688&sr=1-19

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorting-Future-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533082669/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-10

If you would like a sixties novel I recommend Danny’s Story or Goofin’ with the Cosmic Freaks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dannys-Story-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533487219/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goofin-Cosmic-Freaks-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00MT3GWIK/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_18?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886872&sr=1-18

Happy Reading!!

Playing an electric shovel – Justin Johnson – with a shovel in hand at the hoe-down!

Justin Johnson – with a shovel in hand at the hoe-down!

Triana had this on her facebook so I thank her for it.

I loved this. Makes you wonder what he could do with a rake?

I can dig it!

Roy Harper – Hell’s Angels – A song recorded as an impossible single.

Roy Harper – Hell’s Angels – A song recorded as an impossible single.

When Roy signed to the prestigious Harvest label set up to accommodate the burgeoning Underground talent, EMI was confident that they could make a big deal out of Roy. Unfortunately Roy was his own man and refused to play the necessary games. He went his own way.

When he recorded the wonderful Flat Baroque and Berserk album – his debut on Harvest – they wanted a single. That didn’t appeal to Roy. When they pressed he wrote some outrageous lyrics, had a late night session with his mates the Nice in the studio and recorded a  seven minute track that he offered them as a single. I don’t think they were impressed.

I was there at Abbey Road to witness this being recorded and it was quite a rollicking session.

The track, complete with Roy’s electric guitar, is on the album but for some reason was not released as a single.

Check out the lyrics. They might provide a clue. I don’t think it would have got much airplay.

Hell’s Angels – Roy Harper
if you think you need a better deal why don’t you just take one
like the Hell’s Angels
put your foot down, let’s get out of this town

fancy seeing all of you here, well I don’t know
fancy seeing all of you here
dressed up in your government gear, paying taxes
never thought you’d make it to here

hell’s angels
if you think you need a better world why don’t you just make one
like the Hell’s Angels
live your own law, lick your own paw

fancy seeing all of you slugs, well I don’t know
fancy seeing all of you mugs
drinking all your government drugs
well I don’t know
helping all your government thugs

free speech!
one each!

I am really enjoying these videos!

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1474797981&sr=1-2-ent

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00TQ1E9ZG/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886379&sr=1-4

or

537 Essential Rock Albums Pt. 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/537-Essential-Rock-Albums-first-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7TA/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474902569&sr=1-3

Opher’s tributes to Rock Geniuses

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses-ebook/dp/B00U0NLP4W/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474967124&sr=1-32

If you would like some of my Sci-fi I recommend Ebola in the Garden of Eden or Sorting the Future to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebola-Garden-Eden-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B0116VXVIY/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886688&sr=1-19

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorting-Future-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533082669/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-10

If you would like a sixties novel I recommend Danny’s Story or Goofin’ with the Cosmic Freaks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dannys-Story-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533487219/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goofin-Cosmic-Freaks-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00MT3GWIK/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_18?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886872&sr=1-18

Happy Reading!!